How to turn Barbies into Doctor Who Weeping Angels

June 30 | Guest post by anthropolywog

Weeping Angel Barbies

I don't like Barbies and I pre-apologize to those who do, but I took an inordinate amount of pleasure in hacking up, hot gluing, and morphing Barbies into something that causes horror: the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who!

All told this, project took: six Barbies, two cans of primer, two cans of Stone paint, four bags of feathers, less than half a yard of fabric, miles of hot glue (get the big bag of hot glue sticks), and a shit-ton of patience. However it was so worth it!

Here's how you can hack your Barbies into Weeping Angels…

Weeping Angel Barbies a

You will need:

Step one: Undress your Barbies.
Undress your Barbies.
My Barbie's arms did not  bend, this meant I needed a cutting tool…
My Barbie's arms did not bend; this meant I needed a cutting tool…
…and something to hold said Barbies. And a wicked sense of humor!
…and something to hold said barbies.
And a wicked sense of humor!
And a wicked sense of humor!

Weeping Angel Barbies h

Then I made doll stands, using these little round plaques…
Then I made doll stands, using these little round plaques and dowels cut to size.
I drilled a hole in each plaque, then filled it with hot glue and stuck a stick in it.
I drilled a hole in each plaque, then filled it with hot glue and stuck a stick in.
Then I used hot glue to mold the hair buns to match the hair of the Weeping Angels on the show. Here they are lined up with their hair buns drying.
Then I used hot glue to mold the hair buns to match the hair of the Weeping Angels on the show. Here they are lined up with their hair buns drying.
Then glue the dolls to stands to make them easier to work with. I found it useful to glue both their bums and their feet to the stand.
Then glue the dolls to stands to make them easier to work with. I found it useful to glue both their bums and their feet to the stand.
Attach arms in a variety of poses: weeping, just opening up, and stretching out for someone…
Attach arms in a variety of poses: weeping, just opening up, and stretching out for someone…

Weeping Angel Barbies n

Then dress them up!
Then dress them up!

Weeping Angel Barbies q

Weeping Angel Barbies r

To get that carved and depressed look of the Gothic statues, I used a bottle with 50-50 water and Elmer's glue and sprayed them down. The one on the left is dry and the one on the right is sprayed.
To get that carved and depressed look of the Gothic statues, I used a bottle with 50-50 water and Elmer's glue and sprayed them down. The one on the left is dry and the one on the right is sprayed.
The wings were the single biggest time suck of this project! It took five people hours of work to put them together with feathers and cardboard. Other folks have simply used hot glue on card board cut outs to make the feather look happen. It's up to you. I think mine came out creepier and a little more real looking due to using real feathers.
The wings were the single biggest time suck of this project! It took five people hours of work to put them together with feathers and cardboard. Other folks have simply used hot glue on card board cut outs to make the feather look happen. It's up to you. I think mine came out creepier and a little more real looking due to using real feathers.

weeping angel barbies wings

Then it's time to apply the primer. I highly recommend a spray box to catch the overage!
Then it's time to apply the primer. I highly recommend a spray box to catch the overage!

Weeping Angel Barbies y

Weeping Angel Barbies z

Eventually I was convinced that enough primer could be applied without making them look like Adipose and I hot glued the wings on.
Eventually I was convinced that enough primer could be applied without making them look like Adipose and I hot glued the wings on.
I finished the priming and started spraying them with this natural stone look paint.
I finished the priming and started spraying them with this natural stone look paint.
Because their faces kind of faded out, I used an ultra fine tipped Sharpie to bring their mouths and eyes into sharper focus.
Because their faces kind of faded out, I used an ultra fine tipped Sharpie to bring their mouths and eyes into sharper focus.

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There were a boat-load of pics taken with the angels — everyone had fun moving them around.

Our photographer went to use the restroom, and came out saying, "That's not right — you can't watch what you're doing and keep an eye on the weeping angel at the same time!"

And so they began to move…

DSC_6193

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DSC_6196


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  1. This is so cool! If I ever have a Doctor Who party, these definitely need to be part of the decor! Thanks for the tutorial :-)

    22 agree
  2. I adore this and have just messaged my Whovian brother in all caps on Facebook with my blessing to do this to any Barbies of mine he may find remaining in my parents' house. Also, I love your handle, anthropolywog, and will totally be checking out your etsy store because you are clearly amazing.

