Rubber/Jelly Bracelets for Barbie: Make Your Doll Some Jewelry!
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.
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?
Instructions to Make Rubber Barbie Bracelets
- It's so easy! Simply remove the comfort band from your pen as evidenced above...
- Decide how wide your want Barbie's bangle to be...
- Then with a large, sharp scissor just snip straight across. Et voilà! You are done.
- 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!
Would you take apart office supplies if it would provide your dolls with an interesting piece of clothing?
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.
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!
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.