DIY (No Sew!) Barbie/Doll Clothes

I had to google who wrote the words “necessity is the mother of invention”.  It was Plato.  And so I come to this post.  This post started on the last week of the school holidays when I hired out the latest TinkerBell movie on DVD (Secret of the Wings) for the children to watch on a lazy day.  As is usual at our place, the children were inspired by the movie and it filtered into their play.  Out came the fairy dolls and late in the afternoon, they ran down to our magical tree in the backyard. Something happened between finding the fairy dolls and the journey to the tree.  There was a problem.  You see, my daughter (my seven year-old) couldn’t find the skirt for her fairy.

“Mum, I can’t find the skirt for my fairy!”

The missing skirt would be the size of a fingernail and I didn’t have time to help find it right then, knowing very well these things have the tendency to disappear.

“Can you just pretend there’s one? No?”  I was trying to pacify her.

“Look, she has painted undies on. It can be like togs.” I tried again.

“I’ve looked everywhere.”  I almost fobbed her off again until I looked at her face: crestfallen.

“Well, what can we use then?”

Paper and sticky tape: I didn’t think would cut it.

Think, think, think. Material taped on would work better than paper.

It may have been the material train of thought that led me to recall our Christmas and our Advent Calendar. I remembered a few organza gift bags left over from the project.  I trimmed the bottom of the mini bag to fit beautifully over the fairy doll as a skirt. Bam! It took me less than a minute. It was one of those YES! moments in parenting. You know the ones when you do something awesome and unexpected and the kids think you’re a hero?

And so, necessity in this case was the invention of an after school activity.  When I was last at Spotlight, I purchased coloured gift bags and glue on gems so we could make more clothes for different dolls, because it was so (so!) easy and fun.


make barbie doll clothes

Organza Bags (I used a 7cm x 10cm and a 10cm x 15cm bags)


Glue on gems (optional)

Craft or materials glue (optional)

The Organza Gift Bag Fashion Line (coming to a store near you!)

DIY Barbie doll cothes

My two middle daughters (7 & 9) and I tried a variety of skirts and dresses for different dolls.

1. Sparkly Fairy Dress/Skirt

7cm x 10cm Bag

Trim top and bottom of the gift bag (make sure you don’t cut into the stitching that holds the ribbon at the top).


When trimming the bottom of the bag, leave the side stitching in tact by starting the cut slightly in from the edges. This minimises the side stitches running.

how to make a barbie skirt

Use glue to affix gems to the bag (use a piece of baking paper between the bag so the glue doesn’t transfer to the back). Remove the paper carefully and hang open to dry.

fairy dress clothes make

Once dry, put the skirt on the doll, pull the ribbon tight around the waist and tie at the back.

fairy dress clothes make

barbie skirt clothes

2. Tutu or Tog Skirt

7cm x 10cm Bag

Trim the top of the bag (above the stitching) and the bottom of the bag.

barbie tutu

Cut vertical strips around the skirt.

barbie tutu

Done! That takes under a minute.

barbie tutu

3. Petticoat

10 cm x 15 cm bag

My personal favourite.

Trim the bottom (only) of a 10cm x 15cm bag. Place under the skirt or dress and pull the ribbons tight around the waist.  Fold the top section of the bag down over the ribbon before placing the dress/skirt down (this gives it the fullness).

petticoat barbie doll clothes

4. Over-skirt

10 cm x 15 cm bag

Same instructions as 1 (Sparkly Fairy Dress/Skirt) but without the gem decoration.

barbie skirt cothes make

5. Strapless Dress

10 cm x 15 cm bag

Same instructions as 3 (Petticoat), so don’t trim the top section above the ribbon as this becomes the top section of the dress.  We decorated with a few gems and used a mini bag (in a different colour) as an under skirt. Once dry, slip on doll and tie ribbon around the waist a few times.

barbie clothes strapless dress

barbie strapless dress

We used a mini bag (7cm x 10cm) in the same way for the purple fairy.

barbie strapless dress fairy

Kind of embarrassing how much I enjoyed doing this with the kids.

