DIY (No Sew!) Barbie/Doll Clothes

February 7, 2013

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

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Frau_MahlzahnNo Gravatar February 7, 2013 at 11:51 pm

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*)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 6:42 am

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.



Frau_MahlzahnNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 4:10 am

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,


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 7:56 am

Just went over to have a look! Love it! Such a great idea.


Renee VeldmanNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

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!


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 6:43 am

Perfect!! Good job mum!


PollyNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

Love it, Kelly!!

My fairy princesses around here will want to get their little friends ready for the ball!

Thank you!


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 7:12 am

I can picture it.


ShannonNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

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.


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 7:14 am

Whoo hoo! Hello fellow crazy mum. Ha! Love it!

My eldest daughter was never into Barbies either but she loves stuffed toys.


AbbieNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 7:22 am

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!


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 7:57 am

Do you still sew?


AbbieNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 8:53 am

Sure do, my daughters wardrobe is pretty much only homemade stuff. I also have a small F/B page and do Markets everynow and then. . Can’t stop sewing things for her!!


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

*thumbs up*


LenkaNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

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.


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 7:57 am

Thanks Lenka. Hope it’s a hit!


Katy PotatyNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

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!


Frau_MahlzahnNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 4:14 am

Hi Katy, don’t worry — a mom grows with her challenges, ;-) .


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

That they do. :)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 8:04 am

Haha! Girls are awesome! I have three! But then, boys are great too. I’m sure you’ll be a fabulous mum. x


Deb @ Home life simplifiedNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

Love this Kel – my girls can manage this one endlessly to satisfy their fashion designer desires without needing to get out the sewing supplies for a change – shared on FB!


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

Oh, yes, a fashion design show is a MUST!


ElizabethNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

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


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

Haha. I don’t think gift bags come in adult size, do they? LOL.


CraftyMummyNo Gravatar February 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

You are a crafty legend! You can guest post something like this on my blog any day! I am sooooo impressed!

(and of course I am sharing it ;o)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 9, 2013 at 8:07 am

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really crafty, I’m just creative enough to cheat! Ha! Always looking for really simple ways to be awesome. xx


MandeeNo Gravatar March 14, 2013 at 5:48 am

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!


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar August 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

My kids have used socks too. lol


TessNo Gravatar November 25, 2013 at 6:44 am

Does the organza bags fray where it has been cut?


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