What Type of Glue Should Be Used on a Reborn Doll?

The results of using bad glue
A couple months ago, a lady emailed me, asking if I could perform repairs on her reborn which she had purchased from someone else a few years ago. It had been her first reborn doll and held a special place in her heart, but to her dismay, the hair had been gradually falling out! She sent me some photos of the back of her reborn's head, and sure enough, there were bald patches creeping up all over the head. I told her I would be happy to replace and SEAL the hair, and so she sent little Shanna (the reborn doll) over to me.

Upon initial inspection, it appeared that there was no glue on the inside of Shanna's head to hold her hair firmly in place. But what was really baffling was that I could see only a few of the hairs poking through the vinyl, much fewer than what was left on the outside of her head. And so I proceeded with the task by first removing the original hair in preparation of a new rooting job.

Once I began rooting her new hair, I used my small flashlight to take a look on the inside of the head and make sure the hair was poking through properly. To my surprise, I saw what appeared to be a very large bubble on the inside of the head. To further investigate, I reached in with my hemostats to pull the "bubble" out. All in one piece came out a clear shell of what appeared to be Mod Podge. Mod Podge?! While Mod Podge is waterproof, it is not industrial strength by any means; it is not even considered a glue.

It is important to use strong, waterproof glues on reborn dolls to keep them in top condition for years to come. While there are many glues on the market that would undoubtedly work, the glue I and most reborners use is E-6000. It is easy to find in craft stores or even in the craft section of Wal-Mart. It is also available through many reborn supply stores online.

Shanna's new hair
I use this glue for sealing hair, eyes, the backing for opened noses, magnetic pacifiers, and so on. When applying it to the inside of the head to seal hair, I put some glue onto a small sponge brush and "paint" generous amounts of it over the hair inside of the head, checking with a flashlight for any unglued spots. Sponge brushes are a great tool to use for this because they can easily reach the inside of the head and are cheap enough to throw away after one use, rather than spend hours of energy trying to clean glue off of a good brush.

 Now little Shanna is as good as new and has gone back to her mommy with her new hair glued securely in place. Reborn dolls are meant to last, so if you are a reborn artist, make sure you use glue that will allow your dolls to bring your customers years of joy. If you are a reborn collector, don't be afraid to ask what kind of glue your artist is using. Every little detail that goes into a reborn doll can "make or break" the baby so to speak, and making sure your reborn will last a lifetime is worth the extra effort.