3 Barbie doll heads painted as sugar skulls on a Mexican blanket
Heads from three vintage Barbie and Barbie-knockoff dolls are decorated as sugar skulls and turned into a keychain.

DIY Barbie crafts turn Barbie heads into sugar skulls

I’m not sure what it says about me that I have a stash of Barbie doll parts just waiting for the perfect project. It’s a strange mix of arms, legs, torsos and heads that were left from my own children’s broken toys.

Well, lo and behold, after years of holding on to them, I found the perfect project — Barbie heads decorated as sugar skulls and turned into keychains! What a great idea for DIY Barbie crafts!

A painted Barbie head key chain hanging off a porcelain hand.
This Barbie head is painted with white paint and then decorated with glitter and sequins.

My daughter did all the work on these inventive sugar skulls. Her process and supply list are below.

Decorated Barbie head key chain on Mexican blanket with 2 Barbie heads in the background.
I’d use this Barbie sugar skull keychain year-round, not just Day of the Dead!

What you’ll need for these DIY Barbie crafts

  • Old Barbie or knock-off Barbie heads
  • White paint 
  • Small paint brush
  • Glitter glue
  • Sequins of various sizes
  • Craft glue
  • Paint pens
  • Other shades of paint — whatever you want to use
  • Plain metal keychains (one for each head).
  • Small 1/4-inch screw eyes (one for each head)

Good source for supplies

You can get keychains and screw eyes almost anywhere, but I really prefer to go to Hobby Lobby for jewelry supplies like these.

Woman's hand holding a Barbie doll head with painted face.
The first step is to paint the Barbie’s face white.

How to make the DIY Barbie crafts sugar skull keychains:

  • Pull the Barbie’s hair back so it doesn’t get in the way.
  • Paint the Barbie head white (like a sugar skull)
  • Decorate your Barbie head with glitter, paint, paint pens and sequins as you are inspired (some ideas below)
  • Screw in a screw eye on the top of the Barbie’s head. This should go in fairly easily.
  • Attach a keychain to the screw eye

Ideas to inspire your sugar skull Barbie keychains

        1. Glue a rim of sequins around the Barbie’s hairline. Use a black paint pen around her eyes, nose and mouth. Use glitter glue for eyebrows and cheek highlights.

        2. Use glitter glue to outline Barbie’s hairline. Use glitter glue in silver and gold around her eyes. Glue small sequins to her forehead like jewels.

        3. Glue small paper or plastic flowers around Barbie’s hairline. Use glitter glue and sequins to decorate her eyes, nose, mouth and cheek highlights.

Two painted and decorated Barbie sugar skull heads drying.
Painted and decorated DIY Barbie crafts.

For Day of the Dead party ideas, see this post.

Two decorated Barbie heads on Mexican blanket
Love these crazy sugar skull Barbie heads!

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