Introduction: How to Convert Barbie Into Wonder Woman!

Picture of How to Convert Barbie Into Wonder Woman!

Back in the day I played with Barbie and her politically correct friends. But, really, she can't lift a feather next to Wonder Woman, the six-foot-tall Amazon superheroine who is "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury," according to her comics. Noticing that Barbie and Wonder Woman share the same figure (though Barbie could lift some weights), I thought, why not give Barbie an upgrade?

I now know that Mattel already has several Wonder Woman Barbie dolls. See [ 1999], 2005, and soon to come Oct. 2008. But who wants to pay for collector's items or wait until October? That doesn't feel right if you're a DIY-er, anyway. Besides, I see things I'd want to change in each of those boxed Wonder Women.

At any rate, this is a good chance to try some Barbie modification.

Step 1: Here She Comes... Miss Imitation Wonder Woman

Picture of Here She Comes... Miss Imitation Wonder Woman

First up is to find the right doll. I already had some old Barbie dolls sitting in storage, so I checked those out first. Try to get as close to the image of Wonder Woman as you can (or want). Now, this can vary depending on the version of drawing you pick. I've provided a few images below. On a side note, here's a blog discussing her portrayal over time (more character than illustration, but still helpful).

In the end, I found several Barbies that could fit the bill, each with different strengths, so I decided to make the most of each contestant in the 2008 Imitation Wonder Woman Pageant.

Ballerina Barbie Pros: opposable limbs, blue eyes, "diamond" earrings. Cons: blond hair
Casual Dog-walker? Barbie Pros: narrower blue eyes. Cons: blond hair
School Teacher Barbie Pros: dark hair, red lips. Cons: brown eyes, molded with one bent arm and one straight arm, tan skin tone.

Step 2: We Are Here to Mourn the Dyeing of Blond Hair...

Picture of We Are Here to Mourn the Dyeing of Blond Hair...

Contestants one and two need to lose the golden tresses and make way for Wondy's beautiful black mane. Barbie hair is synthetic and non-porous, meaning it probably won't hold on to human hair dye, or might even melt under it. Searching the internet, I only found a couple easy methods of color altering: permanent marker and acrylic paint. Both methods might make the hair stiffer, but let's give them a shot.

I used the ballerina for permanent marker coloring. Basically, you take a black Sharpie and color the hair from root to tip. Having hair clips of the banana variety helps to separate each row of Barbie's hair. This process is extremely time-consuming. Be careful about the fumes; don't get dizzy. Other downsides: The hairs you can't help but miss give her a graying hair look; the hair's texture is "sticky" and stiffer; it's easy to get smudges on the body. Oh, and the odor doesn't go away. I have a feeling shampooing to remove odor would lessen hours of coloring, so I'm not going to try.

Anyway, let's try the watered acrylic paint method on the dog-walker using these directions here. I didn't use Liquitex brand acrylic paint, and I used a fine comb instead of a flea comb. I much more strongly suggest this method of dying hair. For one, her hair is fairly soft afterward, and no odor! The downside is that the black is a little silvery. This contestant is a more "mature" Wonder Woman, okay? Also, if you want to try to achieve the blue-black hair she sometimes has, you might try mixing in some blue, or coloring an additional time.

For the teacher with dark hair, I decided to change her straight hairstyle. Wonder Woman has voluminous waves. The remedy: foam curlers and spraying with water.

Step 3: The Eyes Have It!

Picture of The Eyes Have It!

Now that our girls have passed through the hair round with "flying colors," let's move on to makeup. Wonder Woman has piercing blue eyes, black brows, red lips, and dark lashes/eye liner. Two of our Barbies have blue eyes already! Unfortunately, due to accidents during hair dyeing, Ballerina Barbie needs some eye and brow repair. Remember: do not use nail polish remover on painted face areas.

