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How to remake a doll

By Lilika Suzuki

Dolls just reminds me of my childhood. In the young age, at least once there must been a doll colored with a sharpie and the kids will say “I gave her/him a makeup.” Dress a male doll in a dress or give a haircut to the female doll and make it into a male. Don’t you think you want to remake your doll again and love it more?

There are very few people who remake their dolls. There must be reasons saying that I don’t have time, the stuff, the skills. But the most reason must be that no one actually doesn’t know how to do it. Remaking a doll will be nice just keeping it, or it can also be a handmade present if you manage to make it. It is easy to imagine the face that has a nice grin and the eye opening up. They will tell that how much they are impressed and surprised. The doll’s coloring will present the art style that the artists have. Dolls can be a unique choice. There will be supplies that are needed. You’ll need:


  • Watercolor pencils: For the dolls eyes and mouths
  • Acrylic paint: To make the color solid and make the color pop out.
  • Paintbrush: To color the acrylic paint.
  • Liquitex matte and gloss: For a sealer.
  • Nail cleaner or acetone: To clean off the paint.
  • A doll: Buy a cheap one if it’s your first try like an old Barbie doll.
  • Clear nail polish: To make the doll’s lips and eyes moisty. Clear nail polish will work and is also cheap and reusable.


To remake the hair (for some dolls this is not needed and is personal preference)

  • Hair string: A kind of fur that is used for a wig.
  • A small size shuttle or knitting needle: The one that can catch the fur.
  • Scissors: To cut the doll’s hair off.
  • Pin set: To pull out the hair out from the dolls inside.
  • Liquid glue: To keep the hair sticky.


(Note: Design the doll on a paper first. It will bring the concept and theme color clear which will be easier to see where to aim at.)


If you’re doing the hair remake, please begin from the hair


  1. Pop the dolls head off the body. Whenever you want to remake the hair, use a doll that the head can come off or else it will not work.
  2. Cut the doll’s hair with scissors as short as it can go. Try to not cut the doll’s skin.
  3. Stick the doll’s head into the hot water. This will make it easier to pull out the hair from the doll.
  4. Use the pin set and put it into the dolls head from the doll’s neck. Then scrape out all of the dolls hair. Imagine that you are making the doll completely bald.
  5. There must be holes around the dolls head. Grab a few of the hair extension and plug it into the doll’s head using the shuttle or knitting needle.
  6. When you’re done plugging all the holes, plug the liquid glue into the dolls head from the neck. Squeeze the glue out and cover the inside of the doll’s head.
  7. After the glue is dry, give the doll a haircut with the scissors or you can also leave it alone and just give it a trim.


The hair part will be done. Next will be the makeup part, which is the best and the most fun part of remaking a doll!


  1. Clean off the doll’s face with nail polish or acetone. Make sure that all or the paint is off.
  2. Please do not miss this part: Seal the doll’s face with Liquitex matte and gloss. Without this, the colored pencils will not show.
  3. Using the colored pencils, lay down the shape of the eyebrows, eye, and lips to whatever shape you want.
  4. Then, fill in the whites of the eyes, add some shading, add slight pink or orange or red to the cheek, and paint in the caruncle. Anything will be accepted. This doll is yours!
  5. If something went wrong, erase it with an eraser. That is one big reason you use watercolor pencils.
  6. After you’re done with the colored pencils, use the acrylic paint to pop the color. This will mean that you have to hide all your work under the paint. But if you paint well, the doll will look much better. Also, it doesn’t always have to be painted if you feel confident with the colored pencil part.
  7. Seal the doll’s face with Liquitex matte and gloss.
  8. The use the clear nail polish and paint it around the dolls eyes and lips.


That is all you have to do. Remaking a doll looks professional, but it is not. Don’t feel bad taking off the doll’s makeup because no Barbie dolls will come and get you. And besides, it is all about how you tried! Do not give up. Even you didn’t do your best job on your first try. All it needs is practice.

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