It's a Cover-Up!!!

We've all been there. You find yourself in between doll purchases. You need a fix. You've blown your budget and you don't have much to spend. So you go to your local store to satisfy that "need" by buying a Barbie accessory pack. The problem is...the color, the style and the cheap plastic have all your dolls putting their fingers down their throats when you get home with the goods. But after you've removed that pair of shoes what to do with everything else? Use them as a base to make something better!
Inside of the Barbie accessory pack I recently purchased, was a necklace I almost liked. The Art Deco design was quite attractive but I imagined how much better it would look with leather inlays instead of silver-tone plastic.
1. I began by making a pattern so I wouldn't waste any of my precious leather scraps. I used a bit of paper tape which I put over each section then traced off to get a pattern.
2. Each pattern is then transferred onto a tiny scrap of leather and then the shapes are cut out. Set this aside.
3. First I wanted to prep the necklace with a coat of shiny silver in case it shows through.
4. Don't forget to paint the edges that are also likely to be seen

1. Now let's get started. Slather on the glue, section by section and lay on your leather squares onto the necklace.
2. I wanted a black and white necklace, so I put the black in the middle and the white on either side.
3. I felt it should have something else, so using 24 gauge silver jewelry wire, I wrapped the intersections of each color.
4. Using a pair of jewelry pliers, I pressed the wire in close to the necklace. Be careful not to press too hard or you'll break your necklace.
5. I continued to wrap the two sides of the necklace with this wire. Begin by placing a bit of the wire on the back side and wrap so as to cover this end. As you work, push the wire close together.
6. Again, I stop and press the wire together towards the necklace.
7. When you get to the neck, try to tuck the end underneath the other wire. However, if you are worried about the necklace scratching the doll, you can always put a bit of felt or leather on the underside.
8. And voila....Iman is wearing a REALLY nice necklace!!!

Very happy with the way that turned out, I found another necklace that had come with one of my SIS Barbies.
1. Here is the original necklace. Lots of possibilities for personalization! For this one, I didn't want the bling. Instead, I wanted to do something more discreet.
2. I start by applying glue to one stem of the necklace.
3. Using silky embroidery yarn, I put one end on the underside, then begin wrapping the yarn around to cover.
4. Keep wrapping tightly around the stem until you reach the end and dab a bit of glue underside and tuck the yarn underneath.
5. Repeat on the other side.

6. I rough cut a few rough cut strips of fabric.
7. Stitch them together at midpoint.
8. Cut a tiny circle of felt and glue to the medallion on the necklace.
9. Stich the base of it to the felt and readjust the strips.
This project really gets interesting when you personalize the Barbie handbags! I was given a lot of old Barbie accessories which included this very sweet, heart shaped (bubblegum pink plastic) purse.
1. With irregular shaped objects, the trick is to make a pattern so that you can better cut your material to fit.
2. I begin with a piece of tracing paper. I trace off the shape of the bag in the front.
3. Use a narrower piece of paper for the perimeter.
4. Make slits on both edge so that the paper will lay flat on the top. Trace off the edges.
5. Now place the paper around to check for fit.
6. Place the front pattern piece on the bag and then the sides to check for fit.
7. I used scraps of suede although you can use vinyl, felt or any other non-woven material. Lay your pattern on the material and cut out your pattern.
8. But we'll begin with the handle which I've decided to cover with a tiny strip of suede. You can use ribbon, embroidery yarn or simply paint it.
9. I lay down the edge of this strip then wrap the rest of it around it.
10. Wrap tightly right to the opposite edge.
11. Ad a dab of glue and fix to the inside of the purse.
 12. Now let's cover the outside. I begin by applying glue (I'm using rubber cement) to the sides of the purse.
13. Then carefully lay the side strip (remembering to cut the notches out on both edges to accommodate the handles) around the purse.
14. Next apply the glue to the side of the purse and carefully place the material over it. Repeat for the other side.
15. As for the top, you will be confronted as to how to deal with the part that shows.
16. Admittedly I thought a coat of paint would suffice. But alas, I wasn't completely happy with the results.
17. So I cut another small strip of suede to lay over the top and I'm much happier!
18. And here is the final result! I still have the sweet shape of the heart, but with the suede, it's a more sophisticated version my dolls just love!
Here's another handbag. This one has a relief and here's how I dealt with it.

 1. In the land of Barbie, bubblegum pink with cute little bows are all the thing. But my girls (even the playline Barbies) want something a little more sophisticated.
2. Using paper tape, I covered the handbag as a way of making a pattern. Cut notches around the base of the handles.
3. Here the is a bulge created by the knot of the bow. I let it poke through here. Then I trace around the edges of the handbag. Remove.
4. Apply another piece of tape on the side and trace the form.
5. Remove from the purse and place the front and the sides directly on the material. Here, I've chosen scraps of leather from an old belt.
6. Here is what my coverings look like
7. Apply glue to both the front and back of the bag and carefully put the leather onto the purse. Stretch it well and smooth out any gaps.
8. Be sure to press around the handles and at the top.

 9. Glue the sides, one at a time and carefully put the leather in place. For this bag, I've chosen to paint the straps.
10. You might have a bit of an overlap on the sides. Carefully cut away the excess.
11. I've decided to add a chain shoulder strap. Take a thin strip of leather. Add or make an eye ring for each edge. Attach the chain catching it inside of a loop on one side and threading it through the eye ring on the opposite side.
12. This will allow the chain to be used as a shoulder bag or as a handbag. And finally, I glued a bead cap over the little lump in the front of the bag.
Using the same techniques as above, here is the handbag Helena is holding in the opening photo.
Before and after. I covered it in black leather then added a "label" cut from self adhesive Mylar (taken from my car insurance bumper sticker) and a leather tassel. In this case, I wound thin leather around the straps. There was the problem of seeing the blue on the inside. So I added a bit of leather to the inside of the bag and touched up with a bit of black paint.
One last thing.....yes, you can redo those funky, little bubblegum pink boots that go with nothing in your doll's wardrobe!
And so here are those wonderful "boots." I think the idea here was a shoe with leg-warmers.
1. Because the foot is open, you will need to add a bit of cardboard to create a structure for the foot.
2. You don't have to do the next steps, but I wanted a different toe. I used air dry clay to create a new shape around the bottom of this boot.
3. Allow to dry.

 4. Again, I used a few scraps of leather. Old gloves are a good source of leather if you don't have other resources. I first, covered the top to toe of the boot.
5. Barbie boots have a slit down the back, so with a rectangle cut down to the scale of the boot, I begin by tucking in one edge to the underside of the boot. Apply glue to the body of the boot, then stretch the leather (or vinyl of non-woven material) around the boot, then tuck the other end inside of the boot.
6. I stopped to paint the heel.
7. Since there is a seam where the two pieces of material meet, I decided to add a little strap. This wraps around the base of the boot and through an eye ring.
8. Cut another piece for the sole and glue in place. I touch up any areas of the original pink (including the top edge of the boot) with a bit of paint.

Oh Joan is so much happier with her "new" cream colored leather boots!!!!

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