I used acrylic paints, toothpicks, and a (really) tiny paintbrush meant for models. I used red, white, blue, and black paints. Starting with the lips, carefully dip a paintbrush or toothpick in red, picking up minimal amounts, and try as best you can to cover the pink area of the lips, avoiding the teeth. If you end up a little outside the lines, use a clean toothpick to scratch away undesired areas. I used this method for all the makeup. I admit I hit teeth on the first doll I tried painting lipstick. I scratched it then put a little white paint on the teeth using the same method. If you can't scratch paint away, use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. For eyebrows, paint black over the brown, trying to keep the same shape. For the eyeliner, I painted black on the top thin brown line of the eye. If you feel skilled, go ahead and do the same to the lower lashline and both sets of lashes. I didn't bother. For the teacher Barbie with brown eyes, I mixed two shades of blue: One vibrant and one lighter. Barbie's iris is usually composed of two overlapping crescent shapes. Paint the left one the vibrant color and the smaller right one the lighter color.

Hopefully your Barbie doesn't look like a clown, but I'm starting to see the Diana Prince in our contestants!

Step 4: The Clothes Make the Wonder Woman.

Picture of The Clothes Make the Wonder Woman.

It's time for the most important part: the outfit. I've honestly never before made clothes for Barbie or any other doll, so I'm nervous as to how this will work out. For now, let's focus on the "strapless bathing suit" without accessories. We need red fabric, blue fabric, and some sort of gold fabric. My gold fabric was a wide ribbon.

The outfit I made was three pieces: red tube top, blue briefs, and gold belt. I first started with the top. The best way to achieve the right shape is to take the fabric and wrap it around Barbie's body. The top of her outfit has two humps over her boobs with a point in between for the W. Draw the final edges you want on top of the fabric while it's wrapped. An important idea before cutting anything: Edges fray, so cut at least 1 cm of extra fabric to fold back and sew a hem. In the back, I sewed a small snap button. You can also use Velcro, but make sure you sew it down well. For the double W logo, I used a gold paint pen by Krylon and drew it on as best as I could.

For the briefs, the steps are similar. It helps to know what kind of flat shape folds into 3-D. In the picture below, the top arc is where her waist goes, the right and left flaps fold back, overlap over the butt, and are sewn to the bottom of the middle flap at the crotch. Remember about the hemming rule, still. Also, I did not sew much of the flaps together over the butt because then the briefs could not be pulled on and off. Keep checking that you can do this as you work. I used Velcro to finish this piece. For the white stars, I decided to glue on regular white paper. I went into Microsoft Word and printed off a bunch of stars (Alt-0171) in size 18 pt in the font face Wingdings. I used the font format tool Outline, so it printed white stars outlined in black. Then I cut each out carefully using an X-acto knife and glued thirteen onto the front of the briefs with school glue, using a toothpick as an applicator. It might not hold up to rough child's play, but it holds better than you might think. I didn't put stars on the back of the briefs, but it's up to you.

I made the belt from a gold ribbon about 2.5 cm wide. Because the material frayed quite easily, I put tape across the backside before cutting. I then cut curves into the sides, leaving two points across from each other in the middle. The rest of the belt I left about 1.5 cm wide. Where the ends overlapped, I sewed another snap button.

Step 5: You Better Recognize the Need to Accessorize.

Picture of You Better Recognize the Need to Accessorize.

Wonder Woman has all sorts of cool accessories and/or weapons. She has indestructible, bullet-deflecting metal bracelets formed from the remains of Zeus's Ageis shield. She has an unbreakable Lasso of Truth that forces people captured by it to speak truthfully. She has a golden tiara because she is princess of Themyscira (aka Paradise Island). She has earrings that are usually red or white stars. Though not exactly an accessory, we've not yet made her red boots with white stripes.

For the bracelets, let's make this as simple as possible. Cut a piece of toilet paper tube about 2.5 cm going with the curve by 3.3 cm. Wrap it in aluminum foil, folding the edges onto the backside. Wrap it around the doll's wrist. If you want bracelets that are permanent or harder to get off, hot glue the overlapping ends together. If you want them to be removable, use a small piece of Velcro tape on each end.

For the lasso of truth, take some gold craft cord, yarn in yellow or tan, or uncolored hemp. Wrap about three loops in a circle about 4 or 5 cm in diameter. Cut and tie the end around the bundle.

