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Topic: Make a BJD (Ball Jointed Doll)  (Read 26611 times)
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littler4bbit
« on: April 16, 2008 10:07:59 PM »

Okay - so here's the deal: I am going to make a ball jointed doll.

For those of you who don't know what a bjd is... Ball jointed dolls are anatomically proportionate dolls that are highly poseable. They come in many sizes, but the size i'm going for is anywhere from 60 - 66 cm... that's 2 feet and then some. people like to dress them up or use them as drawing models. Famous bjds are VOLKS Super dollfie, DOT, or Noah - BEWARE! if you google them, you'll fall in love like i did.

there. i said it. I gonna make a BJD. but I don't want to do it alone! I'm wondering if anyone else is interested. I'm not hardcore enough to cast molds and pour resin (I hear it smells stinky anyway), but in order to make a ball jointed doll it takes a fair amount of sculpting - at least if you want it to be able to stand on its own. I'm planning to start in two-ish weeks (after i finish moving in - GAH!). I'm planning on using the Sculpy way.

I have some tutorials:
http://www2d.biglobe.ne.jp/~dhnoah/make_00.htm
http://209.85.135.104/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&langpair=ja%7Cen&u=http://www.aimi-doll.com/howto/01.html&prev=/language_tools
The first link is a good resource. The second link is translated from Japanese (thank you google) and is super comprehensive. it even has a downloadable diagram to work from.

From what i can tell it'll take me about 40ish dollars worth of supplies initially. (i already have some things like paint and elastic). i'm sure there are thing's i'll have to buy that i've forgotten to taken into account so that's a low estimate.

I would love to have someone fumble through this process with me - it's my first time trying this. But i'll be starting in sometime in the next 2 weeks with or without you.

I know there is a post http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=96378.0 with lots of resources and such, but i'm looking for someone to hold my hand through teh process really. Cheesy i figured if i can't find someone on craftster, i'm hosed.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008 10:19:27 PM by littler4bbit » THIS ROCKS   Logged
violette28
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2008 06:37:47 PM »

The first thing I thought was you're crazy for wanting to make one.
The sencond thing I though was how crazy I am for wanting to do it too!

Tonight instead of homework, I'll be reading the websites you posted. When/If you do this, pm me and I'll see how busy I am.   Smiley Even if I can't join you, I would love to hear about the process.
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JillBoBill
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008 09:29:39 AM »

Wow. I just flipped through the Japanese page and that's pretty intense. Granted, the end result is beautiful, but ... That's intense. I would LOVE to see some homemade BJDs, though. If you ladies do it, make sure and post up here.


I was wondering what kind of clay she was using, too. I know it showed the labels, but it was hard to make out what kind it was.  I have a 25pound block of air-dry clay taking up some room in my closet... Come to think of it, I have another of kiln-dry clay, too.
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littler4bbit
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008 04:30:03 PM »

i believe that she was using something called stoneclay, but i'm planning to use a polymer clay called sculpy III. air dry clays aren't the best for the depth of sculpting needed for this project, but i've seen people do it. i just always have problems keeping it wet enough, but if you have 25 pounds of air dry... man - you can sure try.

wait.. by air-dry clay you're talking about the white semi-squishy stuff, right?
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JillBoBill
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008 06:51:56 PM »

It's sort of a shade of grey. You CAN kiln-dry it, but you don't HAVE to. It's made my AMACO (American Art Clay Company)... I believe, though I'm not positive that this is it: http://www.amaco.com/prod-air-dry-modeling-clays-339.html

The other stuff is a kiln-dry White Earthenware made by Highwater Clay.
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littler4bbit
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008 09:33:14 PM »

wow i've never heard of this stuff. it's super cheap for how much you get! i'd say go for it! at first i thought you were talking about that crayola squishy and easily breakable/maim-able stuff. as long as it dries hard and strong, it seems like a good choice.

the kiln dry stuff is fine for sure as long as you keep it thin enough so that it's not god-awful heavy.

i'm super excited! 2 victims *cough* people who maybe will try to ride this crazy idea out with me!
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008 08:38:45 PM »

check out www.denofangels.com/forums

  they have a great forum in there of hand made BJD including robots, and centuars!  they are always willing to help someone out too!  (just advoid the drama there, and you'll be fine)

  i personally have 5 different BJD's and one i made myself.  A wee tiny sheep.  i should post it up on there for you guys.  it was hard.  and omg,  those who do it.  Good luck!
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violette28
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008 09:12:23 PM »

Morelove, please post it! I would love to see! About how long did it take you to make?
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008 09:16:53 PM »

I believe I've gotten hooked on these too! I'm broke beyond belief so making one is the only way I'd be able to get one (at least until college is over)!

