Some dolls come equipped with a specially shaped slot that allows them to sit like this:
This is called 'Suwarrico' or 'Cute Sitting'. This specially shaped slot can be carved into nearly any doll's legs as long as they have a solid ball shape there. This is what it looks like when it is done:
Here is how you do it. First you take the doll apart and mark the shapes on the thigh ball clearly with watercolor pencil. (This will easily wash off if there is any left when you are done.) Use a Dremel or other tool to remove the resin inside your marks. Use a fine grade of sandpaper to clean up any scratches and to make your cuts as clean as possible so they will not cut into your stringing as you pose the doll. Now put your doll back together and Poof! Your doll can now do 'cute sitting' poses!
Boy to Girl and Back Again
Changing the gender of a doll isn't particularly hard, but it's not a lot of fun either. It IS a lot of sanding however. Even if you have a Dremel, it's better to do the fine detailing by hand unless you're really, really good with a Dremel.
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Painting A Whole Doll
Takes a lot of time and patience and a dedication to keeping it painted. The paint will rub off in the joints and will need to be replaced often.
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"To Dye or Not to Dye: Changing Skin Color"
The first thing that you want to do when dyeing a doll is to take it apart and clean it. First I used a Mister Clean Magic Eraser to get the whole doll free of spots or dirt rubs. After that I washed it with a gentle dish soap and a baby washcloth because any residue can cause weird things to happen. You don't need a baby washcloth but I am paranoid about scratching my doll parts while cleaning them. I then lay out all my parts on a clean cloth in an organized manner so that the left arm and left leg are on the left side, and the right arm and right leg are on the right side. I put the head and torso pieces in the middle. This helps because then you don't get them all mixed up in the process and end up with parts in the wrong place when you put your doll back together. I also take all the S-hooks, elastic, wig and eyes and put them in a plastic bag and set them aside somewhere safe since you don't want to get dye on them. You might also want to gather up some other stuff to dye with the remaining dye. I had plenty left over to dye several pieces of clothes. You may also want to wear some old clothes because dye is, well dye and will stain anything you get it on. Luckily it wipes off the stove if you get it pretty fast. Gloves and/or an extra set of hands and eyes are useful. I had a friend help me and she made sure all the parts matched which helped a lot.
Then, gather everything that you will need: doll parts, dye, dye instructions, gloves, string, scissors and a test piece if you have one. I use the Delf neck piece because you can't see it when the doll is assembled, but you could just use the headcap. You will also need a big bowl of clean cold water and somewhere to hang the parts while they dry. You will also want to tie a piece of strong string to each piece. Remember not to tie it too close to the body or it will leave a line where the dye could not reach. Paper towels can be useful too, since I got the dye *everywhere*.
The next thing is to make the dye. Whatever you use needs to be big enough that your largest part can be completely submerged in the dye. It also helps if it can be thrown out if the dye stains. I use a small saucepot and heat clean water until it's almost boiling. I use RIT clothing dye because it's easy, cheap and readily available. I mix the dye into the hot water and stir a lot. Once the dye is completely dissolved, I lower the temperature to Medium-Low so the water is still hot, but won't hurt me *badly* if I accidentally stick my fingertip into it.
Start with your test piece first so you can see what color your dye will be. Dip each piece into the dye using the string that you tied to it. Each part will take a different amount of time to reach the same color because of the thickness of the resin. Small thin parts like ankle pieces will take much less time than big thick pieces like the torso; because of this, parts where the thickness of the resin change dramatically (such as the torso) will have darker edges since the resin is thinner there. I think it looks pretty natural, but it depends on the color you are using. Do not let the pieces sit on the bottom of the pan or you will burn the resin. Dip for about 30 seconds to start out, and check the color. It helps to have lots of bright white light in the room so that you can match the pieces well. It may take some patience to do all the pieces, especially if you are doing it by yourself. It took me about an hour and a half to do one 60cm girl, but it was fun because I did it with a friend. I recommend doing smaller pieces together such as both hands or both feet. This is especially true of joint pieces like shoulder caps, elbow joints and ankle pieces so that they match each other perfectly and give your doll more balanced color. Nothing looks sillier than one shoulder being two shades lighter than the other, IMO. It also makes the process go faster.
When the part is the color you want, dip it into the bowl of cold water to remove the extra dye. You might have to dip it a few times to remove it all. Not only does it remove the extra dye, but it kind of helps to set the color in as well. If you are really brave, this is when you would rub off a little dye here and there to even the color, but I don't suggest this unless you are really careful and hopefully have some experience in dyeing doll parts first. Then hang your piece up to dry, making sure that it is not touching any other pieces. The dye will pool a little, so hang them with the ball joint down so the dark spot will not be visible on your assembled doll. You can use your test piece to make sure all the pieces match so you don't have to hold all the pieces up the each other. By using the test piece, you can check that all the parts are pretty close to the same color and never have to touch the pieces and leave smears because it *will* smear. Once all your pieces are hung, wait for them to dry completely before coating with Mister Super Clear or other sealant. I would use several coats to be sure that it will not rub off easily because it is darn hard to touch up the color without cleaning the doll completely and starting over.
Tips: Anywhere the doll is sanded will come out a different color. You could sand the entire doll beforehand but I don't know how much that will help with extreme mods. Even seam sanding will show up a different color as will scratches and places where you didn't clean all the sealant off. Don't get upset if it doesn't turn out right the first time; a little rubbing alcohol will remove the dye and you can try again. It won't make them like new, but it's good enough for repeating the dyeing process. Dye will stay better if you do not seal it first; but don't forget to seal it afterward or everything it touches will be colored too. The doll will also lose color very quickly if you don't put sealant over the dye. Vinyl (such as a Dollfie Dream) will dye differently than resin, and may take several tries to match a resin head to a vinyl body. Dyeing turns out best when done to a doll with white skin! Dyeing causes color variations so if you want one flat all-over color, consider painting instead. If dyeing a Tiny doll, be careful about how long you leave it in the dye because it may make the parts pliable or easier to break until they cool off properly.
Click here to read Chapter Six: Accessorizing