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BJD tutorial: part 5 by Deskleaves BJD tutorial: part 5 by Deskleaves
On stringing your doll, and finishing the ball joints.

[First Page] [link]
[Part 2] [link]
[Part 3] [link]
[Part4] [link]
Next will be the article on hairing your doll, painting, and adding acrylic eyes if desired.
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:iconedgelordaxel:
edgelordaxel Featured By Owner May 23, 2018
thank you so much for making this article, I was really curious about this topic (and I guess I kinda want to try and make one now lol), and tbh you explained everything so well! thank youHeart 
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner May 24, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome! This is just my personal experience, but I'm happy it's worked for you.
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:iconvaliditysora:
ValiditySora Featured By Owner May 1, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
in the head a hook was used to hold the elastic. in the feet and hands can i use the same method? or would it not hold?
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner May 1, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
You can use the same method, but the hook might interfere with mobility, depending on the size, etc.
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:iconvaliditysora:
ValiditySora Featured By Owner Edited Apr 29, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Image (1) by ValiditySora   Image by ValiditySora   Thank you for these tutorials! they are a life saver! i'm currently making a BJD using them! 
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Good! I'm lad. They need revised, when I have the material.
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:iconpintorose:
Pintorose Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2018  Student Digital Artist
I'm super happy about finding a tutorial on how to make Bjd's.I was so excited that I ended up working on a blueprint on the first day I found it.

Mature Content

Bjd template by Pintorose
   I don't really know what I'm going to call her, I also don't have the materials to start sculpting, but I am happy that I finished it nonetheless. 
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
It never hurts to get started early! I started making one today too. Well, I started it a year ago technically, but I started working on it again today.
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:iconpintorose:
Pintorose Featured By Owner Edited Jan 12, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Well hopefully I can get the materials soon so I can start sculpting, although I have never really done sculpting, other then maybe once or twice before, but practice makes perfect. Also I wanted to ask you what type/ thickness of wire do you recommend for a 30 cm bjd as well as elastic thickness for a balance of flexibility and sturdiness. Another thing I wanted to ask about is Apoxie sculpt, because I have never used it before does the color matter? And how much of it is needed for a 30 cm doll? I figure that the color wouldn't matter, but I figured that I would ask just in case.

Edit: Reread your tutorial and figured out the thickness needed for elastic and wire. 
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
The color ONLY matters if you do not plan to paint or cast a mold.
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
As for the amount of clay needed... I have no idea! There is a lot of trial and error involved. For a 30cm bjd I think half kg is a good amount. You should have some left over for errors, but it shouldn't be a huge wasteful amount.
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:iconpintorose:
Pintorose Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Alright tnx, hopefully I can get the supplies tomorrow.
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:iconlooeyondv:
looeyonDV Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Professional Filmographer
Fascinating series of articles. Very well explained . I've been limping along with Japanese language books by Ryo Yoshida -and I can't read Japanese!
You are a real inspiration!
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Aww, thank you. That's very kind of you
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:iconlooeyondv:
looeyonDV Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2017  Professional Filmographer
Very interested in all the technical stuff. I'll post some pics when I get further along on my puppet film project!
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:iconnimadoodlez:
NimaDoodleZ Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
update: yes i read the first bit on page one but i noticed in the comments you mention making other things and was just curious XD
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:iconnimadoodlez:
NimaDoodleZ Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
hey you! Might I ask where I can find pictures of dolls you have made?
Wanted to see what you've made as it sounds like dollmaking is a hobby for you but i can't see any in your gallery. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough though. XD

Also this tutorial is extremely helpful, it really sorted out a lot of misunderstandings of mine with the process. 

also did you ever finish this; 'Next will be the article on hairing your doll, painting, and adding acrylic eyes if desired.' ;u;
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Sadly, I never finished it! I do have a doll WIP in my kitchen cupboard, a little kitty, but the two dolls I ever did finish are lost and gone forever. x__x

I'm glad I could help you! If you want a good doll hairing tutorial, you can find one at dollyhair.com
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:iconnimadoodlez:
NimaDoodleZ Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
aww. thats sad! im sorry theyre lost D:

my doll is coming along super well tho! between your tutorial and the really long japanese one you gotta use google translate on, im managing without fear ^___^


La Doll Premier is FANTASTIC clay btw, it's so decievingly soft and light!

sta.sh/2a5nacr7y0z


gonna make the limbs soon, focusing on the head and torso first tho x3
gotta refine and sand the torso and sand the head and add a proper nose and set the eyes

so much to do! but its really fun.
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Good! Keep at it. I think llike 90 percent of the work is sanding, lol.

