Arts & Crafts Blythe Doll Customization

GhstDreamer

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I'm in the middle of re-customizing my Very Vicky Blythe doll - though still a lot to actually complete. Thought I'd share my "journey" of customizing and also see if anyone else collect Blythe dolls and/or customize them, even if it's just a minor re-work like changing pullrings or washing their hair!:biggrin: Honestly this thread will also try to motivate me to not take loooong breaks from working on it. I have customized half my dolls but thinking about redoing them as well.

This was my initial custom. Only a few things were tweeked - swapped one pair of eyechips to purple ones, replaced the pullstring to a pink ribbon and added two swarovski crystal hearts and a 24K gold hoop as new pullrings. Didn't bother washing her hair because there's so much of it and surprisingly not greasy feeling.



A year ago the ribbon torn apart so I needed to crack her open and figured why not do an entire new face-up? I'm still not ambitious enough to re-root her hair so that I will leave alone.

Here are just some tools that I use diamond tip needle scalpels and two carving scalpels.


Missing supplies from the pic are 600 grit sandpaper (I find anything less is too rough), glue sticks, hobby or jewelry glue, screwdriver and a credit card! I use that to help pop the head open - slide the card between the crack beneath the ear and it slowly pops apart. It beats struggling with it. :biggrin:

Btw I am nowhere near painting the face so that should be "fun" aka part I actually hate the most.
 

GhstDreamer

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Sorry for the blurry picture (unfortunately I just suck at picture taking). Face plate removed but the eye piece is still attached to it. New set of butterfly and flowers eyechips. All special eyechips were purchased from amazingly talented group of Blythe artists on etsy who created them. Usually eyechips aren't that pricey.



I already matted the face using the 600 grit sandpaper but left the mole on.

This is what it looks like without the eyechips and the eye piece removed from the faceplate. Btw this is the first time I ever removed the eye piece just because I've always been scared of breaking it.
 

GhstDreamer

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This is nice to follow, thanks for sharing.
Thanks!!! Love your Blythe avatar!

Pre-clean up pics:




I use Winsor & Newton Gallery acrylic paints (blue, white, red) to create a deep purplish-blue colour. The paint had to be watered down as it would be too thick to paint with. Add some glitters and flowers then when eyelids dried, I used a gloss sealant to seal the paint in. These eyechips arrived a few weeks ago and I love these chips - they were hand-painted by a blythe eyechip maker on etsy.
 

GhstDreamer

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I started working on painting the lips a couple of days ago and basically finished the base colour. Originally the base colour was way too pink and sanded it off and remixed the paints. I wanted to go for a more corel colour so mixed white, red and yellow acrylic paints. When I started repainting, the colour looked way too red so that needed to be sanded again. This time I added a bit more yellow and white to fade out the red.

I'm pretty happy with the base colour - now I need to clean up the edges and even out the lip shape.


I hate painting!
 

GhstDreamer

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So I had to redo the lips. After uploading that picture, I realized those lips looked ridiculously huge and just did not fit with what I want VV to look like. This is now her new lips.



I think it's more subtle and prettier than the previous lips. I can't really pick up the actual shade but it's not as red as it looks like in the picture. It's a much more coral tone than the previous (which I found it was still a little too red).
 

GhstDreamer

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Not close to even swapping bodies but took a pic of the one I purchased. It's called a Neemo full flexion body. It's jointed so it would make the doll pose pose much easier. Also this body is pretty close to the size of the factory one - the torso is slightly narrower with wider hips. It also has less issues with staining. What makes this a great alternative body is that the hands are swappable if I ever decide to order the hands set. There are other types of bodies out there but to me this is probably the best for posability.
 

GhstDreamer

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For the face up I'm using pastels. I purchased a pack of premium pastels last weekend (gave my old academic pack to one of my students) and also some tortillons. Usually tortillons are used to blend with oil pastels or charcoal but I use it with chalk pastels. They work better than blending with q-tips.





I blended some reddish brown, yellow and lots of white together to get a bit of more of an earthy tone around the eyes, around the nose and upper cheeks by applying the pastel with a small makeup sponge. The sponge works soooo much better than cottonballs which was I did before.
 
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This is fascinating. I have seen some lovely Blythe dolls online. I knew that some collectors created custom outfits for the dolls, but I had no idea that some would take the dolls apart and repaint them.
 

whosheis

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Sep 22, 2006
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Def doing a better job than I did years ago when I used to collect Blythes :] I intend on passing a few of them down to my daughter (much to my husband's dismay.. lol) Can't wait to see the outcome!
 

GhstDreamer

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This is fascinating. I have seen some lovely Blythe dolls online. I knew that some collectors created custom outfits for the dolls, but I had no idea that some would take the dolls apart and repaint them.
Not only repaint but to reroot their hair, boggle the eyes, create sleep eyes, new pullrings and strings, body swap, carving, etc. Though I would never custom a more expensive Blythe - I'm too scared to mess it up.
 

GhstDreamer

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Latest update but not the most interesting. I placed new eyelashes even though I originally didn't want to put eyelashes on her but caved in and bought some cheapy fake lashes.

 

GhstDreamer

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Attached the eye piece to the faceplate. Eyelashes are a bit wonky right now so got to trim them down. I'm thinking about adding maybe a bit more colour around her eyes and nose.