Zombie Barbies

Zombie Barbies

Note: This week’s guest post comes from Elisabeth Phou, Teen Librarian at Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, MI. The library recently held a Zombie Barbies activity. I thought this was really creative, and I asked Elisabeth to share her experience for others who might be interested in doing something similar!

Ken doll with grey skin wearing a long sweater stained with paint.

So, as a Teen Librarian, I’m always thinking of new and creative ways to get kids into the library.  The month of October is easy.  Plan Halloween themed events, especially ones that involve zombies and generally creepy things.  After perusing Pinterest for inspiration, I came across Zombie Barbies: Barbies with blood spattered, ripped clothing, messy hair, missing eyeballs, etc.  Perfect.  I bought a box of Barbies at a garage sale for $5 and my boss brought in her old Barbies that had been stored in her mom’s basement since the 1980s.  I bought acrylic paint, spray paint, fabric dye, and paint brushes and told the kids to go crazy zombifying their Barbie. 

Headless Barbie doll with skin painted green wearing a ragged, paint-splattered dress.

Barbie doll missing a hand and painted all over with dark brown, black, and red.

First they dyed the Barbies’ clothes in brown fabric dye to make it look dirty.  Then they spray painted the Barbies skin and hair gray and white.  I told them to use the red paint as blood, but of course they just squirted entire bottles of paint onto their Barbie and then complained at the end that it wasn’t dry enough to take home. 

Barbie doll sitting on a paper plate with red and black painted skin, hair, and dress.

A messy scene of a Barbie doll on a paper plate splattered with many colors of paint, surrounded by paint in bowls and paint containers.

Well, they had loads of fun, but next time (if there is a next time) I will not let them use fabric dye, spray paint, OR acrylic paints.  The spray paint stunk up the building (my bad for a total lack of common sense on that one), they splashed the brown fabric dye onto their own clothes, and there was paint EVERYWHERE.  It took me an hour to clean up after the program.  Sharpies for the win.

Barbie doll lying on a paper towel with messy hair, painted black and red all over.

Barbie doll lying on a paper towel, its face obscured with paint and body covered in many colors of paint.

Have you done similar activities in your library? Do you think you’ll try this one? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter!

Share Button