1. Become a DoA Archivist!
    Volunteers Needed!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. The Mod team regrets to inform the community that Mirodoll is now banned from Den of Angels. Please view the following thread:
    Mirodoll Banned from DoA
    Dismiss Notice

New Additions: Tips for making the most of a new doll

Apr 29, 2010

    1. Getting a new doll. It's like that feeling you got from Christmas as a child. You wait and wait and build up all that excitement, and then BAM, it's here and you spend the whole day in bliss. But the next day you wake up and life is normal again, you're not looking forward to anything and Christmas is such an afterthought. The process of getting a new doll can be exhilarating! It takes a lot of time and thought to chose a new doll, and furthermore a lot of patience to endure the typical production and shipping times. During the wait you often think of a name, a character, and the beginning of the doll begins to take shape in your mind, no longer just a pretty face but a personality! The anticipation starts to take hold and nearly everyday you're looking forward to a package. But for some, once the new doll is out of the box it's curtains for the excitement factor, and passions can immediately begin to wane. So, how do you make the transition from loving the concept, to loving the doll? ​

      It may have happened to you, or someone you know. The new doll is out of the box, and sitting vacantly on the shelf for weeks on end. For some reason you just don't ever bond with it, and sooner or later it goes back in the box, out of sight out of mind, or possibly even for sale. This thread is dedicated to tips on making sure your new dolly doesn't become old news!

      TIP: My biggest tip for both first time and experienced doll owners is this, don't ever let your doll arrive before it's clothes do. In other words, make sure when you're buying your new addition, that you're also budgeting for some clothes, wigs, and eyes in the meantime. Nothing inhibits bonding quite like having a bald, naked thing laying around your house for weeks, even months on end. It's always a good idea to have all those things ready for the arrival. Tear open the box, "ooooh" and "aaaahhhhh" over your gorgeous new hunk of resin, and then get to customizing with the eyes, wigs, and clothes you have been hoarding! By doing this your doll will take on that awesome personality and character you've been storing your head and wont just be a pretty resin face from a website. ​

      What are your best tips for making the most of a new doll?

    2. My best tip: Don't stop the planning at the arrival of the doll and items! The arrival of the doll is not the end of excitement, it is only the beginning! Plan what you're going to do with your new addition, what you'd like to do with them. Plan poses you want to take pictures of, places you want to take him/her. Now do it, all of it. You'll also run into new possibilities for things to do with them that weren't planned, that just came to you on a whim. The possibilities are endless, there is more to the hobby than just buying dolls and doll items. Explore, create, enjoy, love.

      Another tip: Try a doll-based project. It gives you a lot of fun things to do centered around your doll. You can make a project/goal of trying to make a single clothing item for them, based on your comfort level. There are super-easy things like scarves that virtually anyone can make and it's a good, fun bonding experience with that doll, going to the fabric store and finding something that fits it's personality with a print the right size. Or you could make a full outfit if you're comfortable with that! Then there's photo-based projects, such as a '365 project' or a '100 theme picture project', which for the 365 the goal is to take one picture of your doll each day for a year and see how things have changed. A 100 picture project is to take one picture that fits a certain theme and there are 100 themes (there is no time limit for this project), it merely expands your creativity and the doll's personality, kind of character development, if you will. A few examples: 1. together, 2. reading, 3. sad pain, 4. sky, 5. smiles, 6. fallen leaves, etc.
    3. My tip: Figure out the type of owner you are. Some people will benefit from your first tip. Others, like me, look at it an go 'No.' I'm not the type of owner who wants my doll 'complete' when they get home. Once in a while it's fun to have them 'ready to play' as soon as they get here. MOST of the time, I'd rather they show up blank, naked, and bald. I THRIVE on making their items myself, on the actual doll. I want to paint them, make their clothes, try making their wigs and eyes myself, before buying items that work well for them and photograph better than my still amateur level attempts. But if I HAVE those bought items here already, then I quickly lose interest in making the time to make the things I want to make for them. I lose interest because they sit in their spot with the rest, clothed, with the proper wig and all, instead of sitting there looking like they NEED me to work on them. Working on my dolls is how I bond to them. Having them come home complete, with eyes, face, wigs, clothes...that would make it HARDER for me to bond. And I know I'm not the only one like that. So...figure out what TYPE of owner you are first. Your first doll is GREAT for that if you're not sure if you'd like to work on it yourself, or have a full set ready to play with immediately.
    4. ayas-shadow: That's actually GREAT advice! Knowing what kind of owner you are will define how you prepare, bond, and interact with your doll.
    5. My tip: Always buy a pair of shoes from the company.

