Children and adults have had a love of dolls for countless years but the craze for reborn dolls only dates back to the early 1990’s (which has only intensified over the years). Owners and collectors are known as Reborners.
Reborn dolls have therapeutic value for many people meeting a variety of needs.
Today I would like to introduce you to my sister Sheena who has been handcrafting reborn dolls as Mio Bambinos for 8 years. It all started after she was made redundant from her counselling job. She went on a family holiday and met two sisters that made reborns. Feeling inspired from their conversations, she came home and watched DVDs and YouTube. She has found a passion and hasn’t stopped since!
Sheena’s customer’s needs are varied – from a childhood toy to adults with disabilities/dementia; for women who can’t have children or suffered stillbirth or the death of a child; adults of any age that crave that feeling when you hold and cuddle a life-looking reborn.
Handcrafting the reborn dolls is quite a lengthy and often detailed process. It takes her about three weeks to make one reborn!
The reborn comes to her as head, arms and legs. Then they are painted with many layers of genesis heat paint. The paint is applied and each layer has to be cooked in the oven for ten minutes. This happens about twelve times. Depending on whether she paints the head, the reborn could then go in the oven another five times. For the hair on the head she uses special needles to root mohair into the vinyl which is then sealed with special glue.
Most of her reborns are attached to a soft body which after the head and limbs are filled with crushed very fine glass and fibre fill, are then attached to the body. If eyes (some eyes are closed) these will be inserted and eye lashes glued in place.
To finish off, the finger nails and toes are white tipped and glossed with dry varnish.
Then it’s kitting the reborn dolls with clothes, blankets and accessories.
Sheena has two limited edition reborns for sale. Yona is already made. She was sculpted by Crista Gotzen in Germany with phtalat-free vinyl. She has 3/4 arms and full legs and is 19 inch long a premature size. The photos below show her in the raw state and as she is painted and complete.
Sheena can make reborns on request from photographs providing she can find a model as a near likeness, or if she has the specifications. To be honest she’ll have a go at anything!
Prices are varied. There is a more expensive vinyl edition and limited editions for people who want a more detailed reborn. Or maybe you’re looking for a reborn for your child to help them with the life changing arrival of a sibling. Sheena can create a less expensive reborn doll so they have their own baby when the new one arrives. There’s even an adoption payment plan to help you spread out the cost.
Sheena will post to anywhere in the UK. Once your payment has cleared, your reborn doll will be making its way to you.
If you live near Grimsby you’ll find Mio Bambinos on display at Freeman Street Market in the Busy Needles shop and at craft fairs.
Sheena would love to hear from you so if you have any questions or would like more information you’re very welcome to email her firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your thoughts on reborn dolls?
Do you know someone who owns one?