How to Make Custom Clothing for Barbie With Wallpaper (Pattern Included!)

Updated on March 29, 2018
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Choose bright wallpaper sheets to make Barbie a new wardrobe!Scalloped craft scissors cut pretty edges.
Choose bright wallpaper sheets to make Barbie a new wardrobe!
Choose bright wallpaper sheets to make Barbie a new wardrobe! | Source
Scalloped craft scissors cut pretty edges.
Scalloped craft scissors cut pretty edges. | Source

How to Make Barbie Clothes From Wallpaper

Let's bring Barbie back to the basics!

Originally, Ruth Handler designed the Barbie doll after seeing her daughter and her friends spend hours playing with paper dolls. Now, Barbie has changed over the years, but she is still a clotheshorse. And those outfits can cost an arm and a leg. Save money and fill up her closet with glamorous clothing made for practically nothing by using wallpaper!

Wallpaper is not fabric. It doesn’t behave like fabric, fall or drape like fabric, fold or pleat like fabric, or catch the breeze and show movement. So you have to think accordingly. My favorite tv show, Project Runway, would call this an “unconventional challenge.” Let’s get to it and show them what we can do!

You may be thinking to yourself, “What is the purpose of paper clothing versus fabric clothing?” Well, this project is especially friendly for those of us without sewing skills or a lot of money to throw on doll clothes. It’s also perfect for kids. Also, does that fancy wedding gown allow your doll to balance on her tiny feet without a specialized doll stand? I didn’t think so. Now, let's get started!

Change the neckline of the basic top to switch up the look of your outfits.
Change the neckline of the basic top to switch up the look of your outfits. | Source

What You'll Need

  • Wallpaper (various colors and designs)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cardstock (to print the pattern)
  • Velcro Strips
  • Masking Tape
  • Printer (to print the pattern)
  • Decorations
  • Glue Gun
  • Pencil

Barbie Paper Clothing Patterns

Basic top patterns. The small white square on the yellow top is about where you will apply your closure. Get creative with shape, length, and neckline!
Basic top patterns. The small white square on the yellow top is about where you will apply your closure. Get creative with shape, length, and neckline! | Source
Circle skirt pattern. The top left of the pattern is cut off because it was too big for the scanner! From edge to edge (horizontally) should measure 17 inches. Just tape a piece of card or paper to the corner and measure one inch to complete it.
Circle skirt pattern. The top left of the pattern is cut off because it was too big for the scanner! From edge to edge (horizontally) should measure 17 inches. Just tape a piece of card or paper to the corner and measure one inch to complete it. | Source

Instructions

  1. Choose one or more sheets from your wallpaper book. Mix and match patterns for stylish looks. You can often find the same pattern in several colors as well as complementary-colored papers by section.
  2. For stronger “material,” line the back or edges of the paper with masking tape before you trace the pattern. It will help give better body and grip to the paper, allowing it to wrap nicely without ripping. Alternatively, choose a heavier fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper sample instead of plain paper.
  3. Print the patterns. Glue or otherwise attach the patterns to the cardstock. Cut through both layers (an adult should do this step). For the skirt, poke holes through the pattern so you can see where to draw the points on the wallpaper. You are now ready to trace, mark your points, and use it!
  4. Trace the chosen pattern on the back of the wallpaper and cut it out.
  5. With the back of the material facing you, un-stick your Velcro and affix it at the waist close to its edge (with the top and bottom pieces of Velcro still stuck together). Then, wrap the article of clothing around the doll and press the other side of the closure onto it. Otherwise, you can fit the doll first and then affix your closures. The basic strapless top and the mini- and mid-thigh length skirts will only require one piece of Velcro, while longer skirts will require two or three small pieces down the back.
  6. Add whatever type of trim your heart desires, or none at all.
  7. Dress your Barbie, and have a blast!

About the Paper Patterns

These patterns will fit the original Barbies with a Twist 'n' Turn waist. With their 100 poses and multiple points of articulation, the Barbie Fashionista dolls are well-done. However, their long torsos and thrust-able chest pieces will require you to cut a slightly different pattern to make it fit optimally.

Get creative and dress Barbie up to look like a space princess.
Get creative and dress Barbie up to look like a space princess. | Source

How to Make Your Barbie Clothes Fancy

There are many ways to make your one-of-a-kind Barbie clothes even more special:

  • Employ patterned craft scissors for special edging on the hemline.
  • Glue ribbons down the back for a romantic look.
  • Add some lace peeking out underneath the skirt for an old-fashioned look.
  • Any shiny paper is ideal for mod styling.
  • Go space-age with metallic paper.
  • Use curling ribbon or curl thin pieces of wallpaper to make a cute belt or trailing train.
  • Cut around a pattern on the paper for a creative bodice or hem.
  • Feathers on the bodice or edging the skirt provide a samba-style party look.
  • Cut tulle, crinkle it, and glue it to the skirt for a fuller, fluffy bottom.
  • Cut a headband or hairpiece, clutch purse (cut and fold a small piece of wallpaper, glue in place), "boots" (wrap Barbie's legs), belt, or bracelet for the perfect accessory.
  • Cut the waistline of the bodice higher for a bikini top.
  • Add straps made of wallpaper or ribbon (spaghetti or wider, single shoulder, criss-cross, or halter style) for a different look.
  • Glue thin ribbons to the top corners of the skirt, cut a small slit in the paper, and slide one ribbon through and tie it in order to form a wrap skirt.