If you have a power drill, you should absolutely invest in buffing ends!
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:iconnimadoodlez:
NimaDoodleZ Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not sure if you've had the experience of La Doll Premier, but it really like... only needs a gentle sanding to really smooth it out. it's scary soft on the surface, soft yet so strong as a structure! XD
A buffing end on a drill is totally uneccessary for this stuff, i think it'd be way overkill. 

I can really see that for apoxie sculpt though, or any form of epoxy resin, because that stuff's tough as nails and probably needs a lot of extra time and power to smooth it out. :XD:
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Huh, that sounds scary! I'm a bit heavy handed, lol, so I'd probably destroy anything I make with it. x__x;;

My own mixture of clay does take quite a lot of sanding. x__x; But it's really tough and bouncy, so no breaking fingers and ears.
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:iconbmp1798:
bmp1798 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2017  Student General Artist
I'm kinda confused on how to connect the joints though. I've read the pages but yet it still confuses me. Would you be able to explain a little further? It confuses me on how exactly I make them and put them together. 
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Sure, I'd like to help if I can. Have you read the previous pages? Where are you having trouble?
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:iconbmp1798:
bmp1798 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2017  Student General Artist
I have read the previous pages and the area I'm having trouble is with creating the ball joints. Specifically, how exactly they should be sculpted and then how they connect the other parts. Thank you so much!
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Ohhh! Okay. Hmm. Well, when you sculpt the ball joints using one of the methods shown in my tutorial, typically you just use your chosen clay going by the instructions. There's a lot of different types of clay, and they all use different ways to become hard or dry. To make the ball hollow, you have to use something inside it. Some people use wooden balls or marbles, and some people use balls of foil or something. Getting them perfectly round is tricky, but it's not very hard. You just roll it in your hands in a ball, and use your eyes to see if it looks nice n round. Then you have to cut the ball open to get out the middle, whatever you used, so it will be holow, and stick the ball back together any way you like, using glue, or more clay. It's up to you.

I've made a section about how to find where to put the keyhole shaped holes in the ball joint. If it's hard to understand, just remember: the 'line' part of the keyhole is for the string to slide up in, so the joint will bend toward that slot in the direction it's pointing!

As for connecting the ball joint to the part it's not supposed to move from, you just use glue or clay to fix it there so it won't break off, and then follow the instructions to cover the seal. After all this is done, and you have all of your doll parts, that's when you use the elastic string to put them all together. You use the body parts like beads, and the elastic string holds it together and gives it the strength to pose and stand on its own. You just have to fiddle with it until it's as tight as you want it.
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:iconbmp1798:
bmp1798 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2017  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Sure! If you are still stuck, try searching for some tutorial videos on youtube. It might be better than reading.
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:iconxionne:
Xionne Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2017  Student General Artist
Thank you so much, please contunue. <3
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:icontwinkiemonstertallah:
Hello! I don't know if you've already answered this somewhere and I missed it, but I've been wanting to make a doll of my own for a while, but I don't have a lot of money. Do you know how I can make a strong, sturdy doll for as little money as possible? I've looked around to see how strong home-made clays and putties are after being baked in an oven, but I can't find anything that really helps me.
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
I've had absolute crap luck with home made clays. You just can't find the really good ingredients to make them, like volcanic ash. I've tried, lol.

