Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tips and Tricks 1 - Sueding the joints of your dolls (Hot Glue way)

Many people interesting BJD have hear or read about "Sueding" the joints of your dolls. But not everyone knows what that means.

First the items you will need:
1. Low Temp Hot Glue Gun (clean the tip before you start)
2. Hot Glue Sticks
3. Your Doll

Now you have two options to start. If you are familiar with the manner of re-stringing your dolls then you will have the option of taking apart your whole doll and laying out all the body parts in front of you in the same way you would lay them for restringing.

If you do not have the knowledge on how to restring then you can do the method of just simply pulling apart the joint you are currently working on and holding the elastic out of the way. (And if you don't know how to restring I will be doing a tip and trick post on restringing in the future.)

Now that you either have your doll laying in front of you in pieces (make sure you keep each leg, elbow, hand, foot and everything else in the same place that you took it off of).
Or you have your doll in front of you naked and ready to go.

After your hot glue gun is ready to go and warmed up make sure you have the joint you are ready to work with. I personally would start with the hip joint. Being a bigger joint it will be a little easier for beginners. Holding your elastic off to the side OR holding up the cup of the hip joint facing you.

1. Take your hot glue gun and gently squeeze a small amount of glue into the cup joint. DO NOT let the tip of the gun touch the actual joint OR the elastic.

The hip joint being sueded

Better view of sueding

2. Use the tip of the gun to keep that drop of glue warm and spread it in an even coat around half the hip cup.

3. Hot glue dries quickly (YAY!) When the layer of glue is dry and cool to touch you can then move the elastic over that side (Or just start) on the next side of the cup.

4. Again squeeze a small amount of glue in and make sure to get an even coat spreading it with the tip of the gun.

5. Next to make sure the glue suede is working. If the whole glue layer is dried and cooled to touch, you are free to test out your handy work.

6. Either let the hip ball joint back into the cup (letting go of the elastic). Or picking up the leg and fitting the ball back into the joint.

--Does the ball and cup fit together nicely again? Does it look natural (no huge gaps)? Does the glue show through the seams?

If everything seems good to you, then CONGRATS! You have finished your first Glue Suede Joint.

Look at those joints all sueded nicely

Either stand your doll up and pose it beautifully. Or restring your doll and pose it and take those beautiful pictures.

I can stand now!!

If something doesn't sit well, or just seems wrong to you it is an easy fix. Simply pull apart the joint again and peel the hot glue off (no it doesn't hurt your doll) and start again.

Every joint is safe to suede. Even the head and neck joint. The hot glue does not affect the doll in anyway. It isn't something to be scared to do. It is easy to do and it helps the dolls pose.

After much play and movement the glue will wear down, but simply remove the old glue and apply new.

Arms sueded and strung for posing!
AHHH My head is a stick!!

Before the bodies are fixed together again. The chop stick helps to keep the elastic in place for me to grab.

Now sueded Aurora...
I'm naked O_O

Much better my hair hides me well. ^_^

SIDE NOTE: I have not tried this yet, but I have read that a small line of hot glue around the wig line stops those pesky wigs from sliding off your dolls head! Again the glue doesn't harm the doll and is easy enough to peel off.

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