      You never know what will or won't fit a doll, and shoes are much harder to make than clothes. Also, if they're from the company, you don't have to worry about an ill-fit.
    6. Sadly that's not always the case. I've bought leeke shoes for my leeke tiny, and they're too big. They make their shoes to fit YoSDs. :(

      Ayas-shadow's tip is great really, and I would say it's one you also need to think about when purchasing a doll. There are people who find a bad purchasing experience ruins the doll before they even have it. If a company hasn't got the best customer service, or if they're known for taking a long time to ship a doll, maybe this is not the doll for you.
    7. I kinda disagree with buy the clothes before the doll. However, having a wig and eyes on-hand for the doll is always good :)

      I make my clothes, so I can drag out that "new doll excitement" though the process of building a wardrobe with my doll. For me it's super exciting to make that PERFECT outfit for your doll, get him dressed and be able to just sit back and be like "yay! you're your character now!" And every new outfit has that same feeling to an extent :)

      and I guess that's my tip for a new doll. IF YOU SEW YOUR OUTFITS then keep working on them! Every time you get that bored feeling with your doll, break out your fabric and pull a new outfit together :) For me it always put the spark back into my interest with them.
    8. I've had Rael home for over a year now and he tends to sit around not doing much. However, I have found that I am bonding more with him now that I am getting into making jewelry for dolls. He may not be the one who will end up keeping the jewelry (in fact none of it so far is for him since he is one of the rare breed of masculine male characters around here) but it's still fun to be sitting out with him beside me and try something on for size every once in a while as he glares at me for putting pink beads around his neck.

      Also, I find that I have a lot more fun with him when I am around other people who also enjoy dolls (or at least accept them as characters rather than just toys if that's the way you swing with these beauties). At home, Rael tends to sit around not doing much because no-one around here really appreciates him like I do.

      So, my advice:
      1. Find crafty things to do with your dolls, even if it's not just for them.
      2. Find people who appreciate your boy/girl/other (I know we have some non-gender/other gendered dollies around here too), not necessarily as much as you do but enough to interact with on the topic of dolls.
    9. my tip: pre-planning photostories *for when they actually arrive + interactions/encounters with your other dolls/your house's environment* and making clothes are a must! If you're an artist/like to draw, you can maybe do your dolls' stories as comic, I've seen many *include myself!* use their dolls to pose for their comics and other art projects.
    10. Oh wow! Wonderful tips and I've realized like a few others in this thread, sewing keeps my dolls new to me :D.

      My tip: Clean them, suede them, or restring them.

      For those brave enough to do this, I've found this a wonderful way to bring my focus back on my dolls :D. Not being scared of restringing, I took my boy apart a few days after he arrived, and did the same thing to my girl when I was starting to lose touch with her. Cleaning also gets you to have a bit of physical contact with your dollies and get them naked again so it's like they just arrived all over again.

      Other tip: Swap in new/old parts.

      If you have option parts, swap them in now and then. Giving the regular parts a break may make you see your doll in a new light and rekindle the "just arrived" feel. Especially if their special parts or parts they don't wear often. I always find I fall in love with my boy's face up again when I put on his sleeping head. Then when I put on the open eyed head days or weeks later, it's a new love for his other head :3.
    11. It definitely helped me in that I'm not at all afraid of taking a doll apart out of the box and restringing it in a moment.

      Which leads to my tip; Don't be scared of your doll.

      I don't mean this in a sense of uncanny-valley creepiness, I mean it in a way of keeping yourself from handling a doll for fear of damaging it. You got the doll, now play with it! Just make sure you know proper care, and even you hard earned LE can have the same love as an easily obtained sculpt.
    12. My tip: have extra wigs/eyes lying around

      I usually have the wigs planned out, but I find that I love trying on different wigs. A lot of the time, I find that I will put on a wig and it will be an instant bond. Sometimes, the wigs I originally prepared for the character don't work nearly as well as one of the spare wigs I have.
    13. I agree with having the wig and eyes. Having mutiple is even better. I actually LOVE toying around with different eyes.

      Also, I am lucky enough to have a friend close by who has a whole bunch of BJDs and we get together and make them clothes jewelery and armor about once a week.

      I think having them sitting on your desk while doing whatever it is you do, or moving them to where you happen to be sittinv may help because when I do this and see my little dolly it makes me want to make things for her.
    14. Hm...

