How to Repair Barbie Dolls

Whether you are an avid toy collector, or just a concerned father or elder brother to a little girl whose most prized possession is her Barbie, there is a strong likelihood that you will find yourself undertaking the task of repairing the doll one day.

Repairing a Barbie doll may seem a bit complicated at first, but once you actually get down to doing the task, you will realize that there is hardly any technicalities involved. You just need to know how to treat the different parts of Barbie to get her looking as good as new.

Things Required:

– Barbie
– Another Barbie for spare parts
– Cotton balls
– Mild detergent
– Water
– Bowl
– Baby shampoo
– Comb
– Dye-free fabric softener
– Vinyl repair compound
– Special gel glues
– Saucepan
– Ribbon
– Acrylic paints and brush
– Protective gloves


  • 1

    Start off by cleaning the Barbie doll. You will need cotton balls and a mild detergent such as natural dish-washing liquid or some other cleanser for this part. Pour some cleanser in a bowl and dilute it a little by adding water to it. Then dip the cotton balls in the solution and use them to gently dab at the doll’s face, lips and ears.

  • 2

    Next, focus on cleaning Barbie’s hair. You can use a mild dish-washing detergent or baby shampoo to shampoo her hair. If her hair has got a lot of tangles, then wash it with a dry-free fabric softener and then immediately comb through it.

  • 3

    If you notice splits in Barbie’s limbs, repair them using vinyl repair compound - a heavy bodied liquid that becomes vinyl when properly heated. It is commonly used for pools and spa covers. If you have trouble getting your hands on vinyl repair compound, you can alternatively use special gel glues to repair splits in the vinyl doll. Special gel glues can be acquired from hobby shops and supply houses.

  • 4

     If Barbie’s limbs are damaged beyond repair, you will no option but to replace them. In order to do that, boil some water in a saucepan and then dip Barbie’s damaged arm or limb and torso in it. Give the limb a few seconds to loosen sufficiently and then gently remove it from Barbie. Grab another Barbie, damaged beyond repair of course, and remove her similar limb by dipping it in boiling water. Replace the original Barbie’s damaged limb with the one you just removed from the damaged Barbie.

  • 5

    If Barbie’s legs have gotten bowed, you will need to straight them. To do that, dip the bowed legs in boiling water. Keep them immersed in water for a few seconds to soften them. Once they are malleable enough, hold them in their original position and tie a ribbon around it so that the repair sets in as the legs cool.

  • 6

    Use acrylic paints to repaint Barbie’s eyebrows and lips. You can get the paints from your local hobby shops. While using a brush to apply acrylic paint on Barbie’s features, make sure you do not allow any of it to bleed onto the rest of her face.

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