Saturday, 7 October 2017

A word on resin doll joints - not quite a tutorial.

Someone posted in one of the Kaye Wiggs Facebook group, asking what they could do with their doll, whose head was very 'kicky' and unposable.  My sympathies with that dolly owner,  as my Gracie has a very awkward head, which shoots around unbidden just as I'm taking a photo.

A lot of people recommended restringing - as the strings were probably too tight.  I agree with this, but also someone recommended silicone washers or grommets sold specifically for resin dolls and BJD.

I personally find these washers a bit of a rip off.   You buy two at a time, and they're about a couple of quid.  You also can't be sure what size to get, even if you measure your doll, because the joints distort the washers - which means you need a slightly larger size than you actually think you do.  I've ordered a couple and will report my findings, but I'm impatient, and I thought of a cheaper alternative.. which I happened to have lying around in my crafts stash.

Take some craft foam, the kind that comes in sheets of about 2-3mm thickness.  Use a white or pale colour for your doll, and cut your own washers to size.

I cut one and pushed it into the joint of Gracie's head, and tried it out on the body.  It works brilliantly!   I may cut a smaller one, as I've removed the plastic neck insert that came with my Gracie, located in the neck hole of her head, and the resulting hole is pretty deep.

The hole in the middle of the washer had to be elongated to accommodate the metal hook,  but that's okay, nobody is going to see it.

Here it is, after I tried it out.   It does squish a bit, but that's the whole point, it cushions and gives the smooth resin some soft (and importantly, safe) purchase.

It might not be the prettiest, but it is as cheap as chips, and you can cut washers for the shoulder and hip joints too, Playing around with size, and seeing what works best.

I know about sueding. I have used hot glue, and actual suede in the past for my doll's joints, but this method uses no adhesive. The foam washers can be removed at any time, and no there's no having to pick off hot glue or white glue.

I hope this is useful to someone out there, I plan to use it with all my resin dolls in future.



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  2. Hi Tess,

    I've just used this brilliant sueding method on most of my BJDs necks!! I've spent the evening pulling heads off and putting foam washers in lol It's very clever and works wonderfully well, giving many more head angles that hold so well. Thanks so much for sharing this :)

    1. Poor dollies! That sounds savage, but I'm so glad it works for you! It does give a lovely padding to the joints.

  3. I have bought these foam sheets before, but never thought about using them in BJD joints. Neat idea. I will give it a try.

    1. It's lots cheaper than buying the silocone washers.


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