I'm game if you are!
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2008 11:09:01 PM »

I'm game to do this too. Cheesy Not really sure when, cause I'm so busy... But all of us working on it will motivate me. Roll Eyes
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geekycraftgrl
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2008 09:49:26 AM »

this is a great idea. i would love to make my own bjd.
could i do it? it does look difficult and alot of work.

what type of clay would i need? does it have to be air drying. how would you use the oven bake clay if the inside is filled with styrofoam/polysteren, would it melt?

great info you found.
cant wait to see what you all do
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2008 10:48:56 AM »

why not use crumpled aluminum foil for the inner part that gets taken out later?  it would be ok in the oven and then if you still leave a hole to pull it out by, it could be easier to remove than the foam.

or if that would be too lumpy, maybe cover it with... now here is where i get confused.  paper? papier mach -- can that go in the oven after it is totally dry?  or air-dry clay in a thin layer, and then polymer clay over that?  just ideas, more knowledgeable ones will have a better input, i'm sure.
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008 05:14:24 AM »

hey littler4bbit
have you started your doll yet?
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2008 02:56:29 PM »

I didn't see this thread until just now.....Anyway I am currently in the middle of making my own bjd, and it sure is fun to create with other people!  I hope if anyone else is making a doll they will come forward and share!
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2008 04:01:19 PM »

Wow!  I have been drooling over the BJDs ever since I saw my friend's collection, but it never occurred to me to try to make one!  I'm totally stoked after reading this and another, older post on the topic!  Thanks for the great links and inspiration!  If I remember to by the time I have started a doll (not sure when I will have time to get down to business with this), I will be sure to post pics.
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2008 07:26:20 AM »

I'm not sure if this would be interesting to anyone, but the other night I was searching for doll patterns and I found this site with a fabric ball jointed doll.  It is an online class and a little on the expensive side, but the pictures on the site are pretty detailed you might be able to get some ideas from it. 

http://dollnetmarket.com/shop/product.php?productid=175&cat=9&page=1

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« Last Edit: June 21, 2008 07:56:56 AM by love2teach » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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littler4bbit
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2008 11:04:38 PM »

hey guys! wow - did my life explode. but i'm back now and i've got my sleeves rolled up and i'm ready to make this happen. i see there are a few other people who have started bjds and such on crafster and i have got to say. WAY TO GO, guys! seriously! i'm impressed with every picture i've seen so far.

geeky - i have started my doll, but foolishly i started with the head. i have yet to cook it and i know it's going to need a lot of work because i'm not entirely satisfied with his/her (it's really androgynous at this point) features so i'm putting the head aside and i'm gonna start on the body tomorrow. be prepared for some massive picture updates. (i only promise so that later i'll have to deliver.)

i've finally settled on a body shape that i can live with and i've got my workspace prepped. The body is a girl - maybe since i settled on a gender i can fix the head! tomorrow has been cleared as a bjd work day. i'm glad so many people are as interested as i am. Cheesy
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littler4bbit
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2008 09:08:38 PM »

ok - disaster time! i had a nice torso going, but i baked it poorly or something and it turned into this:


i think i may change over to regular ol' clay because it's a material that i'm actually used to using. Then again sculpey can be baked and added to and re-baked so it may yet be salvageable. blah. i am not happy. ><

ps - you can make out the adorable bellybutton on the large-ish chunk in the middle upper left of the picture. :,(

*****EDIT******
i attempted to piece it together and it cooked in such a way where the edges warped. so it's a loss. here's a better failure picture.  Cry

« Last Edit: June 24, 2008 09:33:08 PM by littler4bbit » THIS ROCKS   Logged
geekycraftgrl
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2008 04:56:50 AM »

oh no Sad
Dont worry. just keep on trying you will get it right.
I will keep my fingers crossed for your next try.
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2008 12:49:00 PM »

How awful! 

