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The Art of Reborning, by Kristina Backoefer

Today we welcomed our first reborn baby doll into our nursery.  And we are thrilled to have this guest blog article written by her artist. We hope you enjoy reading about her unique craft of reborning!

By Kristina Backoefer, Professional Reborn Artist at Twinkle Toes Nursery, Instagram: rebornartkristinab

My love for dolls started when I was a little girl, I had two very special Lee Middleton Dolls. One day I came across a reborn doll, its realistic look just amazed me. Eventually I purchased a reborn doll for myself. Shortly thereafter that I was inspired to try and reborn a baby doll myself. I never imagined that what I thought was going to be a hobby turned into a career. I have been making reborn dolls for five years now and I have just finished my 196th reborn baby doll! My reborning business keeps growing and I keep imagining new ideas for each baby doll. I love creating and making people happy with my creations. Whenever I see someone open a reborn I created, their smile is priceless to me.

Each new doll starts with my imagination; what should each one will look like, what should the theme of outfits be? The ideas that swirl in my head when I am getting started are endless and every reborn is from my heart with love. I am very particular about the details and spend a great deal of time looking for just the right sculpts, I like to find them with a lot of creases in the skin. The perfect soft body is essential, the proportions have to be perfect. Some of the early kits with older sculpts, don’t have as many details in the sculpt itself or their limbs are not proportionate to the head. There have been times when I have switched out limbs and heads to make a better match. In the end, all my babies are created with love and must pass my high standards as a “dream reborn baby”.

The first step in working on a new baby is “bathing the baby”, which is actually cleaning the vinylbefore getting started. Once we have the perfect “canvas” painting is next. There are many steps to painting the layers on each baby. I start with veining, neutralizing, warmth, blush, blue depths and many more which I refer to as my “secret recipe”. I love to help others whenever I can with any painting tips, but I do go so far to give out my secret recipe. Simply, every artist has their own technique for painting which is what makes baby reborn baby a one-of-a-kind.

I have a fairly consistent style of painting now so it is difficult when the customer with a custom order wants the baby’s mottling or blushing to be a certain way. I prefer to be creative with freestyle of painting, so I try to balance out my projects having at least one ‘freestyle’ baby between my custom reborn babies. The freestyle babies give me the freedom to express my creativity naturally while custom order babies push me out of my comfort zone to try new things. I am always working on mastering new skills. Here’s a list of my favorite supplies:

  • Heat Set Paints, for a carefully shaded nose
  • Genesis Heat Set Painted Hair or rooted hair using premium mohair by Delta Dawn. When their hair is rooted by hand it is sealed on the inside to allow their new mommy to gently comb and style it.
  • German Lauscher Human Glass eyes are just beautiful when creating an open-eyed baby. To fill and weight each baby’s body I use enclosed Premium Glass Beads and Hypo-allergenic Poly Fill, it makes them so cute and great to cuddle.
  • Limbs are also filled with Premium Glass Beads and topped off with the Hypo-allergenic Poly Fill.
  • Just like a real newborn baby you will need to support their head while holding. Occasionally strong magnets are used in the babies for hair bows or pacifiers. In this case people with pacemakers should not be around them.
  • Reborn babies are for collectors and not recommended for children under 14.

A great deal of creativity, hard work, love and dedication is put into each one-of-a-kind reborn baby doll. The reborn community of artists, techniques and styles is always evolving. New collectors and doll enthusiasts are always amazed at the artistry of it all. I am thrilled to be a part of this community and to have found something I truly love doing. It brings me joy to see how my art brings happiness to others.

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