A major part of making your own reborn doll is deciding on an appropriate doll body. Now if you bought a kit, then you will already have everything you need at hand. But if you’re creating your doll from scratch, you will have to purchase the body separately as you can’t possibly use that of the regular doll you used for the head and limbs.
This tutorial will guide you on the different types of reborn nursery bodies commonly available on the market today.
We’ve already talked about this in previous articles but, regardless of the body type you get, there are generally two fabrics you can choose from:
- Cloth Fabric – Usually made from cotton or a mixture of cotton with some synthetic fabric, these bodies are cheaper and less durable than their counterpart. On the upside, they are very easy to use
- Doe Suede – This fabric is more expensive than cloth, but it will be the preferred choice as it allows the body to hold more weighting material, making it appear more real. Doe suede is machine washable and it’s better at resisting liquid spills than cloth fabric
Doll kit bodies are classified based on the limb size they attach to. Accordingly, there are full body, quarter limb and three quarter limb bodies.
- Quarter Limb Body – This body type basically attaches to quarter limbs, the hands and feet with just the lower parts or below the elbow and knee. This is ideal for doll kits or dolls that have only the quarter limbs as vinyl
- Three Quarter Limb Body – Such bodies are designed with shoulder and hip joints. In other words, the upper torso attaches with the hand from above the elbow, so you effectively get the biceps, elbow and hands. For the lower torso, it attaches at the hips with the thigh, knee and feet present
- Full Body – Such bodies only have the shoulder joint and that’s it. No hip or elbow joint, so they are ideal for kits with longer limbs. These bodies tend to come in the 16 to 20 inch sizes and should fit many designer reborn doll kits. For the most realistic feel or look, the full body is obviously always better since you get to work on a lot of vinyl surface
For beginners, I would say that the quarter limb body is a good starting point as it provides just enough area to practice doll painting. As you get more experienced, you can upgrade to the harder three quarter or full body doll kits. Weighting and assembling these bodies with the appendages is harder, so practice first with the quarter bodies.
The doll bodies all come with joints. However, as we noted above, the full body tends to lack hip joints. If you’re worried that this could have a negative impact on your ability to pose the doll, fear not as the legs will still be completely movable.
With the three quarter joints, the doll kit will easily move around and pose as that type of body allows for full 360 degree movement of the limbs. You can add joints of your own, if you wish, by creating them by hand, but it is not compulsory. If mobility is what you need in your reborn nursery baby dolls, then you should target the three quarter body kits. They are easier to pose either as sitting, sleeping or otherwise. The full body kit, however, does not provide all that versatility. What you can do with it, though, is to affix the limbs into place when attaching them.
Extra tip: With the full body, if you want, you can use a diaper, a loincloth or something, to hide away the joints. This is also possible with a three quarter body but it does not provide the same kind of finish. You will have to drag the diaper downwards slightly to cover the joint between the limb and the body. With a full body kit, the lack of any hip joint basically removes the necessity to drag diapers downwards.