The tiara I made was made like the bracelets. I took a toilet paper tube piece 2.3 cm long going with the curve and 1 cm wide. I decided to make it pointed only on top instead of pointed on both sides. Then I drew and cut curves coming downward from the center point so the the ends were about 0.5 cm wide. Then I covered with aluminum foil and colored with a yellow permanent marker. If you are able to, use gold foil instead. For the red star, I started with a red gummed star. That was too big for my tiny tiara, so I drew on the back of it a smaller star to cut and glued it on. (Wouldn't stick with saliva.) My tiara could be pressed into the hair and stay fairly well without attaching any mini combs or anything, but you might want to.

If your doll already has earrings, but not in the desired color, pull the earring out slightly so the post is exposed, but don't pull it out of her head. Paint the visible part red or white or whatever color you want. Another option is to remove the existing earrings using a hemostat and transplant another doll's earring. This may cause damage to earrings or the doll's head, so be careful. If your doll has neither earrings nor holes for earrings, you can try gluing a tiny seed bead or other small object to the ear.

For the boots, you need to find already made doll or Barbie boots. The ones I found were pink hiking boots, not quite as tall as I wanted, but they worked. First, using masking tape, mask off a stripe down the front and around the top edge. Paint the boot red with acrylic paint and let dry. Remove the tape and mask off area on either side of the stripe. Paint white stripes. To seal the boot, use clear top coat for models or top coat nail polish.

Step 6: And the Winner Is...

Picture of And the Winner Is...

After all this hard work, it's time to see the results of the 2008 Imitation Wonder Woman Pageant. Unfortunately, due to physical trauma, Contestant #1, Ballerina Barbie, has pulled herself from the competition. After her dye job, she developed a few black stains on her body that marred her confidence. As if that weren't enough, one of her eyebrows was removed by an inexperienced makeup artist. Also, she did not qualify for the costume round because she is slightly curvier than the other contestants. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she does not develop an eating disorder.

Down to Contestant #2, Dog-walker Barbie, and Contestant #3, Teacher Barbie. The winner is... Dog-walker Barbie!

We asked the judges why Contestant #3 didn't win, and this was the response: "Teacher Barbie lacks a few important qualities of Wonder Woman. Her hair can't hold a curl very well, her hair is too long, and she can't stand on her own very well. Wonder Woman should exude more power than that."

The fact that Dog-walker Barbie won with her more mature, older look says something important about this pageant. You can be aging and still be able to save the world. Like Madonna.


Delete_ (author)2013-12-08

Could the acrylic dying work for a my little pony?

CoolKoon (author)2008-06-24

LOL Sorry for being a bit OT, but: As I've accidentally happened to stumble upon this Instructable this quote has caught my eyes: "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury," And it dawned on me that even if a woman is smarter than Athena, swifter than Hermes and stronger than Hercules, she's got (and always will) have one weak point: her feelings. And they can't do anything about that :P

Goodhart (author)CoolKoon2009-03-26

Number one, even though men and women do think differently, all men nor all women think alike....nor do they act appreciably alike.

Number two, saying someone can't do anything about their own thoughts and feelings is defeatist. Maybe YOU can't, but most thinking people can and do control both emotion and thoughts and speech. Take it from a guy who's been there and back a number of times

CoolKoon (author)Goodhart2009-03-27

You seem to be missing my point. Having a weak point doesn't necessarily mean that one doesn't have control over it. It rather means that it's the weakest link. And yeah, I'm generalizing and that's politically not correct. And yeah, I admit that there are men who are NOT like that. There are also people who are crazy and have to (or should) be locked up in an asylum. Still, the majority is quite sane. So the majority doesn't have to include everyone........

Goodhart (author)CoolKoon2009-03-27

And you are missing mine and everyone else's......


blanket statements (like all men, or all women) are wrong, wrong, wrong. Inaccurate, incorrect, mistaken, erroneous, off beam, wide of the mark, immoral, wicked, dishonest, sinful, iniquitous, criminal, unethical, amiss, not right, unsuitable, improper, inappropriate, irrational, and misguided.

If you are going to take a poll, make sure it is a good cross-section of people and not just red-necks (apologies to Nacho) and people that go to family reunions looking for a date....