I think you can make a decently sturdy doll by buying some cheap air-dry stoneclay or paperclay, and mixing it with white glue. The glue helps increase the strength to prevent it from baking, but the finish on the doll will be kind of rough no matter how much you sand it I've done this, I don't have pictures of the doll anymore, but it was small and it was constantly breaking. larger dolls I've made with the same material are a lot more sturdy! So: My advice would be

Buy some inexpensive air dry clay, especially DAS or similar, and mix the clay with white glue. Stop before it gets too soggy to mold, and you'll be good. For the rest of the materials, you can try stringing with braided rubber bands, but it can be difficult. Luckily, string elastic is very cheap. If you can't buy quality elastic, just put some pipe cleaners in the joints to help the pose hold.
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:icontwinkiemonstertallah:
Thank you! :)
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:iconsaltysoul:
saltysoul Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you so much! This was so helpful!
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad you found it useful! My knowledge on doll sculpting is really limited, but I'm happy I was still able to help you and others!
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:iconkinomihyuuga:
KinomiHyuuga Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
First off, thank you so much for putting the time and effort into making this tutorial of sorts!
Second, how would I go about painting the body to be a different skin tone? Would I prime then paint then seal? What sort of paint do you think would be best? If you don't quite know, is there anything or anyone you could refer me to? I tried looking on Google but I'm afraid I couldn't quite come up with an answer (I probably didn't word things right)
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
There's a lot of different paints you could go with, but I definitely recommend primer, especially if you want to change the color later. There are specific primers you can use, I can't think of the name right now, but it's a matte powder, specifically for BJDs.

If you do finish your doll, make a small test piece or use some waste material from the doll, prime it, paint it, then coat it.

I have ruined parts before by spraying them with a sealant that was for canvases. It got all 'sweaty' and sticky and wouldn't dry. It was awful.
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:iconkinomihyuuga:
KinomiHyuuga Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've been following some doll makers to see what they recommend, the sealant that's popular is liquitex matte medium/varnish or Mr super clear sealant. Is there any type of paint that you could recommend for this type of ordeal?
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Well, I would recommend using non-glosy acrylic paints for a base, I've always had the best results using acrylics. I've used many, both cheap and expensive, and as long as I prime first it's pretty easy to scrub off. For blushing and tones, I think it's best to use your finger, cotton swabs, and small paintbrushes and either makeup/eyeshadow/rouge or colored chalk to add blush and other tones. You get a nice seamless gradient that's hard to get with paint.
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:iconkinomihyuuga:
KinomiHyuuga Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Sure!! Best of luck to you my friend. <33
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:iconsujiin:
sujiin Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so so much for this tutorial!! I couldn't seem to find any other full length ones like this TT I have one question, if you want to put in premade resin eyes how would you go about getting access to the inside of the head? I worry that since the elastic is strung to the headcap it would be difficult to open and switch out the eyes... Thank you!
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
In order to get access to the inside of the head, you would leave the top off so you could reach down inside. Some dollmakers like to cut off the entire back of the head. You can either seal it closed after the eyes have been fixed in place with putty (Like blue tac you use to stick stuff on the wall) or sand the edges very smooth so that you can open the head any time to change the eyes.

In order to change the eyes with this method you would need to remove the headcap, and unhook the elastic temporarily. :3
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:iconfelune-bun:
Felune-Bun Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi! I'm thinking on making a bjd and was wondering if you know how to remove a faceup from selfmade bjd.
I have used acetone free nail polish remover to remove faceups from my resin bjds. I don't think it would be a good idea to use it on das. Or am I wrong?
Or should I just use something else than das to sculpt?

Huomasin että olet suomalainen vasta kun olin tuon kirjoittanut :'D
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Hmmmm, I think for DAS your best bet would be to use dish soap in warm water or vegetable oil on a Q tip. Test a small area first. It depends on the paint you are using!

Ai niin, ei olen Suomalainen, mutta minun vaimo on! Asumme Suomea, ja minä puhun vahan. ouo
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:iconfelune-bun:
Felune-Bun Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh ok, so I can't seal the make up? I use gameworkshop's spray sealant, so soap won't take it off, I think. Acrylic paints and pastels are what I use.

Ahaa ok :D
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:icondeskleaves:
Deskleaves Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Oh! If you know what it's sealed with, you could probably look on the company web site for possible solvents.

It just depends on which material the spray is made of. Just find out the base material, and a quick search for what dissolves it will help you!
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:iconfelune-bun:
Felune-Bun Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh ok, thank you! ^^
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:iconcindy70r:
cindy70r Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2016
love tutorial
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:iconcindy70r:
cindy70r Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2016
love this tutorial!
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:iconaloritata30:
aloritata30 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2016
Will you post the article on hairing, painting and adding eyes on your doll soon ? Thank you
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