The Barbie doll has been a young girl’s best friend for decades and although her unrealistic body proportions is a topic of debate, no one can dispute her work ethic. In more than 50 years, Barbie has had over 130 careers. And now, with a few modifications, she’s landed the most versatile job yet – multi-tool!
Mikeasaurus at Instructables decided to create a doll that not only brings joy to a girl but can act as the night in shining armor when called upon. Even more articulate than your average action figure, his Swiss Army Barbie comes in handy when you need a quick fix, be it loosening a screw from your gadget or slicing open a lid or tape on a box, this unassuming doll comes to your rescue!
All you need to create your own multi-tool Barbie is a doll, screwdriver and a multi-blade knife which Mikeasaurus got for less than $15.
Using a sharp saw, cut the doll in half just below the waist. Then clean off the burrs with a file or rotary tool. You’ll notice that the inside of the doll is pretty hollow but in order to fit your multi-tool in the torso, it’s a good idea to remove any plastic obstructions inside the body with a rotary tool.
Multi-blade knives are small to begin with but there’s still components you can remove so it will fit in the doll’s torso. Most have decorative plastic panels on the outsides adding to the width. Remove those by either unscrewing them or simply using a heat gun to soften the adhesive and pry them off.
As an additional option, Mikeasaurus decided to reduce the bulk even further by chopping off tools he felt were unnecessary like the corkscrew, awl and smaller blades. This not only saved on mass but allowed the multi-tool to fit entirely inside the Barbie doll.
Test fit the multi-tool inside the torso and trim extra plastic as needed. Once you’ve marked and cut the side of the doll’s upper torso where the blades will swing out, she’ll be ready for final assembly!
Just epoxy the multi-tool inside the upper torso making sure the blades line up with the opening on the side and secure it with tape as it dries.
As a last minute idea, Mikeasaurus looked at the bottom portion of the doll which didn’t have any function other than completing the doll and decided to add a screwdriver to the legs that would reveal itself once the doll is pulled apart. After sawing off the handle of an inexpensive flat head screwdriver, he carved out a section of one of the legs from inside the hip cavity and used epoxy glue to secure the screwdriver bit.
With all of her tools in place and at-the-ready, it was time to rejoin the two halves. With everything fitting together nicely, Mikeasaurus added small magnets to a void he found inside the torso so the two halves could be taken apart and put back together again effortlessly.
Once you put her clothes back on be sure to make matching cuts in her outfit so she could come apart and the blades can swing out without getting caught. Mikeasaurus found it best to glue her clothes on so they don’t shift around during use.
A typical Barbie by day, and Mrs. Fix-it-all by night, this is one toy hack that will put your action figures to shame.
For all the project details and even more photos, check out Mikeasaurus’ Swiss Army Barbie on Instructables.