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How to Make a Bracelet Using Barbie Shoes + Clutch Purse Giftbag

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I wanted to make a bracelet for my sister’s birthday.  She is into vintage Barbie clothes.  Here is what I made for her – A Barbie Shoe Bracelet.

Make a Bracelet using Barbie Shoes

I celebrated my birthday too, since I am a twin. My sis 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.

Sisters on OCNJ

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 enough 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 girlfriend 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.

How to make a Barbie Shoe Bracelet

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.

How to make a Barbie Shoe Bracelet

Then just start attaching them to a bracelet chain.  I used 20 shoes.

DIY Barbie Shoe Bracelet

I also added some pearls and crystals to add some contrast.

The completed bracelet.

How to make a Shoe 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.

How to make a purse gift bag

I am going to wrap the bracelet in colorful tissue paper and place it in the Barbie Purse.

Girlfriend Gift Bag ideas

How to make a purse gift bag

How To Make the Clutch Purse Girlfriend Gift Bag

supplies needed:

  • 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″.

Template for Clutch Purse Gift Bag

Click the link below to download a pdf. file of the template:

Barbie_Purse 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

Pattern for Making a Gift Bag

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.

File Folder Handbag Gift Bag

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.

How to make a clutch purse gift bag with a file folder

5.  Turn purse back over.  Trim foil by cutting tabs into the excess.  Run a glue stick on the outer edge of bag and fold the tabs over.  Gift wrapping ideas for girls

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.

Gift wrapping idea for girls

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.

Gift wrapping idea for girls

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.

Gift wrapping ideas for girls

Variation #1

Tissue paper flower instead of a single pearl clasp.

How to make tissue paper flowers

supplies needed:

  • 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.

Gift wrapping ideas for girls

Variation # 2

Beaded Bag

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.

Fun, colorful, and chic bracelet to give to your fashion loving girlfriends. The bracelet is made from Barbie shoes, the clutch a file folder. | In My Own Style


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  1. Hey
    Hope you’re enjoying a great day!
    I love the Barbie shoe bracelet!
    Thank’s for sharing a great article…..

  2. Hi Diane !
    I am Spanish and mother of 4 boys. The last two, they are twins. Very good way to explain what you feel to be twin.
    One day after school with my children, one of them was with me and the other played a little further . A girl came up and asked:
    -Ferran, which is there is you, or your brother?
    I laugh out loud!
    I love the bracelet!

    I think my English is very bad, sorry … but I hope you understand me ;-)

  3. I LOVE that bracelet! What a fabulous gift! You have such creative ideas! One of my best friends loves Barbie. Hmm I wonder if I could find some of those shoes…
    Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous ideas and tutorials!!

  4. Can you tell me where I can find a bracelet like the one you used for the Barbie shoe bracelet?


    1. HI Patricia – I got the base bracelet at the craft store. Michaels and AC Moore both sell them. They are in a hanging dark blue package where all the jewelry making supplies are sold. It costs only a few dollars. For the real silver ones – the cost is a bit higher. If you can’t find them you can buy a length of chain which they also sell packaged and add a bracelet clasp using point nose pliers.

  5. At the risk of being un-p.c., when my daughter was 3, she used a Barbie that I got at a rummage sale, that had its hair cut short and was dressed in denim, instead of a Ken. One day she was playing with it and a Barbie, and says, holding them up, “Look Mom, they’re Lebanese” (meaning lesbian). Where she had even heard the word lesbian at that age is beyond me. I about choked.

  6. I love the Barbie shoe bracelet! I might have a go myself. It’s so cute and quirky. This is the first time I have ever looked on this website, but I’ll be checking it out. Have a look at mine if you like,

    It’s mainly about fashion, photography, art, music, and just stuff I generally get up to and like.

  7. I love the bracelet, I’m going to try it. Where did you get the beads? and how did you put them on the bracelet?

  8. the bracelet is sooo cute and clever, ive been a barbie fan for so many years, i almost 50 and still love little girl bracelets im going to attempt to make one, also i have a teacup poodle white of course 3lbs and of course her name is Barbie, everyone loves her thanks for the idea, sincerely, yvette and Barbie

  9. That bracelet is just too cute ;) We all love shoes and our first “Barbie”…that is back in the day when it really looked like Barbie…lol Just found your blog via Gnee of Singing with Birds. I can relate with the twin thang…my sister and I are “Irish Twins”…we are the same age for one month every year and right now we are both the big “5 0”. Happy B’day to you and your twin and have a wonderful weekend! Oh yeah…be sure to tell your babie sister…Lovely bride!

  10. Hi Diane,

    Hope you had a great time in the city! Congratulations, your fabulous bracelet and bag made this week’s Top 5 Hits at Singing With Birds. You just do such fun projects and this one took me down memory lane. Can’t imagine life without Barbies! I’ve ordered the shoes and we are making these at my Mom’s “Girl’s Week,” in Palm Desert in November. My 5 sisters and Mom bring a project and we do one each day. Like me, I know they will love these too! Thanks so much…looking forward to your report on the conference.

  11. What a wonderful blog you have. I’m the mom of identical twin boys (who are turning 10 in a couple of days) and I know they are as different as can be in personality, but so close in so many ways. I hope they always stay close. The gift you made was so sweet, and original too. I love it.

  12. Such a cute gift you made for your sister and actually I thought y’all were triplets in that photo. Happy birthday to you both. Have a super weekend.

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog. It’s fun to hear about people’s Barbie stories. This bracelet is fabulous! I am going to have to get on eBay!

    Very interesting to hear about being a twin. I have twin daughters and even though they are identical they are so different. They are 6 and people are asking them questions already about swapping places. They are frustrated about being the same so much that they like to wear their school uniforms differently so they can be different!

  14. What a wonderful gift.You are such a sweet sister to think of such a meaningful gift.
    Happy Birthday to both of you.

    I am fascinated by twins.Dunno why.

  15. I have wanted to make one of these for my dtr but I have not been able to find Barbie shoes! Where ever did you find them?

  16. I just have to tell you that is the most spectacular gift, where in the world did you find Barbie shoes!!! I want that bracelet. I Remember all the Barbie sandals that went over the toe use to break. I still have my Barbie in the attic. I want you to know that my Mom never got me a Ken because she was afraid there would be shenanigans! LOL


    1. Hi Carol

      Thanks for the comment. Too funny about the reason you didn’t have a Ken. I didn’t have a Ken either. Erma Bombeck once wrote a piece titiled – Daddy Doll Under the Bed. It was quite funny. She talked about the fact that dolls like Ken really were not played with. You dressed them and then threw them under the bed as they went to work The rest of playtime was with Barbie and her girlfriends, Stacey, Francie, and her sister, Skipper. Going shopping, trying on clothes, and decorating the dream house.
      So I don’t think we missed much not having a Ken.
      My best Diane

  17. Oh, so cute, as usual! I have to try this for my grand daughter, one for her and one for me.