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Rubber/Jelly Bracelets for Barbie: Make Your Doll Some Jewelry!

Updated on February 14, 2013
Barbie's new rubber bracelets are super stylish!
Barbie's new rubber bracelets are super stylish! | Source
Paper Mate Inkjoy pen with the comfort grip thing
Paper Mate Inkjoy pen with the comfort grip thing | Source
Paper Mate Inkjoy pen with the comfort grip thing removed... soon Barbie will have orange bracelets, too!
Paper Mate Inkjoy pen with the comfort grip thing removed... soon Barbie will have orange bracelets, too! | Source

This idea came to me after writing a hub on upcycling K-cups into Barbie hats and scraps of fabric into Barbie purses. I had staged a fake store to sell these accessories and wanted to fill the counters with as many tiny accessories as possible. Also, after taking a few pictures, the articulated joints of the Fashionista doll in question were bothering me. I wanted to figure out a way to cover up those ugly joints with something fashionable.

Obviously, bracelets would fit those needs, but how could I make them quickly, colorfully, and stylishly? (Cheaply would be the icing on the cake.) I toyed with the pen I was holding, twisting the pliable, squishy, soft plastic grippy piece in the middle around and around and around…

… and then it hit me. Cut that flexible “comfort” piece into one-of-a-kind designer bracelets! Reminiscent of the narrow black rubber bracelets popularized by Madonna in the 1980s and the more recent, squared-off ”jelly” bracelets, these are very easy to make with just a few snips of a good pair of scissors.

Here are four squishy finger grips just waiting to be made into Barbie bracelets.
Here are four squishy finger grips just waiting to be made into Barbie bracelets. | Source

Just one of these “comfort grip” pen bands can yield up to a dozen bracelets, depending on how thick you cut them.

If you're not skilled with scissors, why not ask an artist friend for assistance in making them look really cool?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Determine how wide you want Barbie's rubber bangle...... and snip.For special designs, use a small scissor...... and a little patience. You could end up with a really cool design!
Determine how wide you want Barbie's rubber bangle...
Determine how wide you want Barbie's rubber bangle... | Source
... and snip.
... and snip. | Source
For special designs, use a small scissor...
For special designs, use a small scissor... | Source
... and a little patience. You could end up with a really cool design!
... and a little patience. You could end up with a really cool design! | Source

Instructions to Make Rubber Barbie Bracelets

  1. It's so easy! Simply remove the comfort band from your pen as evidenced above...
  2. Decide how wide your want Barbie's bangle to be...
  3. Then with a large, sharp scissor just snip straight across. Et voilà! You are done.
  4. If you want to add a pretty design into the rubber bracelet, do so with a small, sharp scissor. Be careful, because rubber is sproingy and soft and you do not want to cut your finger instead!
These bracelets are cut wide.
These bracelets are cut wide. | Source

Would you take apart office supplies if it would provide your dolls with an interesting piece of clothing?

See results
Here, I've cut interesting, fun designs into the rubber bracelets.
Here, I've cut interesting, fun designs into the rubber bracelets. | Source

Tips and Ideas for Making and Designing Rubber Barbie Bracelets

  • The bracelets don’t need to be narrow – make them as wide as you want
  • One thick bracelet looks quite sophisticated with a sleeveless top
  • A single hole-punch or craft knife can yield some complicated, pretty patterns with little effort
  • Apply numerous bracelets to Barbie’s arms for an 80’s glam look
  • Match them to your Barbie wallpaper clothing
  • Paint them with glittery nail polish to change up the coloring
  • Add tiny rhinestones if you prefer your bling to be raised
  • Slip over Barbie’s foot for a cute anklet
  • Cut the edges into interesting patterns – pointed or curved edges can appear sculptural and will be eye-catching.

Comfort grip pen tubes make very Harajuku-looking leg warmers or even "socks" for Barbie.
Comfort grip pen tubes make very Harajuku-looking leg warmers or even "socks" for Barbie. | Source

The tubes also fit on Barbie’s legs and appear similar to high socks or leg warmers. Why not incorporate them into a chic look by “tucking” them into boots?

Depending on the brand, the tubes have different designs on them – small indentations or vertical or horizontal ridges. This makes them ideal to follow for as clean a cut as possible.

Also, because the bands are so supple, they are very unlikely to pop unless they are stretched with a great deal of force. They won’t even break if you step on them by accident!

But take caution - these bracelets are less than .5 inch wide, so one bad snip means the end of the piece of jewelry.
But take caution - these bracelets are less than .5 inch wide, so one bad snip means the end of the piece of jewelry. | Source

What Colors are Available?

These grip pieces are available in many colors, limited only by the ink you prefer. Some pens that use them are:

  • Zebra Z-Grip
  • Zebra Sarasa (gel, my favorite)
  • Paper Mate Profile
  • Paper Mate InkJoy 300 RT (great colors!)

Some mechanical pencils also have the soft-grip holder, but I've noticed that they are often light gray. There's nothing wrong with gray bracelets, but in my opinion colors are a lot more fun for dolls.

Recycle those Writing Sticks

Don’t throw your pens away! Terracycle accepts difficult-to-recycle materials like used–up or broken pens, mechanical pencils, and markers through their Writing Instruments Brigade, so why not convince your school or organization to sign up? Together we can make a difference (and make some storage bins in the bargain).

The only real irritation about these bracelets is that your dolls can’t “restock the store" or "buy themselves new jewelry" pieces until you use up another pen!

So be sure to request those “comfort grip” pen components from your friends before they toss or recycle their writing instruments.

"Raquelle?"  "Yes, Blaine"?  "Well, we've known each other for a while...
"Raquelle?" "Yes, Blaine"? "Well, we've known each other for a while... | Source
... would you accept this friendship bracelet?" "Oh, Blaine! My heart is just going pitter-pat!"
... would you accept this friendship bracelet?" "Oh, Blaine! My heart is just going pitter-pat!" | Source
Raquelle and Blaine... friends forever. (Also, the bracelets cover up her creepy Fashionista wrist!)
Raquelle and Blaine... friends forever. (Also, the bracelets cover up her creepy Fashionista wrist!) | Source

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    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      WiccanSage, thanks! The best way to get a new bracelet wardrobe it's too check what pens your friends are getting rid of! ;-)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      OMG this is such a brilliant adorable idea!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much, Jamie! I especially love the number of colors available (of course, my office uses a LOT of black pens, so that's what's for sale right now in the "store"). ;) It's always nice to see you, thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Oh this is such a cute idea! I would have never even thought about the rubber rings that come around ink pens for Barbie bracelets. I wish I knew some little girls that were "Barbie aged". Going to keep this in mind :) Such a cute idea...thank you so much for sharing!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, teaches and thanks! I'd line to see what colors she ends up with. :-)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, ChitrangadaSharan! Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful comment. I dislike seeing so many materials go to waste and I do try to incorporate them into crafty projects whenever possible. :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      How cute! I am going to have to pass this on to my granddaughter who loves to dress up her dolls like this.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      These are some very nice ideas, to decorate your dolls, at the same time recycle few objects, which we normally throw away. Recycling always helps environment.

      Very nice and innovative hub!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Amanda! I love to dream up uncommon uses for common objects... and this was no different. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Brainy Bunny! When I thought this up, I was thrilled! I'm so glad to see you like the idea too. :)

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      What a great idea for such a common object!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      These are adorable, and look super-easy to make. I'm going to have to see if I have any dead comfort-grip pens lying around!

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