    14 agree
  3. This is, hands-down no-kidding, the scariest post I have ever read on the OBE. Doll surgery AND Weeping Angels!?! Um…I'll just be here, peeking over the back of the couch…

    But it's a super awesome tutorial! Thanks, anthropolywog. Your Etsy shop has pretty clothes, too. I'm coveting that waterfall bustle you made. :)

    25 agree
  4. Very cool project! Those are NOT Barbies though, just cheap similar-sized dolls (not collector or even Barbie lover will ever cry for those). ;D

    I would add aside from not ruining a good toy, buying a cheap dollar-store style doll like you did might be better as material – Barbies are made of more resistant rubber and plastic and probably harder to cut and carve!

    However…. should you get your hands on baity (so beaten up they are craft-grade) articulated dolls like Barbie Fashionnistas, Monster High, Liv or the newer Bratz, you could have skipped the arm modifications and just posed them the way you see fit.

    19 agree
    • Oh I know they aren't real barbies. But they are pretty close. Honestly there is one other tutorial out there that my google fu turned up. Even the bendy arm Dolls have to be dismantled because they don't tend to bend in the right direction(s). Yeah I'm considering if I can offer these in my shop as some sort of accessory/home decor, but realizing the copy right issue. Meh. I can simply share the tutorial far and wide so folks can make their own. I often have trouble focusing on just one kind of art as I'm silly crafty in lots of ways and lots of things tweak my interests.

      15 agree
      • Awesome idea however Mattel takes a dim view of selling modified barbies. ..they once sued a shop on the Castro for selling drag queen ken

        2 agree
        • I don't think they do..not any more. On Etsy there are 100s of modified Monster high dolls!

          4 agree
      • If you soak the arms in hot water for several minutes they become pliable and you can bend them. After bending in to position you want, plunge them in cold water (ice water) to re-harden the plastic.

        6 agree
        • I boiled the Barbie's and it worked out great. Thanks for the tip, its going to come in handy for my dead dolls. :)

          0 agree
          • It occurs to me that we could use most of these techniques on a manikin to create full size angels. Has anyone tried that?

            3 agree
      • Regarding sales on Etsy as far as copy righting issues are concerned, I see people selling prints and car decals and such all the time on there, and it seems all they do is credit the character to its franchise. I think you'd be good to sell these on the shop site (and I'd be a definite customer!)

        0 agree
  5. You win the internet today, ma'am. I would make these if they didn't terrify the crap out of me.

    12 agree
  6. This is the best thing ever done by anyone, anywhere.

    6 agree
  7. Fantastic! Those are so cool, than you so much for the tutorial, my Whovian family would just get TOO much pleasure out of making these!!

    2 agree
  8. I would like to use this idea in my flower garden. How do the dolls take the heat, rain, snow?

    1 agrees
  9. I would just like to add that the pic with the Barbies lined up with their hair drying is HILARIOUS.

    15 agree
  10. I am totally making one of these and using it as an "Elf on the Shelf" for my daughter. I feel like that will be amazing, and give her plenty to talk about in therapy down the road :)

    21 agree
  11. Good job but…These are not Barbies they are cheaper teen dolls. I think it is a good use for them. Barbies are a much better quality although if they are plyed with.op.shop dolls… why not. I collect Barbies. :-)

    1 agrees
  12. had you thought of getting some kind of putty or something to fill in the elbow cuts? I really love the looks of these and was thinking they would be hilarious to put into my friend's kids doll house.

    0 agree
  13. I might just have to make these for my wedding! Thanks!! :D

    0 agree
  14. Are they water proof, and was it just a fabric bag you used for their dress?

    1 agrees
  15. I think I love you !!!! ——— what a great use for those *leftover * Barbies that just aren't in good enough condition !!! ——– I have soo many pieces and parts this will be a craft for my Gran-daughter and I !! Thank you !

