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We hope you find the information below interesting, entertaining and informative. We make no claims to being experts but we have handled our fair share of BJDs.  The techniques we have outlined work for us and we hope they will work for you too!

Tips for Protecting Your BJD

You wanted it, you saved for it, you bought it
and now you need to take care of it.

  1. Keep your doll out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. 
  2. Handle your doll with kid gloves…literally!  Well, maybe not kid gloves but keep a pair of white cotton gloves handy and when dressing or playing with your doll, use them.  You would be surprised how much cleaner your doll stays if you handle it with gloves. 
  3. If you doll does get marks on it or gets dirty from handling, you can clean it up with a Mr. Clean Super Sponge.  Just dampen the sponge and gently clean.  Just be very careful around the face paint as you can remove an eyebrow or cheek color if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing!
  4. When dressing your doll, place a small plastic bag over the hands to protect the delicate fingers from snagging on a tight sleeve.  Also be carefully about leaving your doll dressed in dark colors or anything red…these colors can sometimes fade and stain the resin.  A Mr. Clean Super Sponge can sometimes, but not always, remove this.
  5. Use a wig cap (yes, we sell them at Denver Doll Emporium and they are worth the small expense).  A wig cap not only helps hold the wig in place but it also protects the head from staining from dark colored wigs.
  6. Use a doll stand unless the doll is sitting.  Even dolls that balance beautifully by themselves can tip over and fall off a shelf.  Sturdy and attractive BJD stands are hard to find but even a plain old metal Kaiser stand is better than nothing.  If you find your doll’s feet slip around on the smooth metal base, cut a piece of rubbery shelf liner to fit the base.  Your doll will stand in place with no slipping and sliding.  

 

ENJOY BEING THE OWNER OF A FINE BJD!

Ya musta been a beautiful baby….cuz baby look at you now!

BJD FACE-UP ENHANCEMENTS MADE
SUPER EASY

An enhancement can be made to improve on the original face up, touch up an old, worn face up or simply to give your doll her very own, one of a kind look. 

Keep in mind that this is just one method…it is not the only method or maybe not even the best method, but it is a method almost anyone can do with just a few inexpensive products. 

Enhancement PRODUCTS and where you can buy them:

  • ColorBox liquid chalks or fluid pigments (local Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann’s, Michaels, or any Scrapbooking store. 
  • Triangle shaped cosmetic sponge (anywhere)
  • Small, flat paint brush (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Jo-Ann, etc.)
  • Couple of watercolor pencils (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Jo-Ann, etc.)
  • Spray Sealer (Mr. SuperClear if you can find it or Testor’s Dull Coat available at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Jo-Ann, etc.)
  • Mr. Clean Super Eraser Sponge (grocery store, Target, etc.)
  • Acetone (fingernail polish remover) or Rubbing Alcohol 91%
  • Liquitex Acrylic Soft Body Paints,if you really want to get into doing face ups (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Jo-Ann, etc.)
  • Liquitex (or any brand you want) Gloss Medium (brush-on not spray) (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Jo-Ann, etc.)

 

How to….

CHEEKS:  One thing that is very easy to do and makes a big impact is to blush the doll’s cheeks.  Just take a cosmetic sponge and lightly pat the ColorBox liquid chalk.  Then pat the sponge off on your hand (or a towel or piece of paper) until only a little bit remains.  THEN you can dab it LIGHTLY on the doll’s cheeks.  When you get the amount of color you want, turn the sponge over to a clean side and start blending.  It will look airbrushed if done properly.

BROWS:  You can also darken/soften the brows by using ColorBox liquid chalk in a brown tone (I like Chestnut Brown or just plain Dark Brown).  This you can apply with a very small, flat, angled brush.  Again….pick up a little color on your brush and then dab it on a towel or your hand until just a little remains.  LIGHTLY stroke the color along the brows until you get the look you want.  Make a mistake?  Completely remove the color with a Mr. Clean Super Sponge (dampened) or use an eraser to lighten.  If you use the Mr. Clean sponge be VERY CAREFUL and wipe LIGHTLY or it could take the whole brow off!

FRECKLES:  With a couple of watercolor pencils you can add freckles, brows, lashes, lines to the lips, etc.  These wipe off with a damp Q-Tip so you can do and re-do as many times as you want. 

FINE PAINTING:  If you want to get into doing beautiful face ups, you will want to invest in some quality brushes, soft chalk pastels (not the kind with oil in them) and acrylic paints (Liquitex Soft Body is good).  It takes lots of practice but it is lots of fun.  See video reference on the last page for great demos. 

SEALING:  You will need a product to seal the paint, chalk, pencil, etc.  If you are enhancing there is more than likely already of coat of some sealer on the face.  After you do your magic and are happy with the results, you will need to spray the face with a sealer like Mr. Super Clear (if you can find it) or Testor’s Dull Coat.  If you are starting from scratch with an unpainted head, spray BEFORE beginning to paint.  You will also probably want to spray along the way and then spray again when you are done.  For SHINY LIPS and sparkle around the eyes, apply a Gloss Medium with a brush to these areas after sealing. 

