How do I make shoes and boots for a Barbie size doll?
If you like to play dress up with Barbie dolls, you know how hard it can be to keep track of all those tiny shoes. If you have lost a shoe or you can't seem to find a pair of shoes to match a specific outfit, you can try making some Barbie shoes or boots yourself. Polymer clay is ideal because it comes in many different colours and it can be hardened in a conventional oven.
Wipe Barbie's feet with a little bit of vegetable oil and apply a thin layer of talcum powder or all purpose flour. This will prevent the clay from sticking to her feet. Work a 2.5 cm (1 inch) ball of white polymer clay between your fingers to condition it and get it soft enough to shape.
Break the ball of clay in half so that you have two 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) pieces. Roll the two 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) pieces in balls and press the balls of clay over Barbie's feet. You are just creating the inside of the shoes to make sure that they will fit correctly. If they are going to be open-toed shoes, make sure you leave a space for her the tips of her toes to peak through. Leave a space behind her heel to make it easy to remove the shoe. Carefully remove these from her feet.
Preheat a conventional oven to the temperature indicated in the directions for your brand of polymer clay. Place the Barbie shoe "inserts" on a baking tray and bake them for ten minutes. They don't need to be completely hard, just hard enough to retain their shape as you form the outsides of the shoes. After ten minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven and wait at least thirty minutes for them to cool.
Apply oil and powder to Barbie's feet and slip the shoe inserts onto her feet. Work a ball of clay in your hands in the colour you want for her new shoes. Start shaping the shoes on her feet. Stand her up to make sure her high heels are the right height. Try to make both shoes as identical as possible. Make sure you leave an opening in the back from her heel, so you can easily remove the shoes 1.
Place the shoes on the baking tray and bake them for fifteen minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before you add any small details, like shoelaces or metallic studs, with acrylic paint and a paintbrush. Apply a coat of clear acrylic gloss to make the shoes shiny. Let them dry before you let Barbie wear her new footwear.
- Doll cake image by Stokholm from Fotolia.com