Brief Process of BJD

I recently had someone ask  how I created my bjd and while I am not the best teacher, I will do my best to briefly explain my process. I just recently started on a new doll however sadly I did not do much documentation of my progress but I will post the few images I have. Hopefully for my next doll I can do a more in depth explanation with more detailed images.

WIP, bjd

So I start off by drawing a basic idea for my doll, determining the size I want her to be as well as how big the holes are going to be in her hips, arms and leg sockets. I always find it easiest to use a circle template to determine the ball sizes so that when I sculpt them I can use that as reference. I don’t think it is a necessity but it is just something that I find helps me. When you are satisfied with your sketch you can begin making your base using aluminum foil and floral tape, which obviously will be removed after she is baked. So using your sketch as a reference, you want to make your aluminum foil base smaller than your drawing. I like to leave about 1/4″ thickness. I apologize for not having any images of this but I promise next time to have this better planned out.

Circle template

I always do the LOWER part of her torso first and I bake it before I continue with anything else. Once this part  is cooked I can take the breast area and shape it tightly around the lower torso. This ensures a nice, tight fit. Using my circle template, I carefully draw out and measure the holes on hip area. I cut it out using an exacto knife. Do not worry if you do a messy job.  You will have to go back and sand it anyway.  The good thing about polymer is that if you make the holes too big you can always go back and add more clay!

So I sculpt the balls in the same manner as the torso, using aluminum foil. After you roll them as round as you can get them (this is tough), you can see how well they fit into the holes.Once you are satisfied you can cook them, along with the breast area.

This may seem like a rather waste of time to you, as well as unnecessary but I find it gives me much better results when I cook everything in steps.

I continue the same process, measuring out the holes in the shoulder area, and making the balls to fit. When I get to the arms and legs, I use wooden dowels in various sizes to get a base, which I then build over with more detail. Many people say that straws work for the limbs but from personal experience I do not find this the best option. People do it so it must work but it melted when I put it in the oven. If you use the wooden dowel method , lightly wet them  first because it makes it easier to slide your clay off. I find it really hard to further explain how I engineer the joints since it really is a lot of trial and error and cutting and sanding until you get the right fit. It is just something you have to play around with until you find what works for you.

Cutting tools

These are the tools that I use when cutting into the balls. I use them to make my slits, as well as the holes so that I can hollow them out. Many people use drills/dremel tools but I find that this works for me. I also use a pin vise which I find gives me more control than a drill. The balls are really small and sometimes hard to hold on to so I get scared that I will drill a hole into my hand. Haha. Knowing me and my clumsy nature, I probably would. So the exacto works good for cutting the holes for your joints and the other two work well for the balls.

Ok so this is as far as I have gotten on her but I will add more on my process soon. Once again I apologize if this makes no sense. I dont think I was ever meant to be a teacher. Haha!! If you have any questions that didn’t quite make sense to you feel free to ask and I will do my best to explain it.




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5 responses to “Brief Process of BJD

  1. Little Missy

    I love your process of BJD XD
    I plan on making one on my own since they are so freaking expensive to buy one and it’s like everyone who has one has the same base body or face(just that they only change the hair, makeup, eyes, etc..)
    I don’t understand on the part which you say roll the aluminum foil into a ball, do you mean you roll the foil into a ball first then cover with clay and bake it??? O.O
    I can’t any information on anyone explaining how the inside of the body of the BJD works. Issue hallow or filled with the wires attaching to the joints?? If it is, then how do you attach them? :DD
    Please do teach me how.
    P.S: anyone can teach (; no matter how bad they say they are, you just taught us the base of making a BJD right up there XD

    • Hello,
      Yes, I use aluminum foil on the internal and then cover it in a thin layer of clay, then bake it. After the clay cools I remove the aluminum foil so that the inside is hollow. To attach joints I used elastic string however I have learned that it is more durable if you use springs. I am sure if you search online you can find a diagram since its very hard for me to explain without actually showing you. Hope this helps a little. 🙂

      • Little Missy

        But wouldn’t the aluminium foil inside burns? :O
        (just asking) ><"
        Please and thank you for sharing your informations ❤

  2. No the aluminum foil does not burn. I wrap aluminum foil in floral tape and I use this method in all of my dolls.

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