I celebrated my birthday not too long ago, but I was not the only one celebrating that day. Someone very close to me was also turning a year older, although she is officially in the record books - 5 minutes older than me! She is my twin sister, Carol. She is the one on the right, I am on the left of our “little sister” Laura on her wedding day.
We have always made good bookends for her and always add instant symmetry to all of our “sister” photos. In this photo I am the one bending down and Carol is on the left.
Here is what I made for her – A Barbie Shoe Bracelet.
People have always asked us, What is it like being a twin? Did you ever switch classes in school? Switch boyfriends, fill in for each other on the job? Who’s smarter, taller, skinner, funnier, nicer, meaner, etc, etc, etc… We never thought we looked alike and would get away with any shenanigans, so the answer is no to trying to fool people. When I was in 7th grade I had to write an autobiography. I titled it, They Call Me Carol, But I ‘m Diane. That is the best way I can describe what it is like being a twin – I can answer to two names along with having a built- in buddy. Being a twin is really no different than being a “single”. Our twin-ness makes us look alike, but we are very different in many ways.
I wanted to give Carol something special for our birthday, something that would make her smile, something she would treasure always. She collects vintage Barbie clothes. A bracelet with Barbie shoes came to mind and would be just her style. I planned on completing it a month ago to arrive on our birthday, but that didn’t happen. One month later – it is finally complete. I am going to show you how-to make a bracelet out of Barbie Shoes and fun gift- bag that resembles another vintage Barbie accessory.
Here is the collection of shoes I found to make the bracelet. I got them on ebay. Type in “Reproduction Vintage Barbie Shoes”. The real vintage shoes are pretty expensive, so look for the reproductions.
To start, using a bead hole expander or awl, make a hole in the back of each shoe.
Then put a jump ring through it. You may have to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to get the ring in the hole. If the shoe is made of hard plastic it is pretty easy to get through. The rubbery feeling shoes took a little more effort.
Then just start attaching them to a bracelet chain. I used 20 shoes.
I also added some pearls and crystals to add some contrast.
The completed bracelet.
Now that the bracelet is finished I wanted to make something that said “Barbie” to put it in for a fun presentation. One of the most stylish accessories I remember as a child dressing Barbie in the 1960′s in her knock off Dior’s and Givenchy’s was a clutch style handbag. Carol and I always referred to it as “the Barbie purse”. We each had the silver version, but some of our friends had it in corduroy or gold lame. I thought I could make the gift-bag resemble the vintage “Barbie purse” making the gift all the more fun for Carol to receive.
I am going to wrap the bracelet in colorful tissue paper and place it in the Barbie Purse.
How To Make the Clutch Purse Gift Bag
Gather:File Folder Decorative paper or foil if you want to cover the file folder Spray glue or a glue stick Velcro tab 1/4″ diameter Pearl bead, needle, and white thread or embroidery floss 1/4″ width Red Liner double stick tape Ruler, Scissors, Pencil, Craft knife
1. Here is the image of the template. Download the link below and size on a copy machine if needed, so it is as wide as a file folder – 11 1/2″.
Click the link below to download a pdf. file of the template:
2. Trace the pattern onto a file folder, making sure to place the center directly over the fold on the file folder. This will be the bottom of the bag. Mark score lines (broken lines) on file folder. Using a ruler and the tip of a pair of scissors or the open end of a paperclip, score along the broken lines. Cut out the bag with a craft knife and ruler instead of a pair of scissors, you will get straighter lines
3. Fold pre-made score lines that came on the folder and the ones you just made towards you. This starts to form the purse.
4. Turn the purse over so the outside of the purse is face down. Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover one side of the purse, leaving at least 1/2″ overlap. Lay foil shiny side down on a work surface. Spray the dull side with spray adhesive. Spray the back of the purse. Let it get tacky and then carefully smooth foil over the bag making sure there are no air bubbles or large creases.
6. Using another piece of foil, trace flap and cut the shape out of the foil. Spray glue on dull side of foil and place on the inside flap. Smooth and trim if necessary.
6. Place a piece of Red Liner clear double stick tape along one side’s tab and place front over matching edges to form purse. Repeat on other side.
7. Sew a bead onto front of flap. Place Velcro tab with loop and hook sides already joined to under side of flap to cover the stitches. Close purse so the other side of the Velcro will attach to the body of the purse. Make sure they are lined up.
Tissue paper flower instead of a single pearl clasp.
1 piece of tissue paper, bead or button, stapler, hot glue and gun, scissors
1. Fold tissue paper in half and cut in half. Lay pieces on top of each other and fold in half and cut again on fold. Keep doing this step until you have a stack of tissue paper that measures approx. 3″ square.
2. Staple center. Using scissors, shape square into a circle. Cut petals into circle by cutting from edge into center. Repeat cuts all around. Fluff with fingers to make flower come to life. Hot glue bead over staple. Glue onto flap of Barbie Purse instead of the single sewn on pearl.
Variation # 2
To make the Barbie Purse totally glamorous you can cover it with teeny tiny beads or glitter. After cutting out the bag from the file folder, cover entire outer side,( except last scored line that will fold over) with a sheet of Red Liner clear double stick tape. Remove the backing from the sheet. Dip the purse in a tray filled with teeny tiny beads or glitter. Roll it over and over to make sure all areas are covered. Finish assembling bag according to directions.