Agentfern (author)Goodhart2011-12-19

Wouldn't "ALL blanket statements" be a blanket statement?
(Sorry, I just couldn't resist pointing that out)

Goodhart (author)Agentfern2011-12-19

You are even the one I posted is inaccurate to a point. They aren't all 100% wrong, but some or more parts of them are inaccurate. That isn't technically a blanket statement since it doesn't apply a "constraint" to all portions of the cross section.....we now return you to your regularly scheduled program :-)

CoolKoon (author)Goodhart2009-03-27

Oh, I've done GENERALIZATION!!!! That's soooooo politically incorrect. And yeah, you're right, many men would never admit this, not even after a lot of torturing. But then it's the same with the women's feelings.....

Goodhart (author)CoolKoon2009-03-27

So, you admit to being a dweeb as far is this subject is concerned? :-) Shucks most politicians aren't this narrow minded.

CoolKoon (author)Goodhart2009-03-28

Why? Because I've made a generalization which applies to >95% of the men although very few of them admit it?

Lithium Rain (author)CoolKoon2009-03-28

Do you know >95 % of all men? No? Then you're not qualified to speak for them.

Goodhart (author)CoolKoon2009-03-28

no, because you made a generalization which applies to about 95% of the men you know that are just like you, even though few of them admit it. ;-)

It's impossible to control your thoughts. In order to control a thought, you have to think of it, once you've thought it you can't un-think it. Am I making sense? Example: Do not think of your tongue. Of the three things you mention, the only one you actually can control is speech.

You can control the thought, and even the initiation of it to some extent.

For instance: one of the interesting things about how we think it we can and do control it (if not, tell me who is controlling your thoughts, and send him to the shrink for counseling, you would get better ;-) . Control doesn't mean you must eliminate thought, just control the length, breadth, and direction. For instance: it is said that the difference between a teen-aged male and a mature sociologist, is their reaction to a pretty woman walking into the room; the teen things wow, and watches where she sits, the the sociologist turns and watches everyone else's reaction to her entrance ;-)

You don't control a horse or a car without observation and pre-thought, but you can correct mistakes and control them if you learn to steer them (who's driving YOUR bus, Dr. Dyer would ask ;-)

Lithium Rain (author)CoolKoon2009-03-24

And I suppose all males are devoid of feelings, right?

CoolKoon (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-25

Well.....let's just say that we have a penis. And we always will. This is and will remain our weak point..........forever. But don't you DARE to tell this to any (other) member of the opposite sex!!!!!!

Lithium Rain (author)CoolKoon2009-03-25

Hopefully you are just making really bad jokes. However, if you are not, I find your insinuation that a male's only "weak point" is his anatomy (as if females had no similar issues) both a silly argument and an insulting one. A real man modestly admits that he has feelings and genuine weaknesses, instead of pretending to be impervious to anything but physical harm.

CoolKoon (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-26

Physical harm? Who was talking about physical harm? You think that you can hurt a man through his manhood only by causing it some physical pain? Think again. Oh and yeah, my comment sounded kind of odd with a lack of smileys, yeah, I admit that. But it is up to you to decide my intentions. You have your very own free will, feel free to use it. Also when I've been talking about a man's penis, I was only talking about his weak point. I didn't even imply that a man doesn't have any feelings, emotions etc. (although some feminists/girls after a breakup/other crazy female species might think otherwise). I've only pointed out that a man's penis is his biggest weakness (physical as well as mental) just as much as a woman's feelings are for herself.

Lithium Rain (author)CoolKoon2009-03-26

Well, if you are going to make a crude argument that a man's anatomy is his only weakness, then that implies that it is through physical harm.

Um...when you complain of me misinterpreting your words, and in the same breath tell me to take them however I wish, it gets confusing, to say the least.

And I think, with all due respect, that yours is a really really bad argument. Frankly, it's childish. This is also a really silly (not to mention awkward) conversation overall IMO, so I don't wish to carry it further - I just will hope there are males out there who don't reason this way.

Guys? Help me out?

fwjs28 (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-30

you are so right...i dont even know what to say...0_o

CoolKoon (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-27

Yeah, you can have any thoughts as long as they are the right ones :D

I've only made a comment about women's weak point. It's interesting that you've never questioned that one.

kelseymh (author)CoolKoon2009-03-29

So, are you actually a misogynistic sociopath, as your postings would imply, or are you just doing this for effect? I'm curious as to your motivations.

