Wallpaper/Paper Clothes for Barbie with Pattern
Making Clothes for Barbie from Wallpaper
How to Make Barbie Clothes from Wallpaper: Skill Level, Basic
Let's bring Barbie back to basics!
Originally, Ruth Handler designed the Barbie doll after noting her young daughter and friends spending hours playing with paper dolls. Now, Barbie has changed somewhat, but she is still a clotheshorse. And those clothes can cost an arm and a leg. Fill her up closet with glamorous clothing made for practically no money, from wallpaper!
You may be thinking to yourself, “But 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 around on doll clothes. It’s also perfect for kids. And does that fancy fabric wedding gown allow your doll to be on her tiny feet without a specialized doll stand? I didn’t think so.
Things to Remember When Making Barbie Clothes From 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.” So let’s get to it and show them what we can do!
How to Make Barbie Clothes from Wallpaper
- 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, or complementary-colored papers by section.
- For stronger “material” line the back or edges of the paper with masking tape before you trace your pattern. It will help give better body and grip to the paper, allowing it to wrap nicely without ripping. Or, choose a heavier fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper sample instead of plain paper.
- Print the patterns. Glue or otherwise attach the patterns to cardstock or box board. Cut through both layers (an adult should do this part). For the skirt, poke holes through the pattern so you can see where to draw your points on your wallpaper. You are now ready to trace, mark your points, and use!
- Trace the chosen pattern on the back of the wallpaper and cut it out.
- 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. Or, fit the doll first, 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.
- Add whatever type of trim your heart desires, or none at all.
- Dress your Barbie, and have a blast!
What You Need for Wallpaper Barbie Clothes
How to use it
Befriend your local paint or upholstery supply store owners, designers, or counterpersons for outdated, free books. Don’t be shy, just ask if they have any books they’re getting rid of. After you procure your books, choose wallpaper with backing or “webbing” on the back since you don’t want your “material” to rip.
If your wallpaper does tend 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 and then toss them; peel-and-stick Velcro is preferable if you want to keep the outfit 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 tend to be expensive. So buy it in a different form (whatever is on sale will do fine) and cut to the right size. For example, snip squares horizontally and vertically to get four or more pieces of Velcro out of one piece.
Get two pairs – 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.
Ribbon; fringe; fur, leather, or feathers (faux or real); or rhinestones and small buttons (optional).
Use a mini glue gun or use glue to affix your trims to the wallpaper, or straps to the top (optional).
This is required in order to get really good outfits. These outfits don’t have to wearable in real life, so be sure to think outside the box.
Make Your Barbie Clothes Fancy
There are lots of 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
- 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 to the skirt to match its length 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 perfect accessorizing
- 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 in front or in back, or halter style) for a different style
Glue thin ribbons to the top corners of the skirt and cut a small slit in the paper, slide one ribbon through and tie to form a wrap skirt
About the Paper Barbie Clothing Patterns
The following patterns will fit original Barbies and anything with a Twist 'n' Turn waist. The Barbie Fashionista dolls with their 100 poses and multiple points of articulation are well-done toys, but their long torsos and thrust-able chest pieces will require you to cut a slightly different pattern.