Makenna’s little girl was introduced to Barbies by her cousin at a young age and was immediately hooked. Makenna, however, hated the idea of little shoes, constant finagling of miniature clothes, and most frustrating (but unavoidable): the NAKED BARBIE! Luckily, Santa found a solution to the Barbie debate and delivered the Princess Ballerina Barbie Set (no shoes/irremovable clothing) to the anticipating two-year-old.

What followed were countless hours of Barbie gymnastics classes taught by an adorable 3-year-old coach. Makenna’s daughter instructed the Barbies in the correct techniques of proper splits, bridges, back walkovers, front aerials, and even vaulting skills. The Barbies patiently waited in line, shared what they were most proud of, and earned rewards for their progress and behavior (much like how Makenna’s daughter observed in her own gymnastics classes).

Great Barbies for Gymnastics Lovers | Gym Gab

Soon other Barbies started trickling into the home (gifts from friends and family) and Makenna’s little one’s first response was always, “She needs a leo!” That’s when Makenna started experimenting with nail polish. The result: Total Success! The nail-polish leotard Barbie was a quick, cheap, and easy solution to leo-less dolls and quickly became the three-year-old’s favorite toy. As more were made, these bare-footed Barbies looked more and more like real gymnasts to Makenna’s daughter which brought even more excitement about gymnastics into Makenna’s home (if that were even possible!)

Even Makenna got excited about these Barbies because of her new-found ability to custom design the paint job to match her little gymnast’s favorite leotards. We thought you’d like a quick tutorial on how Makenna goes about transforming the Barbies around her home! We hope you find as much joy in the little things (literally and figuratively) as we do!

P.S. FYI: For all you moms of boy gymnasts out there, Jessie tried this same technique on her sons’ transformers and G.I. Joes and wasn’t nearly as impressed (or comfortable) with the results.

Barbie Leotard Tutorial | Gymnastics Leotards | A Gym Gab How-To
Material’s needed: A Barbie, Nail Polish, Masking Tape

Pick a leotard you want to mimic or design your own. Tape off patterns and neck line with masking tape.

Start painting! If you make a mistake, wipe it off with nail polish remover. You don’t need fancy nail polish. The green and black colors we used were only $1.00 each!

Add detail. Makenna used black paint to add cheetah print to the pink sections of this leotard. Make sure you wait for each layer of paint to dry, before applying an overlaying layer.

Let paint dry and remove masking tape!

*The leotard we used is a GKids leotard from their Winter catalog. If you want a similar design, check out this |GKids leotard| from the Spring Collection. Try using crackle nail polish to mimic the swirl fabric.

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