    0 agree
  16. Just wanted to let you know that next time…if there every is one, you can use boiling water to re-mold the arms into a different position. Basically you hold them in boiling water till they are flexible and then put them into the shape you want and hold them there while they cool off. When cool, it will hold the new shape. Cool idea though…maybe I should make a few and leave them around my daughter's room. When she finds them she will freak…buahahahaha…oh..sorry.

    7 agree
  17. You have nothing to worry about, these aren't real Barbie's these are dollar store knock offs so your cool. lol and these are awesome.

    1 agrees
  18. Wow this is awesome!! Really want to add this to our reception and our Dr who friends will enjoy and everyone else look on mystified.

    1 agrees
  19. That is so cool my 7 year old Barbie freak would flip out. Lol

    1 agrees
  20. Love this idea and thanks for sharing the steps to make playscale Weeping Angels. They are one of the creepiest Doctor Who villains. Brrrr …

    I collect Barbies and other playscale dolls and action figures. This is a creative and fun way to use broken and/or stained figures.

    Might be possible to use some of the taller Barbie stands instead of the dowel and plaque. I'm also wondering if there are some ready made fashions that I could use as gowns.

    Thanks. If I work on this project, I'll link back to you ;-)

    1 agrees
  21. This is wonderful! I've printed out your great instructions. So, I can use this to create all sorts of fun doll projects! Thanks so much for sharing this! Big Squishy Hugs!

    0 agree
  22. This is great. I am going to do this for my niece. She is a major Dr. Who fan. Granted it won't be a 100% Dr. Who item, it's still something different.

    1 agrees
  23. Way back when, in art class, I made wings for a barbie doll by using a caulking gun. I smeared short (2" max) caulking onto wax paper and let it dry. It ended up looking like little feathers, then I glued them onto a wing I made of … hmm.. I think I made the wing frame out of a wire hanger and pantyhose stretched over it. Cardboard would work well.

    I think that would work well for these wings as well – much smaller 'feathers', but it did look amazing when I was done. I wish I had a picture.

    1 agrees
  24. If you want to make more interesting hair styles than just the buns, I used regular glue and straws to fashion the hair into huge banana curls. Take a section of hair, soak it down with glue, and wrap the wet glue section around a straw. Once the glue is dry, take the straw out. I also made one with what ended up looking like giant cinnamon buns all over her head (oops), and a string-wrapped braid that turned out very Grecian looking.

    1 agrees
  25. Best DIY ever. I want to do this even if I don't have a party.

    0 agree
  26. I totally did this project and it turned out awesome! I ended up skipping the step when you spray them with glue because my spray bottle wasnt spraying, it was more streaming if you will, and by that point I was a woman on a mission. But I ended up getting most of my supplies at the thrift store. They turned out amazing, thanks for sharing!!!

    0 agree
  27. This is amazing and blowing away-ish and so past cool I don't know what else to say. What an amazing idea and execution. Thanks for the detailed instructions but I fear it is too complicated for me so I'll just enjoy it on your page.

    I hope this isn't too dramatic for the no-dramatic comment policy. It's just dramatically amazing.

    Remember, don't blink!

    1 agrees
  28. You could probably do the same process on used manikins, to make them life size. I've been looking for life sized ones

    0 agree
  29. How did you make their mouths look right? Just glue?

    0 agree
  30. don't tell my bride!!! but i'm totally going to make a 'crown' of these for her dr who themed wedding bwhahahahaahahhahahahahaahah :) i'm so excited!!!! just have to get the spray paint/primer next!

    1 agrees
  31. totally making them right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i'm making it as a headpiece though to wear at a wedding : )
    we'll see how it goes! i have yet to get the wings on LOL

    1 agrees
  32. p.s. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! i just went through this tutorial and made some for the wedding i was photographing. :) Amazing times, amazing inspirations…and VERY EASY!!! I took some liberties and ended up making a hat. It was super super fun.

    Here is a link to the photo of me wearing it!!!!
    https://flic.kr/p/pFhzPA

    The wedding was Time Travel / period wear / Dr Who themes!!!! :)

    1 agrees
    • p.s. i used dollar store barbies here locally – and they were HOLLOW!!!! *gasp*…so when i cut her arms off i felt bad – she has holes LOL :) The paints were PERFECTION.

      1 agrees

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