Doll Customization: A Cool Hobby Most People Don’t Know About

Autumn Smith, Editor in Chief

A hobby many people are unaware of is doll customization. It’s a hobby that is incredibly creative and yields beautiful results, but it is relatively unheard of.

Doll customization is a hobby in which artists take a doll, usually a Monster High or Ever After High doll, but some artists also use barbies and other brands, and strip off its paint, cut its hair, and recreate the doll.

It is incredibly interesting and often leads to many unique dolls that aren’t available anywhere else.

There are a few basic tools and supplies needed to customize dolls, but artists can take it even further with complicated modifications.

Overall, the basic supplies you need are: watercolor pencils, acrylic paints, chalk pastels, some kind of sealant (the most popular being Mr. Super Clear sealant). If you plan on more complex customization, air dry clay (epoxy being the most popular), yarn or doll hair, and fabric are also necessary.

The order that people complete their customs varies, but most people follow a general pattern.

They start with the planning process, usually drawing up concept art and following either a general theme or recreating a different character.

At this point, artists will complete the modifications of more complex customs, ranging anywhere from simple shape changes to adding joints, or changing body type and size.

Then artists remove clothes and cut the hair (if they plan to replace it), and use acetone to remove the factory paint.

Then comes the hair. The artist will usually either reroot the doll, essentially sticking new hair plugs in existing holes, create a wig of new hair, or glue wefts of hair onto the bare head.

Next, the artist will mask off the hair and begin working on the face.

This process starts with a layer of sealant then sketching a face in watercolor pencils. They would use these pencils to build up pigment, resealing the doll whenever the colored pigment won’t build anymore. If there are any colors that aren’t saturated enough, artists will use acrylic paints to deepen them.

Then artists apply color to the body using chalk pastels to make it look more detailed and realistic.

Finally, they make any clothes and accessories for the doll, assemble the doll, and then the doll is finished.

This hobby can be seen as strange and can yield some funny and creepy images of bare dolls hanging upside down drying, but overall, the results are beautiful and an amazing expression of creativity.

If you’re interested, check out Dollightful’s videos on youtube, here are her videos on doing your first custom, starting with preparation, and then the face.