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5 Fun Dress Up Barbie Games Ideas

Updated on July 1, 2012
Barbie loves to dress up!
Barbie loves to dress up! | Source

In these days of so many online and video games, isn’t it nice to still play with dolls? Barbie dolls are still relevant, and their clothes reflect the styles of today. So, bring them out!

Here are five fun dress up Barbie games to play. (Didn’t Jocelyn Worrall, the Craft Lady of Steel, prove a worthy contender in a “Schmarbie clothing” Craft Corner Deathmatch challenge back in the early 2000’s?)

Compile supplies for Barbie dress-up

Items you will need:

  • Craft glue or a glue gun for older kids (or adults!)
  • Something to protect your table. I like to use a designated “dollar store” shower curtain since scraps and trash can easily slide off and make clean-up a breeze.
  • Fabric or permanent markers to draw on fabric or paper. Bright colors are especially fun.
  • Safety scissors for youngsters or fabric shears for older kids. Use pinking shears to avoid unraveling.
  • Cotton swabs and a set of tweezers will make application of glue and placement of small items less of a hassle.

Monochromatic Barbie

For younger kids, have them search through Barbie’s clothes to dress them all in one color.

Teach your kids about the color wheel and dress a friend of Barbie’s in a complementary or analogous color. Add as many pieces as possible and giggle about how one can easily overdress. Then find an appropriate outfit for each season.

Be careful about Barbie’s shoes, though… they can slip through small fingers without their noticing.

Imitate a character with Barbie

Pick a favorite character from a book or story, movie or tv show, or cartoon and see how closely you can replicate their outfit.

Some character ideas are Sleeping Beauty, Madeline, Mary Poppins, or Pebbles. Act out a favorite scene from the story, complete with voices. Engage other children or family members as the other story characters.

Upcycle Barbie’s existing clothes

Make a fancy dress out of a plainer one by adding frills, bows, ruffles, faux fur, or any type of trim that catches your eye.

If your child has an article of doll’s clothing that no longer strikes their fancy, pretty it up with lace, tulle, or another type of material. I have seen boxes of these types of designing toys available, but these small individual items are readily available at craft or fabric stores as well.

We've hit the ribbon jackpot!  Who would be able to resist?
We've hit the ribbon jackpot! Who would be able to resist? | Source

Match your Barbie’s outfit

Match your Barbie’s outfit to what you are currently wearing!

Pink pants, a purple top with stars, and rainbow socks? Sure! An orange sweater, jeans, and red cowboy boots? Barbie loves it!

You can also match hairdos. One popular style is to tie yarn or attach tiny strings of beads to your hair. Match your doll and tie yarn, ribbon, or beads into both her hair and yours. Matching a family member’s outfit can also be fun.

Design clothes for Barbie

This is best left for kids over seven years old as it can take a while to visualize and carry out.

If you’re crafty, you most likely have lots of extra scraps of fabric, ribbon, yarn, or other exciting bits of color that fingers of all ages would find irresistible. Pull out those piles of clothing design gold and let the kids go to town tying, drawing, snipping, gluing, wrapping, and otherwise having a blast!

You may need to help cut material, but this is one of those projects that is also fun for adults. Have Velcro available, in case your child designs an especially exciting piece of clothing and they want to keep it. Preserve it by ironing small pieces of Velcro on as the closure.

Design materials around the home

(click column header to sort results)
Type of Material  
What You Can Do With It  
Fabric scraps
Any kind will do, but try silks for draped gowns or blouses, cotton for summer skirts, or taffeta for a crisp evening wrap.
Ribbon or rickrack
Add strap details or a design on the cuff of pants or the bottom of a skirt.
Colored rivets
Use a riveter to clinch these onto your doll’s outfits.
Poke holes in fabric or weave through rivets as fasteners.
Out of date wallpaper books
Don’t overlook this gem! You can make adorable skirts and tops from this type of media and tie them on with ribbon or yarn.
Rhinestones or beads
Glue on individually, or weave them into the doll’s outfit.
Lace, tulle, faux fur, or feathers
Affix these for a glamorous touch!.
Patterned duct (Duck) tape
When folded against itself, it makes a worthy and unusual material, similar to pleather.
This table lists some everyday items that could be used to make Barbie's next terrific outfit!

Making Barbie clothes from duct or Duck tape

Doll clothes from duct tape? What a wacky idea. Yes, wacky and wonderful! Choose duct or Duck tape for the following video project.

Duck tape is a pretty, patterned, and colorful brand of duct tape, offering hot colors and prints such as leopard, zebra, and camouflage, but you could always create with simple hardware store silver or white and your designs will still look terrific.

Duck tape doll clothes!

And the winner is...

What's the most fun Barbie dress-up game?

See results


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    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hahaha!!! I love it! :^)

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      I do have a niece with lots of barbies. I should call my sister in law and tell her I am coming over to play and bringing a roll of duck tape. That wouldn't scare her, would it?? Haha! :)

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Alissa! Thanks so much for the vote! Maybe you can try these with a niece or the daughter of a friend, instead?

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Love these dress up games for Barbie! You just added another reason why I want/need a girl in this house. The duck tape idea is so clever. Great hub - voted up!

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Doc Sonic! I'm so glad you liked it. What's really great is that you also can make some of the newer fashions look really special with just a little work. Or, update some vintage fashions by copying them in different weights of fabric (keep the original, of course!) :^) Imagine an updated "Prom Date" fashion for example, fairly easily copied with blue Duck tape under, and green and turquoise tulle on top. (Definitely fun for the collector in your life, who wants a small project and a new dress on the cheap.)

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 5 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Great ideas! I can't wait until my granddaughters are a little bit bigger and we can try some of these when they come to visit. Voted up and useful.

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Yes, as soon as I saw that I knew it would make a terrific addition. You'd have to measure for Barbies instead of her "models" for a perfect fit, but they are fairly similar in size. Thanks! :-)

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      That was fun to read. I really enjoyed the video because I did not know you could buy duck tape in different colors and patterns. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Brainy Bunny! Sounds like fun! And I love that your dolls are naturally dressed to match. :-)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      These are fantastic ideas! I'm going to grab my daughter this weekend and play some dress-up Barbie games with her. I love the idea of dressing up dolls as characters from stories, and making doll clothes out of remnants sounds like fun, too. Of course, our Barbies are always dressed to match our outfits already.