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Rated: E · Non-fiction · Fashion · #1215805
Links and tips on Barbie, sewing to repainting. Did you know you could repaint a Barbie?
I found out a year ago that you could repaint Barbies. I was wading through the results I'd gotten on Google for "free Barbie Patterns" when I stumbled across a site that introduced me to 'repaints' as they're called. I was amazed! The newly painted dolls looked so much better than the originals!

Sewing for Barbie and repainting her has become my new hobby. It's fun, it's fulfilling, and it's cheap! My first repaint cost about $6, $1 for the Barbie, $2 for the paints and about $3 for a four-pack of brushes. I got the Barbie at Goodwill and everything else at Walmart.

So if this sounds like something you’d like to try your hand at, check out the instructions I’ve left below. I am a beginner, not an expert, so my intstructions may not be perfect.This is what I’ve found in my internet searches all packed in a nutshell. I use them myself.

The Things You Will Need

A Barbie
Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
Waterbased Acrylic Paints
Small Brushes
Two mugs with water in them
A plastic lid or a plate to mix the paint in
A wet paper towel (just in case you make a mistake)

1)          Find a Barbie. Your kids have some old ratty ones they don’t want anymore? They will do nicely for practicing your repaints. I bought a lot of 20 on ebay for $20. Check the dollar store, sometimes they will have old ones marked down to a couple of dollars, or the clearance aisle of Walmart or HEB.

2)          Next time you’re in Walmart, pick up a bottle of Non-Acetone Nail Polish remover, some Q-tips and a bag of cotton balls. Go to their craft section and pick up a couple colors of acrylic paint. Think eye color, lipstick and skin tones. I can’t remember the name of the one I use at the moment but it has a little apple on the label. Check the back and make sure its waterbased. Then look around in the same area and get a pack of brushes, the tinier the better. Pay for the stuff. Hurry home and clear a spot on your desk.

3)          Because you will be using liberal amounts of the Polish Remover, you have to make a choice. Do you want unsightly smears on your table or desk where the finish has been worn off? If yes, continue. If not – BE SURE  and cover the table with a vinyl tablecloth or something. This will also protect it from paint drips and flecks getting on it.

4)          After you have covered your work surface, set out the stuff listed at the top. The water in one of the mugs is to rinse your brush in, the other you’ll be adding to the paint.

5)          Take the Barbie firmly in hand. Take off any of the clothes she came with so you don't mess them up. Get some Nail Polish Remover on a cotton ball and start wiping her face with it. In seconds you will see the factory paint began to magically disappear. That’s when you should throw out that cotton ball and get a new one, otherwise you’ll just end up smearing the paint all over her face. It comes off, and then it goes back on so be careful. Use a soaked Q-tip for the hard-to-get places like the inside corner of the eyes and the teeth. Wipe down her face with a wet paper towel when its all gone.

6)          Once she’s clean, squeeze out a little bit of paint on that plate (or you could use a margarine lid). Not too much, about the size of a nickel. Its usually pretty thick when it comes out but don’t worry. We’ll fix that.

7)          Take your brush, dip it in the water and mix it in the paint until you have a nice, thicker-than-water-but-thinner-than-it-was-originally consistency. You don’t want any chunks of unmixed paint so get it good. Rinse the brush before you try any painting.

8)          Get rid of any excess water that’s in the bristles by squeezing it in the paper towel, so that it forms a nice sharp point. Start with the eyes is my advice. Just fill in the shape, or make a new one, with white. LET IT DRY. You can do the teeth at this point while the white paint is still wet. This stuff dries quickly so use the color while you’ve got it.

9)          I have experimented with different methods on this next part. I’ve done the iris first and then lined the eye with black or brown, or I’ve lined the top, painted the iris, the pupil and the little white sparkle and then lined the bottom.

10)          Paint the lips, try to keep the teeth white. After it’s dry you can go back and touch up with white again if you need to.

Taking your time is important. If you don’t like the way something turned out you can try to alter it with paint, or just take it off with the remover. You should also check the doll's body for paint smears when you're done. The nail polish remover dulls the hard vinyl so I wouldn't use it on her torso. You can try and scratch it off with your fingernail. It seems to work fine on her legs though. There are books and places online that you can go to get a more detailed set of instructions. Just do a search on “Repainting Barbies” or “Fashion Doll Makeovers” and you should turn up something.

Dolls-n-Daggers has a good instruction page.



         Of course, sewing is the other half of your Barbie Makeover. There are places online, but I have found that making my own pattern is easiest. Some things you should know before you get started:

1)          A ‘belly-button’ Barbie is a Barbie with the new body mold. Her hands are more realistic, her face is not as round, she’s taller, her waist does not swivel, she is somewhat bow-legged, her bust is more proportionate and she has a bellybutton.
2)          Sleeves are HARD. Start with something strapless or sleeveless.

Free patterns from Star Wars, LOTR and other fancy clothes. I have to enlarge the printed page by 125% on my copier and then I would cut out the pattern, but leave a good 1/4 inch of space all around or it won't fit. Unlesss I've been doing something wrong.

Pics of all of Padme Amidala's clothes from all three episodes.

Pictures of pretty much all the clothes from Star Wars. Details on how to sew the clothes, even some pictures of Barbies with the clothes. Right now I am making the Senate gown. It's turning out great.

Because of time constraints, this is all I'm able to add right now. But I am excited to post this for you so check back soon.

Do you collect or repaint? Let me know if you have tips to share.
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