Belts for Barbie

Ever want that finishing touch to a Barbie outfit? For years, I made belts from scraps of ultrasuede, a metal snap and a doll size belt buckle. But I can’t always find the color and weight of ultrasuede that I need to go with a particular garment. Recently, I was browsing through Michaels craft store and found these little faux leather bands in with their charms. You get a package of 10 for about $7.50 (unless you have a coupon, like me).

They’re made for slide on charms and hook onto larger bracelets. But guess what! They’re the perfect length for a Barbie belt! I just slip on a buckle and sew a snap on the two ends and voila!

Notice the brooch in the photo? It’s one of the slide on charms designed to go on the bands!

Customizing doll shoes

If you’ve purchased a dress from me recently, you know I always include a free gift with your purchase — usually a pair of shoes for your doll. I prefer pumps for that classic look, but I’ve settled for sling-backs, which are readily available to buy in bulk on Etsy. Black sling-backs are the cheapest and easiest to find, and recently, I’ve also been able to purchase red, pink, and purple in bulk (although at a slightly higher price than black). But what about for those of us who want blush, taupe, blue or green? I have been known to glue colored resin/rhinestone bows onto shoes, but lately I’ve been experimenting with painting black shoes with nail polish. I stuff a Q-tip into a shoe and start painting. My high-tech drying solution is to place the other end of the Q-tip into the hole of some stacked reels of ribbon. It generally takes 5-6 coats of polish and then I seal it with a topcoat. Not sure how these will wear over time, but so far so good. Hoping someone will make white sling-backs available in bulk soon!

How to make Barbie hats

If you’ve ever wanted to make Barbie hats from millinery straw braid, it’s super easy. Just takes a little practice and a needle and thread. I’ve found several articles in old Barbie Bazaar magazines that give basic instructions, specifically in the February 1999, April 1999, and April 2000 issues. You can find back issues of Barbie Bazaar magazine on eBay and Etsy.

To source the braid, just search “millinery straw braid” on either Etsy or eBay. You want to look for 1/4″ width or smaller. Some braids will have a string inside that you can pull to help the braid curve into a circle, or just stretch and pull the braid to get it to bend to your will! I can usually get 2 fascinator/small hats from 1 yard of braid. Hide the ends of the braid by stitching it to the inside of the hat, and then decorate with small ribbon, fabric, or paper flowers, as desired.

Below are some instructions from the February 1999 issue of Barbie Bazaar. I would have included more pages, but there are apparently size limits on the files I can attach to my blog posts. The instructions say to use yarn, but I use regular sewing thread and it works just fine.