Mouth & Nose Holes

Okey dokey... NOW we are getting to the interesting part. This little awl was carefully selected for it's size and quality for melting holes in Berenguer noses.

I do have a Dremel tool, but I heard too many reports from ladies who missed the nose and drilled holes in other places on their doll's face. My Dad - the workshop expert - says this is because a Dremel bit is spinning and any tool that is spinning will bounce on contact. So accidents are inevitable when working with a Dremel. It will happen, sooner or later.

Therefore I wanted to find a method for opening noses that had a lower probability for "messing up." And, I wanted a method that could be used on the smaller Berenguer dolls as well as the large ones because the Dremel bits are too big for many of the Berenguer noses.

First, heat your awl over a heat source such as gas, sterno or a smokeless paraffin candle. When the awl is hot, push it in the doll's nose. The awl is graduated so you can melt a hole as big as you want, depending on how far you push the awl in. For the large Berenguers I push the awl up to the widest part of the shaft. Therefore, I must also heat the awl on that entire portion that will be inserted.

Clean the awl on rough paper or rags before doing the second nostril. I also try to burn off any extra vinyl that sticks to the awl. Do your best to get the awl clean before melting another hole.

There will likely be some black stuff in the nose holes, even if you do clean the awl well. So then I use an exacto blade and a small round needle file to clean and buff the holes. (Needle files are available cheap at discount hardware stores.)

This method works great on smaller dolls as well as the larger ones. And no bouncing around: when the hot awl comes in contact with the vinyl it plunges right in so there is much better control. And, there is more opportunity to "sculpt" the nose hole so it looks natural. I may heat the awl several times and work the nose hole a bit so it's not so perfectly round and is just the size and shape that I want.


I have not tried this yet. Personally I cannot stand to see a binky in a doll's mouth, but that's just me. Ok, so I said it. Some of you will want to do this, so here is how it is done. Make a very small hole in each corner of the mouth where you want the open mouth to end. The two round holes will reduce the risk or possibility that the mouth will split open wider, later on. You can make these small holes using a heated needle or awl, and maybe some people use a small drill bit (but I don't know if you can get one small enough.) Method for melting holes is described above.

Use an exacto type hobby knife to cut open the mouth. It helps if you heat the hobby knife first, over clean heat such as gas (see my advice on heat sources above.) Carefully slice along the lip line, between your two holes. You can squeeze the cheeks of your doll to fit a pacifier in it's mouth.

Some people use an exacto hobby knife to open the eyes so they can insert the eyelashes. They don't slice all the way through the vinyl, just enough to insert the lash.



If you have problems with the doll's stuffings showing through the mouth or nose holes, then put a piece of felt behind the nose or mouth. Choose a felt color that looks like natural coloring inside a nose or mouth.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved