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Home Voices of the Industry The Doll Addiction Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners - Sueding Your Doll
Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners - Sueding Your Doll
Written by Alison Rasmussen   
Cut a half-circle of moleskin suede.Does your new ball-jointed beauty kick you or fall over when she should be posing? Sueding might fix your problems! Sueding adds friction between the ball and socket to give your doll a little more stability and control when she stands and poses. Also, if your doll has body blushing, you should consider sueding. Sueding’s extra layer helps protect the color from wear.

Cut pie slices in the suede, but not all the way to the edge.You should already have the supplies on hand:
  • Sharp scissors
  • Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus (self-adhesive microsuede available at Target)

I need to credit where credit is due. I learned this no-burn method from Pam of Dollovely at the San Diego BJD Convention in December last year. I am so thankful for this technique!

Insert the moleskin into the socket of the joint.I suede my doll’s hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and neck. You will need to remove your doll’s head, but should be able to complete the job without restringing. The moleskin adheres to the socket part of your doll’s joint. We’ll suede half of the joint at a time.

  1. First, cut a half-circle about the size of the joint you want to suede.
  2. Then, cut pie slices from the center of the circle nearly to the edge of the circle, but don’t cut all the way to the edge. This way, the moleskin will lie flat in the the socket.
  3. Remove the adhesive backing and adhere it inside the socket, being careful not to block the canal through which the elastic runs. Try to keep the moleskin below the outside edge so it isn’t visible on the outside. You can always peel it off and stick it down again if you need to.
    Allow the ball to push the suede into the socket fully.
  4. Repeat with another half (or quarter) circle, as needed, till the entire socket is filled. Then, allow the ball to fit back into the socket, and it will push the moleskin into place. You’ll feel the difference immediately.

Sueded ImplDoll Christopher. Notice how she can stand without shoes, with her legs crossed.

If you don’t like the effect, you can easily peel off the moleskin and cut smaller or larger pieces, as desired. It doesn’t leave residue and is easily removed.

I've included a photo of one of my completed dolls, ImplDoll Christopher. She stands an impressive 63.5 cm (about 25 inches) tall. Notice how she can stand without shoes with her legs crossed? She does this with the help of the added layer of moleskin sueding in between her leg joints.

Also, her arms keep a nice and steady pose now, as well, with the sueding added at her shoulders and elbows. I also cut strips and use these as wig caps, too.

An entire doll takes only about 45 minutes, and you'll notice an immediate difference! Give it a try!


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Cool! Thank you for this! I really wanted to suede my dolls, but didn't want to use a glue gun at all, so I think this will be great!
Kaili , October 18, 2010

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