How to Make a Reborn Fairy Baby Doll

By Araminta Matthews
Properly reborn dolls are so lifelike, you can't always tell it's not a real baby.

A "reborn" doll is a regular vinyl toy baby doll that has been painted to resemble a lifelike infant. A reborn fairy doll is a realistic human infant doll modified to resemble the classic characteristics of a fairy: pointed ears, wings and, possibly, altered skin tone (light green or blue, for instance). Note that making a "reborn" fairy doll requires a certain degree of artistic skill.

Remove the doll's head from its body by slitting the stitches on its cloth body around the head with a knife, and place the head on a metal baking sheet. Heat in the oven at 150 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove promptly and squeeze the head of the doll to pop out the eyes.

Insert the new, reborn doll eyes while the mold is still warm and position them so the pupils are centered. Secure with superglue.

Use a cotton swab soaked in acetone-based nail polish remover to remove the paint from the doll's face and hands. This includes lip color, blush and eye coloration. Rinse thoroughly.

Mix indigo fabric dye in 1 gallon of water in a 2-gallon bucket. Test a patch on the foot of the vinyl doll to achieve the blueish, reddish or purplish undertone typical of an infant's skin. For a fairy doll, you may want a blueish-tinged skin tone. Thin with water as needed. Apply the dye with a fan brush to all the vinyl parts of the doll in a thin layer, paying particular attention to the nooks and folds of the vinyl skin.

Use a fine-tipped paintbrush to apply thin lines where veins would appear, such as over the wrists, on the inside of the elbow or around the cheeks. Let dry.

Mold the modeling clay into the shape of a pointed ear tip by pinching one end and adding ear fold creases with the blunt end of a paintbrush. Attach the modeling clay to the existing ears of the vinyl doll. Smooth the attachment area with the blunt end of a paintbrush. You may need to secure the clay with a dot of superglue. Let dry.

Thin skin-colored oil paint with linseed oil to achieve a milky consistency and apply all over the vinyl doll parts and ears with a make-up sponge, using a dabbing motion. Let dry until tacky, then use a fan brush to brush lightly at the creases to prevent paint build-up.

Thin red acrylic paint with water. Use a flat, dry brush to dot the red paint into the skin around the arms, legs, cheeks and the top of the head to create that mottled look newborns have.

Thin blue acrylic paint with water. Use a fine-tip brush to add a slight tint of blue around the fingertips and toes, lips and eye sockets.

Use a light pink or peach lip color pencil on the lips, around the eyes and on the cheeks to create definition.

Apply pink or peach nail polish to the nails.

Seal the doll with fixative spray (found in art supply stores for oil paintings) to prevent color loss.

Pierce the vinyl multiple times with a metal dental pick above the eyes along the lid about 1/16-inch apart. Place a pin-tip sized dollop of superglue in each hole and press the reborn eyelashes into each hole with the dental pick.

Use felting needles to create tiny holes in the head of the baby doll and root thin strips of colored mohair into each hole to create the thin wisps of hair typical of a newborn. For a fairy doll, you may want to use blue, pink or even green mohair.

Fashion a pair of baby-sized wings from feathers, cellophane or organza to complete the look. Dress your baby in silk leaves and flower petals to add to the fairy flair.

Tip

Choose oversized, brightly colored reborn doll eyes for your fairy to give it that supernatural feel. Reclaim realistic doll eyes from a larger doll, or, instead, use glass marbles that resemble eyes. Reclaim doll eyelashes from several dolls to make eyelash bundles.

About the Author

Araminta Star Matthews began writing in 1994, and editing in 1998. She has been published in "Learning through History Magazine," "Dark Moon Digest" and the "Sandy River Review." She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Maine and National University respectively.