I am going to try to make a head out of air dry clay.  Here's the start:

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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2008 02:23:11 AM »

Oh no! what a horrible thing to have happen!
good start, Ghilie. I can't wait to see him/her/it finished!
anyone else working on a bjd? i'm currently in posession of a load of tinfoil armatures  Wink for a 57cm and a 36cm BJD...
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2008 01:45:10 PM »

I would love to make one of them! I should tell me dad to make me one, since he won't let me buy one LOL
That would be a fun family project!
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beautifulpirate
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2008 11:25:59 PM »

why not use crumpled aluminum foil for the inner part that gets taken out later?  it would be ok in the oven and then if you still leave a hole to pull it out by, it could be easier to remove than the foam.

or if that would be too lumpy, maybe cover it with... now here is where i get confused.  paper? papier mach -- can that go in the oven after it is totally dry?  or air-dry clay in a thin layer, and then polymer clay over that?  just ideas, more knowledgeable ones will have a better input, i'm sure.

Actually, foam is really really easy to remove if used as a core for sculpting your BJD. Just drop a couple of drops of nail polish remover into the open cavity and onto the foam and it will dissolve whereas the foil will leave little pieces imbedded and baked into the inside of your doll.
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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2009 04:16:45 PM »

wow, i had no idea that could melt foam.  scary stuff!  (good to know!!)
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2009 09:08:27 AM »

it works on only on one or two types of foam, i tried it on foam bowl foam and it doesn't work!!!
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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2009 08:36:09 PM »

I was just doing a google search on casting molds for bjd's and came across this site... well started reading and had to comment ... I've just finished the sculpting part of my second bjd doll ... I used the air dry paperclay to make her and has taken me about 5 months on and off. ... But I did in the beginning search out info about what was the best to make her out of either polymer or air dry paperclay... I chose the paper clay as it's so strong... I don't know how many times I bounced limbs off the floor with no ill effects LOL... It also can be baked in the oven for those like myself that just don't have patience enough to wait while it dries naturally LOL

But if you are going to use polymers you can use cloth limbs stuffed with polyfil as your core...once baked you can then remove the stuffing and then the fabric... if that doesn't appeal then you can use brass piping which you wouldn't need to remove... hope I've not sounded the know all ... just had to share what I've learned so far Shocked)) ... can't wait to see some pics when you girls get going !!!


Hugs,
Sharon 2

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« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2009 07:28:04 AM »

sharon2 do you have some WIP pics somewhere that we could check out?  i'm really interested to see all the different progress of different efforts.
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« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2009 02:30:31 PM »

sharon2 do you have some WIP pics somewhere that we could check out?  i'm really interested to see all the different progress of different efforts.

I've just added the newer ones but if you scroll down a bit you'll see some wip pics ...

http://houseofpugish.blogspot.com/

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« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2009 03:13:17 PM »

so nice!!!
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« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2009 04:02:54 PM »

Aw thank you Shocked))... she's not perfect but am getting there with loads of practice LOL

Hugs,
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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2013 04:34:54 PM »

first u shouldnt use sculpey , it has tendencies to crack, super sculpey is fine thouairdrying paper clay is good
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« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2013 01:15:02 PM »

I'm trying to make a bjd too, but I'm having a little trouble...
Yours is so adorable! Is it easy to cast the doll?
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« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2013 09:15:25 AM »

Just wondering how people did with this?  I've been trying to make bjds for about a year now, and after a few sad first attempts I decided to start with some more simpler dolls, with less complex ball joints.  I found that this helped a lot.. no matter how dedicated I was to wanting to make a fully articulated, beautiful and perfect ball jointed doll right off the bat, I just didn't have the skills to start there.  Don't give up or or get frustrated!  Just start with something a little easier.  ^_^
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