If you are going to spend hours gently painting layer upon layer of paint, hours on detail and days on microrooting hair, it is worth the effort to open your reborn’s nostrils to complete the newborn look. This is quite easy to do, though with most reborning, the techniques vary depending on what best suits the artist. There are two more popular ways of opening the nostrils, firstly, after you first bake, while the head is still warm, gently push a toothpick through the nose, working it in a circular motion to open the nostrils up to the desired size. This process can be repeated after any of the heatsetting, and is advisable to do at least a couple of times during the reborning process to ensure they don’t close over again. Another option is to drill out the nose with a file, these can be attached to a power drill or just handheld and pushed through.
Once you break through the vinyl in the nostril, keep filing backwards and forwards until you are happy you have a smooth finish and no sharp edges or rough patches. This method is more effective as it opens a larger hole and actually takes away a certain amount of the vinyl as opposed to just pushing it to the side. If you decide to use the toothpick method, it is important when you are heatsetting your final layer to take two bamboo skewers, or similar, the intended width of your nostril and cut into 4cm long pieces. While your head is still warm insert these into the nose and leave in place while cooling. Once your doll is set, these can be removed and will leave a more desirable and permanent nostril in your reborn, consistent with that of a real newborn. After you have microrooted the hair into place, it is recommended to cut a small piece of felt, using a darker neutral colour, and glue it inside the head behind the nose when you glue the hair into place. This does two things, it will stop any of the stuffing coming out, or if the stocking breaks down containing your glass beading, will keep it contained within the head. It will also give the nostrils a look of depth, which only adds to the realism. The way you open your reborn’s nose will be something you decide yourself for what best suits your technique and will evolve over time until you find what works best for you as an artist.