Reborn Supplies: What do I Need to Get Started?

The vast array of reborn supplies can seem complicated if you have never created reborn dolls before or if you have used Genesis Heat Set paints and just want to try reborning with air dry paints, when in fact it is very simple. Check out our list of essential reborn supplies that you need to get started and you will be creating heirloom dolls with ease.

A High Quality Reborn Doll Kit

  1. The foundation of successful reborn dolls lies in your doll kit. Do you really want to create your masterpiece doll on a poor quality canvas? One that may start to deteriorate within a few years?  Stop and think about it a moment, in order to make a profit, they must make it cheaper than they sell it. Cheaper ingredients make the dolls more fragile, lead to problems in painting, and worst of all have caused doll parts to melt when exposed to heat. Don’t stake your reputation on inferior reborn doll supplies.
  2. In using a high quality doll kit, you can be justified in asking a higher price for your work and be confident that you will receive it. Emphasize the fact in your marketing.  Tip: High quality doll kits are frequently sold as Limited Editions.  You can sell limited editions for more because they are highly sought after by collectors.  Again, emphasize the Limited Edition status in your advertising.
  3. Open eyed vs closed eyed reborn doll kits.  If you are just beginning to reborn. choose closed eyed or sleeping doll kits. Become comfortable with your painting skills before you move on to the more challenging aspects of reborn doll creation such as inserting the eyes.

 Painting Sponges

You can use any variety of sponge from household sponges to makeup wedges. Most reborn artists use sponges with different sized pores in them to give different effects. You want some sponges with fine pores, and some with large open pores. Sponges can be cut into smaller shapes and pores can be made larger with tweezers. Makeup sponges are the most commonly used fine pore sponge.


Mop Brush

This is a fluffy oversized brush that looks sort of like a ladies blush or powder brush. It is used for pouncing the paint after it is applied and is almost dry. Pouncing helps to blend the paint and give the doll a very soft finish. This is the brush that you will use the most of all of your reborn supplies so buy a quality one.

Script liner

You will need a scriptliner for painting hair, nails, and veins. Choose a brush made of Taklon bristles. Natural brushes will deteriorate when used with acrylics. Another option is to use nail art brushes.

Flat Brush

A small flat brush is helpful for getting into tight spaces where your sponge doesn’t reach.

Paint: Number One in Reborn Supplies

Your paint is the most important of your reborn supplies.  In order for your doll to last for many years, generations even, choose archival quality paint. Not all paints possess this characteristic, but it is one of the most important. Archival quality paints are created so that they do not damage or destroy the surface that they are painted on.

If you are just getting started with acrylic paints, start with painting Caucasian or light skinned skin tones. This will help you to be able to concentrate on learning the mechanics of using the paint and make it easier to judge what you are doing without having to cope with using darker colors. For beginners or the new acrylic painter, our Luminaire Basic Set will give you the paint that you need to color correct the vinyl, paint the flesh tones, and do the blushing and mottling. If you want a little more diversity in your reborn supplies or are a more advanced painter, the Luminiare Master set includes paint and materials to do painted and dimensional eyebrows, and manicured nails. Gloss sealer and Matte sealer is also a part of the Master set.


Don’t become trapped by the mistaken thinking that if a paint needs sealed it is not permanent. Nothing is further from the truth. A lot of reborn artists neglect this critical element when buying reborn supplies. All professional artists protect their work to preserve its beauty and protect it from damage. Sealing your work after painting prevents dust from working it’s way into the microscopic pores of your paint, which will permanently ruin it.

Sealing with an artist quality sealer also protects your work from damage caused by UV light. UV light is present in normal daylight and can cause paint to fade.  All paints, regardless of permanence, will fade given enough time.  Do you really want to put all that work into a doll and then risk it by not doing a simple 20 minute finish with 1-2 coats of sealer? As far as reborn supplies go, it is an inexpensive investment in your work. It is recommended that you apply a layer of sealer before you begin painting your reborn doll kit as well. This will prepare your surface for painting and prevent a lot of painting problems.

 However, this list will definitely get you started on your way to creating beautiful heirloom dolls that will awe and delight all ages. 

As you grow and progress in your painting there are certainly additional reborn supplies that you will want to add.

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