There are a variety of options when it comes to adding a belly plate to your reborn. Using a factory doll, you will need to remove the arms and legs and cut the belly and chest area out of it and place it on your reborns stuffed body. Taking a sharp blade you will need to cut to size so it fits snugly over your completed doll. Belly and back plates are also now available through companies that sell the reborn kits and can be purchased on their own or as part of a kit. These plates can be painted at the same time you paint your doll, keeping the layers consistent with what you are applying to the rest of the body. A blank belly plate purchased from a reborning supplier will have holes in it at either side. If you however choose to use a toy doll, you will need to strip the factory paint and drill these holes into it. When you have finished the detail and skin layering and have sealed your baby, it is time to put your doll together, stuffing the bodysuit of the doll in preparation for the belly plate to be attached.
There are two ways of attaching the belly plate to your doll, you can take a piece of wire and wrap it around the back of the doll, entering the holes from the side and tying up again at the back. Be careful to cut this off carefully so there are no sharp edges. Repeat this for both the top and bottom sets of holes. If you use thin enough wire, tie it off and cut it correctly, it won’t be seen through the clothing. The other option is to sew the bodysuit into place by hand, this will reduce any movement in the plate and is more aesthetically pleasing from the back. Both methods work well in holding the plate in place to appear as though it has always been there.
These belly and back plates add another dimension to the realism of these reborns that set them apart from those with just a doesuede bodysuit. Collectors are quite focussed on collecting babies with the plates attached due to the lifelike appearance that the plain body kits perhaps don’t. When holding a reborn with plates the difference is a more realistic feel and clothing that sits a little more appropriately for a newborn. Another option if you don’t wish to add a belly plate is a silicone slip known as a chicken fillet. These can also provide definition in the stomach and bottom area and also create a realistic feel for the baby.