Not everybody realizes it, but dolls are both toys and works of art. A young girl may have a doll she loves and adores; a doll collector might have yards of shelving to display the heirloom dolls she’s collected. You can buy a doll that's ready to display or play with, but you can also follow your own artistic instincts and create your own. If you want to make a very special one-time project or you want to enter the business of doll-making, you will need to purchase supplies. Buying doll-making supplies at cost, or buying them wholesale, is an excellent way to save money.
Determine what you have on hand and what you need. Write up a list of supplies that you have on hand and where you’ve stored them. Include a list of what supplies you need. If you are just getting started you will need basic items such as material (fabric) to make the dolls' exteriors, stuffing, thread and items that give the dolls details such as buttons and yarn.
Visit eBay. eBay is an Internet auction site. You can place bids on items you like. Wholesalers sometimes sell lots online they cannot sell in their stores. If you want to practice making dolls or have only a small order to fill, a bid on eBay is a good way to get started in the doll-making business.
Obtain a federal tax identification number. You can get one from the IRS website for free. A federal tax ID number identifies you as a business; if you have a federal tax ID number you can purchase directly from many wholesale retailers. If you want to sell your wares at street fairs, a federal tax ID number will help verify to street fair officials that you have a legitimate business.
Buy doll-making items from an online wholesale warehouse. Many wholesalers have large warehouses. Unfortunately, a warehouse may not be located near you; in that case you can purchase doll making supplies online. Look for stores that advertise wholesale doll-making supplies on the Internet. The store should have a customer service number where you can verify specifics about items available for purchase. Some stores require a tax ID number, while others are open to all members of the public. A store should have pictures that allow you to get a close-up look at the items you wish to purchase as well as at all product dimensions and shipping costs.
- geisha doll image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com