      Instead of buying things in large masses, buy them a bit at a time. Then you'll always be excited while you wait for your new stuff.
    15. Don't be scared for your doll, either. While they are more fragile than say, a Barbie, they're not porcelain. Keep them on a secure place, where you will know that they won't easily fall - and if they do fall, they won't get hurt (like maybe above a carpeted floor). My home is almost 100% carpeted, and no one has suffered any damage when they fell. But falling will happen. It's not an impossibility - it will happen; if not today, tomorrow or the day after. (OMG how utterly morose that sounded...:sweat:lol:)

      You don't have to always have something between them and whatever they're sitting on (except if the table or place looks dirty, or has left marks on you or other items before). Most stains can easily come off with magic eraser, anyway.

      Also, you don't have to take pictures of your doll. You don't have to feel like you have to show people how much you love your doll. I haven't had any time to photograph my doll, nor do I currently have any place to do it. I've got maybe a handful of pictures of my newest doll, and while I do want to photograph him more, I'm not in a situation to do such.

      I also think that it's not mandatory to have something for your doll once they get here, but if you know what you want your doll to wear, know it's something store-bought, go for it. You don't have to sew if you don't want to. I'm glad that I had some clothes for my dolls when they got here, because my sewing skills were terrible at first. They're still not even that good, now.:lol:

      That being said, buy something from the company clothes-wise if you've never sewn before. You might have someone to sew for you, or have something commissioned but it's good to have at least one item that you know will fit. I know that some places (as someone pointed out with Leeke) might have incorrect sizes, even for their own dolls, but most places you buy from will have something. But some won't, and so, this tip doesn't apply.

      Have an accomplice!:) A lot of people will want to share their doll and their excitement with someone else, like a friend or family member. If you know someone who might be interested in your dolls, see if they want to help. It's fun to share your hobby with others, in-person, if you can.

      Want a photostory, but don't know what you're going to do? Do a how-to video with your doll doing the steps.
    16. I agree with the tip on buying at least one outfit for your doll if you know you absolutely can't sew. Though if you can, just buy your doll some shoes, eyes and a wig then use sewing as a bonding experience. My first doll came as a fullset so he had everything, but then after that, I decided I wanted to give him more personality. Sewing for him is still my favorite way to bond, because afterwards, I can admire my work, and use it as a great excuse for a nice photoshoot.

      Buying things for your new doll is great and all, but I really think making things for them is a great way to play around with their character.
    17. My first doll is still to arrive. He will be a hybrid, and before even selecting him, I had very firm imaginations of who he will portray. So I quite took my time selecting his sculpt - head and body. And he will arrive completely blank.

      To my luck, I already made a doll who has exactly his length of legs, and is quite muscular. So at least he will have underwear. But nothing else. As I sew everything by myself, it always quite takes some time to finish an item. However, I seldom like the clothes companies make (big exception - Iplehouse. However, I am so unsure which of their sizes will fit him.).

      Making eyes and wigs also by myself, I can't have anything ready for him (perhaps I am lucky and will receive a free pair of eyes, but I do not think so.) So I have to wait until his head will be actually here.

      I do not want him for the joy of getting something new, but for his very self. And this is a big difference, IMO. I do not want to sound arrogant. Although I want to share he opening of head and body with others, it is not soo important to me.
    18. Read the stickies. Read the stickies. Read the stickies.
      Use the Search function to answer questions about how to look after your new doll.
      Don't panic when something goes wrong- this site has tons of info and qualified experts to help you fix whatever it is.
    19. Haha, I think I made every mistake on here with my first one.

      My tip: Plan, plan, and plan fun projects to do with your doll
      I have a more than a year's worth of projects I want to do with my dolls, will I get to all of them? No. Do I have fun trying? Yes! By the time a new doll arrives I usually have furniture I want to make for them, clothes I want to sew for them, and usually a minimum of three shoots I'm dying to do with them, I never let the projects stop.
    20. There is no "one holy right way" to play with your doll. Don't get paralised by what other people will think about how you handle your doll. Some people like to take their dolls everywhere and others like to keep them in boxes only to take them out once in a while. There's nothing wrong with that or anything in between.
      Asking whether it's okay to use substance X (for example when you want to use it for a face-up or cleaning) is something completely different and do ask when you're not certain. However, whether it's okay to dress your doll in clothes of style Y or whether it's okay to hug your doll or dye it purple, that's up to you to decide.
      Don't fret, enjoy your doll.