How to Make Barbie Doll Shoes

By Sara Gilmore
Cakewalk Queen

Barbie has wardrobe pieces that range from practical to fantastic. She often comes equipped with a basic pair of plastic heels. You can spruce up her wardrobe by making her a pair of shoes. This could be a fun project for a girl's birthday party. Creating doll shoes is a project for the beginner crafter, or the seasoned professional. If you really enjoy the process, you might even be able to sell your one-of-a-kind Barbie-doll shoes on an auction site.

Make Doll Barbie Shoes

Look at designer shoes. Barbie lives in a dream world. She doesn't have to worry about affording shoes that cost hundreds of dollars. This is a chance to get your dream shoe wardrobe vicariously. In the designer shoe world, there are a few hot trends that you might want to try replicating. Shoes have colorful scenes handpainted on them that you can re-create with decoupage. You might not be able to afford these shoes, but with a little creativity you can make them for Barbie inexpensively.

Start with a prefabricated shoe. It's possible to make one-of-a-kind Barbie doll shoes from polymer clay. However, this project probably isn't for the beginning clay artist. You'll need to be able to work on an extremely small scale. Plus, each shoe will have to match the other one exactly. These shoes will not work if you are going for a boot style. When you finally finish your shoes, they might not even fit. They need to stay on the doll to be useful. You can buy bags of doll shoes quite inexpensively, and you'll have a clean base to work from.

Clean the Barbie doll shoes. You can do this with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Let this dry completely.

Consider Barbie's wardrobe. Barbie wears a lot of pink. You can make her shoes any color. They don't have to be fuchsia. If you are just making a few pairs of shoes, then use neutral colors that will match a variety of outfits. For Barbie, these colors would be pink, purple, gray, silver, brown, black and gold.

Give them a coat of paint, and then repeat. Acrylic paint is inexpensive. You can buy bottles of it in craft stores. If you have the primary colors red, yellow and blue, you can mix any other colors from them. You might want some standard Barbie colors premixed, such as hot pink. It will take several coats of craft paint to get an even finish. Let the shoes dry.

Paint the details. Use the finest craft brush that you can find. Paint any laces, straps or sculpted elements that are on the Barbie shoes. This can be a frustrating process, so take your time with it. You can even paint on small polka dots or stripes. Have a damp rag or cotton swab close by in case you need to correct an error.

Varnish the shoes. You can also get a bottle of acrylic varnish at the craft store. This will keep the paint from peeling off. You can buy it in different finishes. A shiny finish will make the shoes look more like store-bought shoes.

Add embellishments. There are stores that sell tiny objects to makeover Barbie shoes, such as buckles. You can also use whatever you have around the house. Pieces of feathers, scraps of silk or even magazine ads can be added to the shoes. You can make her a pair of red ruby slippers using glue and glitter. A bead can serve as a buckle. Your own real-life shoes might need to be practical and comfortable, but Barbie's don't have to be.

Keep safety in mind. Barbie dolls are recommended for kids five years and older. If a young child will be playing with these shoes, you'll want to make sure that they aren't a choking hazard. Carefully affix any beads so they won't come unglued, or skip that step altogether.

About the Author

Sara Gilmore is a freelance writer who has been creating web content for the last four years. Her writing has appeared on eHow and her own blogs and websites. Gilmore has a degree in paralegal studies from Kaplan College.