Follow a pattern on the paper for a specialized costume-like bodice and snip a pretty headpiece to complete the outfit.
Follow a pattern on the paper for a specialized costume-like bodice and snip a pretty headpiece to complete the outfit. | Source

How to Choose Your Supplies

  • Wallpaper: Befriend your local paint store owners or designers for outdated books. Don’t be shy—just ask if they have any books they’re getting rid of. Choose a wallpaper with backing or “webbing” on the back since you don’t want your “material” to rip.
  • Masking Tape: If your wallpaper tends to rip, line the back with masking tape. Masking tape will give a little “stretch” to your wallpaper, especially if you plan to cut darts in your design.
  • Clear Tape or Velcro: Choose tape if you plan to use the outfits one or two times. Use peel-and-stick Velcro if you want to keep the outfit for a while or use them as inspiration. Velcro comes in many forms: squares, strips, rolls, or dots. Small dots are ideal for this project, but they tend to be expensive. Try buying it in a different form (whatever is on sale) and cut it to the right size. For example, snip squares horizontally and vertically to get four or more pieces of Velcro out of one piece.
  • Pencil: Use this for marking.
  • Scissors: Get two pairs of scissors, a large one for long cuts and a small one for cutting darts and trims. Choose sharp scissors if possible—safety scissors will not do the job as well.
  • Trims: Ribbon; fringe; fur, leather, or feathers (faux or real); or rhinestones and small buttons.
  • Glue Gun: Use glue to add your trims to the wallpaper or to add straps to the top.
  • Imagination: These outfits don’t have to wearable in real life, so be sure to think outside the box!

How to Make Clothes for Barbie

How Do You Like Your Barbie clothes?

Do you prefer making your own Barbie clothes, or buying them?

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Questions & Answers

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      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi, Tina and thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. This is also a great project for teenagers to do with kids they are babysitting. Dreams of wallpaper clothes will dance in the kids' heads after they are put to bed. :^) Thanks again!

      • thougtforce profile image

        Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

        This is a fantastic hub with an interesting and great video! This hub is so useful for anyone with kids with great instructions. Unfortunately, my daughter is too big for dolls now so I guess I will have to wait for the grandchildren:))

        Tina

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi, Rosemay! Thanks, I find making these wacky outfits very relaxing. And the wackier, the better! The great thing about Barbies is that their clothes don't need to be sensible, and so designing is more about fun than function. :^)

      • Rosemay50 profile image

        Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

        What a great idea. Those outfits are awesome. I enjoyed watching the video, much better than just reading the instructions. I think my granddaughter would be in for this. Lol

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thanks, Rebecca! I hope people don't get scared away from clicking from seeing me instead of Barbie. Lol. Next time I do a video I'll be sure to start with the finished product so it can be tweeted and pinned properly.

      • rebeccamealey profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

        Great video. I see why they call you the clever cat. Great directions. I like the way you started out with a little bit of Barbie history. Voted up and socially shared via twitter!

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hey, Ish! Thank you so much for writing. I agree that kids will have more fun when they design their own doll clothing rather than choosing from the few and expensive outfits chosen by the doll makers. They can really exercise their creative side and spend less in the process. Thanks also got the votes and the share! :-)

      • ishwaryaa22 profile image

        Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 6 years ago from Chennai, India

        Wow! This is much, much better in being imaginative and create a line of handmade and creative clothes for Barbie doll rather than buy a costly and fancy wardrobe for Barbie doll! Your instructions and tips are well-explained. Children will have more fun and think more outside the box! Well-done!

        Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Socially Shared.

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Wow, thanks Cara (and Cara's daughter)! :^) There were a couple of awkward moments, but hey, it's a real video! I'm so glad you two enjoyed it. I'd love to see the creations you two come up with... I know they'll be great! ((HubHugs!))

      • cardelean profile image

        cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

        My daughter insisted on sitting with me to watch the whole video. I have to admit that I've used wallpaper samples for other projects but never for Barbie clothes. I have a feeling a little someone in my house will insist upon this project very soon!

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hey, Alissa! I was hoping you'd stop by. :-)

        Thanks so much for the read, comment, and the pin! I hope you try this out... find a niece or a friend's daughter, or pick up a doll and do it on your own. I'll never tell! ;-)

      • alissaroberts profile image

        Alissa Roberts 6 years ago from Normandy, TN

        This is so cool! Seriously you just took wallpaper and made Barbie look hot. These outfits are awesome! Very clever idea and great video to go with it - voted up and pinning!

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thanks, flashmakeit! I had a couple of snafus in the video but it sure was fun to make. I'm so glad you found it useful!

        Wallpaper books are really great for all kinds of crafts. Why not befriend the people in your local store? :^)

      • flashmakeit profile image

        flashmakeit 6 years ago from usa

        That was a really useful craft video and hub!! I really enjoyed watching. It would be a good idea to ask the people in the paint store for old unused wallpaper books.

      • theclevercat profile image
        Author

        Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thanks, Brainy Bunny! I'm so glad you like this idea. I would love to hear how it goes, so please let me know in future comments!

      • Brainy Bunny profile image

        Brainy Bunny 6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

        Space Age wallpaper clothes! I love it, especially the boots. I've never seen this idea before, and I can't wait to try it. I've got to go find some wallpaper samples right away!

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