Goodhart (author)CoolKoon2009-03-27

You might have expected this ible to have been made (typically) by a male, but you'd be wrong there too....

CoolKoon (author)Goodhart2009-03-27

This instructable? By a male? Why would I think that?

Goodhart (author)CoolKoon2009-03-27


Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2009-03-28

HAHA. That has to be sarcasm.

Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-29

I couldn't make a little symbol showing someone sticking their little finger in their ear while their tongue hung I used that one ;-)

Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2009-03-29

No, I mean surely CoolKoon is being sarcastic. :D

Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-29

Well, if he is, that makes him look worse.... ;-)

Lithium Rain (author)CoolKoon2009-03-28

Only because it's so ridiculous I literally did not know where to start.

I absolutely reject the claim that "women's weak point is their feelings". Where's your evidence for that one? (rhetorical question-there is none). It shows an utter lack of respect for women, not to mention awareness that we are in the 21st century now, not the 19th, and neanderthal behavior is frowned upon.

Also, do you not actually know any living, breathing, human women? Or have you just been reading a lot of Freud?

Making gender-based claims like this is silly. Individuals have their own strengths and weaknesses, and to be sure the sexes do also. For example, the average male tends to be physically stronger than the average female - that's a biological fact. It is absolutely correct to say that women and men have different (sometimes very different) emotional make-ups, reactions and responses. And therein lies the point - different is neither superior nor inferior; and to show emotion is not weakness. That is a very commonly made mistake in our culture, and it is an endlessly annoying one.

NachoMahma (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-28

. Well said.

Lithium Rain (author)NachoMahma2009-03-29

Thank you.

mg0930mg (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-28

I'm ith you one hundred percent, LiRa.

Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-26

his arguement is not only immature, but very tweenish ;-) sounds like someone has just entered the realm

fwjs28 (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-25

nice way to handle a jerk

CoolKoon (author)fwjs282009-03-26

You think that I'm a jerk? And you base this opinion on a single cynical comment I've made about myself and all of my (male) peers? Oh yeah, you're soooo much different.......and better......

kelseymh (author)CoolKoon2009-03-29

Actually, your jerkiness is demonstrated by the entire series of your comments in this discussion thread. It still isn't clear whether you're acting (creating these postings strictly to achieve emotional effects in your audience) or whether you're actually serious.

fwjs28 (author)kelseymh2009-03-30

ouch, thats gotta burn!

fwjs28 (author)CoolKoon2009-03-26

thank you..i am better (jk) just simmer down need to go crazy over a little joke...

kelseymh (author)CoolKoon2009-03-29

No, actually our many weak points are (a) we have shorter lifespan than women (b) we have lower stamina than women (c) we have a lower threshold for pain than women (d) as infants we have a far higher mortality rate than girls (e) clearly some of us are far, far stupider than women.

Grey_Wolfe (author)CoolKoon2008-06-24

Hermes wasn't mentioned. lol But your point still stands.

transplendent (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-06-24

Actually, Hermes was mentioned when CoolKoon posted. I messed up the quote! Sorry about that. =/

Grey_Wolfe (author)transplendent2008-07-15

No problem, he quoted you, so I was wondering why that was in there. lol That explains it. So are you gonna fix it? haha

transplendent (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-07-16

I *had* messed up the quote when he posted. It's been fixed ever since.

Grey_Wolfe (author)transplendent2008-07-16

Wow, am I lost. lol But now I'm on track. I hope you didn't find me rude. That wasn't my intent.

Grey_Wolfe (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-07-16

Btw, considering all the EVIL that is incarnate in Barbies, I find this an excellent way to exercise it. Nice Instructible. I don't remember if I've complimented, but I do like it.

transplendent (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-07-21

Thank you. I didn't think you were being rude, anyway. :)

Goodhart (author)transplendent2009-03-29

Hmm, I wonder if this would go well with the Electrocuted Barbie ible :-)

fwjs28 (author)2009-03-25

BOOOBIES!....jk...that looks like a cool effect for cheap!

ccsinspirations (author)2008-10-17

This is wonderful! I have been thinking about ways to do this the past few weeks! Even saw the perfect pair of boots to use!! Great Instructable, loved the humour and wit! I am going to try this one out! Thanks for sharing...

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