 

WEBSITES WITH GREAT INFO ON PAINTING AND ENHANCING BJDS:  

 

Re-Stringing your BJD

BEFORE TAKING YOUR DOLL APART:

  1. Mark with a pencil (lightly) “L” and “R” on the right arm pieces, left arm pieces, right and left leg parts, etc.  It’s amazing how similar a left thigh and right thigh look once the doll is in pieces.
  2. Take note on how your BJD was originally strung.  Notice where the original knots were tied and where they were hidden inside the dolls body/head.
  3. Make note on how many loops of elastic were used.  For example: one loop for the arms, one or two loops for the legs and head.

Once you’ve determined how the doll was originally strung, it’s time to take the doll apart. DO NO CUT THE ELASTIC!  Simply unhook a foot, head or hand.
Most times, the original elastic can be reused if you are only tightening or loosening the doll.  Depending on how much tighter your doll needs to be, you can either untie the knot and retie making the elastic loop smaller or cut the original knot off and tie a new one.
You can also use the original elastic as a guide on how big of a loop to make the new elastic. 

 

TAKING YOUR DOLL APART:

  1. The easiest place to start is with the HEAD.  Most BJD companies make it super easy to remove the head.  Depending on the type of doll you own, you either twist a hook/lock and slip the head off.  Or, you will need to pull the elastic up through the head and remove the “S” hook that is holding the head onto the body.  Once the head is off, remove the hook or whatever is holding the elastic and slip the elastic loop through the body.
  1. To take off a hand or foot pull the hand or foot away from the wrist or ankle and insert a crochet hook into elastic loop.  You are doing this to keep the elastic from sliding inside the dolls body and to give you some slack to remove the part easily.  Once the elastic is secure, use pliers or your fingers to unhook the part. 

** Once you have a couple of “end” pieces removed, the elastic will easily slip through the body parts.

 

Now that your doll is in PIECES, it’s time to put it back together.  DON’T PANIC!

  1. Either retie the original elastic or cut a new piece of elastic and make a loop.  It’s important to use the appropriate weight elastic and the correct thickness. 
  2. Once you have the loop, double check to make sure the knot you tied will fit into the body where the original knots were hidden.
  3. It’s easiest to start with the legs. Hook a foot onto the correct place (depending on where the knot goes) of the elastic.  Then thread your Stringing Hook down the lower leg (& ankle) and hook the elastic to pull up through the leg piece.  Do the same with the knee and upper thigh.  Then thread the elastic thru the body.  Hook the elastic temporarily to the neck by using your crochet hook to hold. 
  4. Now, do the other leg. 
  5. With a separate elastic loop do the same with the arms.  Use your crochet hook when you need to hold the elastic against a joint.

 

***  Don’t get frustrated if you end up redoing your doll a couple times.  It’s not easy to get the tension just right and have the knots end up in the correct places.  But once you do this a couple of times, it gets much easier!

 

Tools and where you can buy them:

  1. Stringing Hook  (online Doll Making Supply stores)
  2. Needle Nose Pliers (Hardware store or your husband’s garage)
  3. Crochet Hook (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or any local craft store)
  4. Elastic Cord (online Doll Making Supply stores)
  5. Hemostats (Walgreen’s or Medical Supply Store)

 

If you have read the above and all I’ve done is confused you, check out these actual video demonstrations on youtube!


Striking a Pose and How to Hold it!

Nothing is more frustrating than to purchase a beautiful BJD only to have them collapse when trying to stand them or “kick” every time you get them in the perfect pose.  Here are a few different methods to help keep your doll in that “perfect pose”
 
Wiring
This is a very simple (& inexpensive) method to making your doll joints more stable and improving your dolls ability to pose.

  1. Use plastic coated, light colored, SOLID wire.  This will protect the elastic inside your dolls joints plus protect the resin from being scratched or stained. 
  2.  Cut 3 lengths of wire.  2 for the arms and 1 for the legs and hips.
  3.  For arms, measure from the shoulder to halfway down the forearm.
  4. Insert the wire by bending the dolls arm at the elbow until the elastic shows.  Place one end of the wire up into the upper arm (alongside the elastic) and the other end down into the forearm. 
  5. For legs, it is most common to use one piece of wire for both legs but you can use two.
  6. Measure the length of wire for the legs by holding one end of wire about halfway down the calf, run it up to the belly button, bend to a “U” shape, and then back down to the other calf.
  7. Insert the leg wire by bending your doll at the waist until you see elastic.  Insert one end of the “U” down into the right leg (alongside the elastic).  You may need to open the knee joint to help push the wire down into the calf.  Do the same to the left leg.

Sueding
This method involves gluing a “Suede” like material in your dolls joints to create friction, thus making your dolls’ joints more stable.