More Barbie/Doll Posts

DIY Ribbon Barbie Tutu Skirt (no-sew)

Barbie Organza Bag Clothes

How to Untangle Barbie Hair

Tape & Paper Barbie Clothes

Pink Sparkle Water for Mermaid Barbie Play


No Sew Tutu

Peg Ballerina Doll

Paper Clothes Free Printable

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

Latest posts by Kelly - Be A Fun Mum (see all)


  1. says

    I can see how your daughters would think you are a hero, ;-).

    What really, really freaks me out, though, that apparently our daughters play with the same barbie’s — and you are halfway across the planet… in a country where it’s summer now… while we are expecting more cold in the next days…


    So long,
    Corinna (from Austria — as in: No kangaroos in Austria, *lol*)

    • says

      Ha! I love (love!) hearing from mums from around the world. It’s just so awesome.

      Oh, yes, it’s very Summer here. Wouldn’t mind me a bit of snow right now. So glad you came to visit me here. Don’t be a stranger.


      • says

        I’ve been here a few times, but haven’t commented. I found your blog via an other Austrian blogger who talked about one of your creative ideas. My youngest one really likes your blog, too, and the skirts for the barbie dolls in particular, *lol*. (We bought some organza gift bags and will copy your idea soon, but today we were busy doing this: Scroll down for the picture… It was one of those YES moments you described when all of a sudden one single idea turns you into the hero of the day… I had that moment today, when my daughter complained she had no toy kittchen, 😉

        I have been thinking all afternoon about glorious ways how we could improve this kittchen, but then I always come to the conclusion that any other one just will not be the same, ;-)…

        Take care and have a good weekend!

        So long,

  2. says

    Hi from Holland…like the Austrian comment above, we’ve also been playing barbies recently and getting creative, this is a great idea to try thanks. Just yesterday, we were watching Cinderella when my 5 year old insisted she needed to dress up immediately afterwards and needed some “glass slippers”. I really enjoyed the teamwork of coming up with the solution for this – I helped her search through the shoebox for the most suitable pair (she chose black school type shoes as they had a bit of a heel!), and I grabbed some glad wrap to make them “shiny like glass”. No mama, get that really shiny stuff, that’s even better she suggested….alfoil! So together, we wrapped the front part of her shoes in alfoil, and her sisters, and they were very happy little Cinderellas!

  3. Shannon says

    Hahaha I’m so pleased there’s someone else out there doing things like this. My girls aren’t into Barbies so over the years I’ve made tutus & fancy dresses for dinosaurs & Schleicht horses, a hawking hood for a stuffed bird & a baby Ewok out of felt complete with a snugly so it’s Mum could carry it around. People usually just look at me like I’ve taken leave of my senses but I love that my girls are imaginative & try to facilitate that whenever I can. I only wish I’d thought about the organza bags a few years back.

  4. Abbie says

    I love it! That’s a much easier way of making Barbie clothes than I used to do. As a 10-11 year old I got out the needle and thread. I like your way better!

  5. says

    This looks like so much fun and easy to do for various ages. I will be giving it a go with my girls who love craft, thank you for the inspiration.

  6. says

    My husband and I are trying for children, and I was thinking the other day ‘I don’t want girls, the doll’s clothes would be too hard to keep track of’!

    You’ve given me confidence to have little girls, haha!

  7. says

    This is pure genius. I am so stealing this idea because with two girls we are constantly out of the right skirt/dress to wear. I love this so much I just wish you could make them adult size. :) xxx

  8. Mandee says

    Hey there Kelly! I love it and I am going to give this a shot. My daughter an I have done barbie dresses with socks. NO SEW too! You can just cut the end off and design with v neck and so much. One my daughter has is so cool looks like a purple sweater dress.! Thank you cant wait to try this!

  9. Rajah Drummond says

    Hi. I’m not a Mom but my little sister is really into barbies and dress-up. So i thought this idea was absolutely perfect! I’ll be giving her barbies a new look pretty soon! Thanks!

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