DIY (no sew) Ribbon Barbie Doll Skirt

DIY Barbie Skirt - no sew

I love the concept of DIY. Some people are freakishly good at it – I’m not really one of them. However, I really like the idea of making stuff yourself because there’s a lot of satisfaction and beauty in working with your hands.  I make more stuff than ever, and I want to instil this type of thinking in my kids too.  And you know what? The kids often do DIY in their play, without even thinking about it.  

We’ve made Organza Bag Clothes for the Barbies before, and this time, my 10-year-old daughter and I worked on a skirt using simple materials around the house: a small hairband and ribbon/wool.    The skirts turned out fantastic and below is how we did it.


Small hairband (or elastic) – the smaller hair bands work best; that is slightly smaller than regular size or cut a regular band and tie to size

Wool / Ribbon / String


DIY Barbie Clothes


barbie skirt process1. Use the Barbie to measure the wool/ribbon to how long you want the skirt to be.  Lay a strand from the waist and measure to where you want the skit to end.  Now fold the strand over to make a double length and cut (when the strand is folded in half, it will be the desired length).  Use that piece to measure and cut the desired amount. For wool, you will need about 30, and depending how thick the ribbon is, you will need anything from 10 or more. 

2. Fold a strand in half and lay over the top of the hair band.

3. Thread the loop over the band.

4. Feed the two ends through the loop.

5. Pull down tight.

6. Repeat until the entire band is covered. 

7. Trim the lengths of the skirt evenly once it is on the Barbie or if you want slightly different lengths (like we have done for the hula skirt).

Below are the skirts we made:

Thick Ribbon Tutu  –  Rainbow Wool Hula Skirt – Yellow Double Layer Skirt (with an organza bag petticoat)

DIY Barbie Clothes - using ribbon or wool and a hair band

DIY Barbie Clothes - Ribbon Tutu

DIY Barbie Clothes - Layered Skirt

DIY Barbie Clothes -  wool hula skirt

Easy, cheap, simple, cute and fun.

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Barbie Organza Bag Clothes

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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.

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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

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