  1. You can “Suede” your dolls joints with a variety of materials.  For example, suede, mole skin or pliver (a very thin form of suede.
  2. This method is made easier by first taking your doll apart.
  3. Using tracing paper and a pencil, trace the shape of the inside of each “cup” joint.  Trim until the paper fits nicely inside the joint.
  4. Take your paper patterns and use them to cut the suede material you are using.
  5. Glue the suede inside the cups with a water-soluble white glue (Elmer’s, Aleene’s).
  6. Let dry overnight and reassemble your doll.

 

Hot Glue Sueding
This is a fairly simple and inexpensive method to creating friction in your doll’s joints by applying hot glue to the inside “cups” of the joints.

  1. This method is the same as “sueding” but you are covering the insides of the dolls joints with hot glue.
  2.  Use a low heat hot glue gun.  The high temperature glue can damage and burn the resin.  As well as your fingers. J
  3. I recommend taking your doll apart to hot glue.
  4. Using your hot glue gun, apply a small drop of glue into the “cup” part of the joint. 
  5. Use a popsicle stick or your finger to quickly smear the glue inside the cup as flat and evenly as you can.  You are aiming for a thin, smooth surface.  You do not want lumps or glue on the outside of the joint.
  6. You can use the tip of glue gun to reheat the glue to flatten the glue.
  7. When completely dry, place the parts back together again and check for a good fit.  If there are gaps, you have too much glue. 
  8.  Repeat the process until all of the dolls joints are sueded.

 


The “EYES” Have It!



Changing eyes is easy…really!  Changing eye color, size and changing the position of the eyes can really make a dramatic difference with your dolls.  Unless you get into the really expensive hand blown glass eyes or premium silicone eyes, this can be done very inexpensively.  There are some beautiful, high quality acrylic and glass eyes in the market that will work for most people.  I recommend the beautiful Glib acrylic eyes or Brilliant Glass Eyes, both found at Denver Doll Emporium….

I would first stick to the recommend eye size or the size that came with your doll.  Later you can experiment with different sizes….usually you can’t go more than one size up or down and still have an eye that fits properly. 
Try different colors…the natural colors are nice but it’s also lots of fun to experiment with fantasy colors as well. 

Lashes are a little more challenging until you get the hang of it and then you’ll wonder why you waited so long to add them to or change them on your dolls.

 

EYE Changing Tools



Pretty simple…

  1. A pair of eyes
  2.  Putty of some kind.  Either reuse what is in the doll or buy Eye Putty.  We sell Dollzone Eye Putty but you can also use soft Sculpy (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.) or Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs (this is a silicone putty and very easy to work with.  You can find it at Walgreen’s, some grocery stores, etc.)
  3. A “tool” to poke the eyes out of the doll and reposition the putty where your fingers can’t reach….like a wooden “orange stick”, popsicle stick, etc. 

How to….


CHANGE EYES:  Remove the head cap and set aside.  If the doll is very small, you may want to remove the head from the body but usually that is not necessary.

From the front of the face, poke the eyes out the back of the face either with your fingers or a tool (see previous) of some kind.  Remove the eyes and clean the putty off.  Now put a little putty around one eye and stick it back in the head.  While pushing the putty around the eye to secure it to the inside of the head, check the front of the face to see if the eye is close to the position you want.  Continue patting the putty into place either with your finger or with a “tool” in the hard to reach spaces.  Now do the other eye. 

When you are finished you can “fine tune” the eye position.  When both eyes are looking in the same direction and you are pleased with the result, put the head cap back on.  You did it!  

 

EYE LASHES Tools


Just a couple of basic things….

  1. A pair of eye lashes (DDE has a great selection)
  2. White glue (like Aileen’s Quick Grab, or Elmer’s)
  3. “Goo Gone” or acetone, etc. to remove the adhesive that is on most all lashes
  4. Toothpicks

 
How to….


CHANGE EYE LASHES:    First thing to do is remove the lashes from the white plastic holder they come on.  Next pour a little “Goo Gone” into a small glass dish and soak the lashes.  While the lashes are soaking, remove the head cap and remove the eyes from the doll.  If there are old lashes you are replacing…. obviously remove them. 

After maybe 5 minutes or so, remove one lash strip from the soaking solution and rub along the adhesive line, removing the gummy gunk along the strip.  When both lashes are “all clean”, put them on a paper towel to dry.  Measure the lashes with the eye opening and determine if the lash will need to be trimmed. 

Squirt out a bit of glue onto a piece of paper.  With your toothpick, apply a little glue to the upper lid line…it doesn’t take much.  With your fingers, apply the lash to the upper lid.  With another clean toothpick, tamp it along the eye lid securing the lash strip to the glue.  Continue tamping until the lash is firmly attached.  I like to use a round orange stick to do this and roll it along that inside upper edge.  Do the other lash.  WAIT until the glue is completely dry before putting the eyes back in.  It’s not a bad idea to wait overnight. 

 


Thank you for visiting our web site.  If you have any questions or comments please email us at info@denverdoll.com or call 303-733-6339