DIY Custom Barbie Style Logo Purse

I’ve been a ‘Barbie’ almost as long as that tall plastic Mattel toy! I’m having some trendy summer fun to celebrate my name… I just can’t resist! I’ll show you how you can also channel your ‘Barbie Doll’ self with this DIY Custom Barbie style Logo Purse

Alright, not everyone is called Barb; so you can also make your own name into a ‘Barbie-ish’ font, your own brand identity. A sweet little girl is having a birthday and I wanted her to feel just as special.

Barbie history:

Did you know I am almost as old as the first Barbie Doll?! I know, it’s hard to believe, but when I was getting my tonsils taken out (a common practice in the 60’s) I told my parents I wanted a Barbie Doll since I had to spend days in the hospital. Well, I did not get that first one but I still have my case for the Skipper ones that I got.

I would have loved to be Ruth Handler and invent the Barbie doll, especially after seeing her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls; as I remember doing the same.

I had a look at the Barbie logos over time and wanted to make a little girl her own custom purse with her own logo.

Since I’ve been working with typography for decades as well I analyzed the ‘Barbie brand’ logo and font. I do like the older (1975-1991) one more than the latest redesign dollie script typeface (cursive font) ones. Sometimes it’s better to just leave design elements alone… Checkout the evolution of the Barbie logo.

It’s a pretty simple concept design; a font with a few little characteristics. The ‘e’ is slightly angled and there are some little ‘curls’ added on some of the letters, especially the first letter. There are quite a few fonts that you can work with and adjust the details rather than purchasing a font.

The main design characteristic is that there is a shadow. The shadow is placed at a 45º angle to the font. It is quite easy to manually draw or you could use software like Adobe Illustrator. I’m somewhat ‘old-school’ so I like to ‘futz’ around with a pencil most of the time since so much of my life is digital.

I added a few curls to the ‘Gemma’ name and added the outline and shadow similar to the barbie logo design. It is simple but has a nice sophistication.

I am painting this onto a leather purse, so the image needs to be transferred to the purse. There are apps that allow you to see an image on a surface but they work better for flat items. I find that a transfer sheet works well if you can use a colour that will be visible.

Placing the transfer sheet between the design, I retrace the outlines so that they are transferred to the surface (see video) I first only trace the outline so that I can clean the area with acetone to ready it for the Angelus Leather paint

What paint should I use to paint on Leather?

After using this paint I have been quite impressed with how the Angelus Leather paint lasts on the items. I have seen my gift recipients use their custom painted items for long lengths of time with great wear. I also like the way they apply and cover, as I’ve used a ton of paints over the years!

Depending the background colour that you choose it may take a few coats of paint to cover. Since the letters are on a background colour any mistakes can easily be fixed. The main wordmark colour should be a bright pink colour, close to the Pantone pink 219.

A song kept playing in my mind; ‘Come on Barbie, let’s go party’ so I added that along the handle in a cursive brush script, easy freehand painting (uppercase and lowercase letters).

Adding the Finisher:

When everything is painted as you like you should give an extra coat of the Angelus Finisher. It will protect the art even more and allow you to choose whether you would like gloss, matte, satin or normal (somewhere in between). Some leathers may darken if you apply the finisher everywhere, so do a small test.

Well, once I get going it’s difficult to stop me… so I needed something to wear in my name-sake. It’s not quite my signature brand but the popularity of the barbie movie made me want one as well.

The original logo for the ‘come on Barbie let’s party’ became ‘come on Barbie let’s go artsy’! For the fabric paint I added some of the GAC Fabric painting medium to the Angelus Leather paint and it covered quite well. I have used Angelus paint as well as Dye-Na-Flo dye/paint on jean jackets as well.

It is not quite barbie pink but pink enough for me. The italics is characteristic of the latest & first barbie logo.

After painting and drying give the fabric a good ironing to make the paint permanent.

It is a fun project for the little girls in your life or even the ‘adult dolls’ like myself! There’s no limits to creativity, any name can be made into an original barbie logo style.

Who wouldn’t want a funky purse like this with their own Custom Barbie style logo/emblem?! It will be one of the most unique accessories…

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