barbie jeep makeover | willy’s jeep

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I know I said I was going to show you guys how I put together some of the decorations from Izzy’s birthday party, but we FINALLY had some sun here over the weekend and I was able to snap some photos of Sam’s new Army Jeep!  I am so excited about how it turned out and couldn’t wait to share it with ya!!!
Here’s what we started with.  Izzy’s old Barbie Jeep that we originally bought off Craigslist.
Izzy loved that thing and drove the heck out of it.  She outgrew it right at the time Sam had become the perfect age for it.  It just wasn’t… him.
I’d now like to introduce you to The World’s Happiest Little Boy and The World’s Coolest Barbie Jeep!

My favorite thing about this makeover are the customized decals we placed alongside the hood with the kids’ birth months and initials.
I’m just crazy about how this turned out.  Sam is too.  He squeals with joy overtime we go to the garage and runs over to it yelling, “Jeeeeep!!!”  I don’t mean to toot my own horn but TOOT TOOOOOT!!! ;D  Ok seriously, is there anything some spray paint can’t fix?!!
How I did it: 

  • Phillips and flat head screw driver
  • Goo Gone and a razor blade to help with difficult sticker removal
  • Soap, water and sponge to wash everything down
  • Plastic grocery bags to cover wheels when painting and other coverings if needed
  • Spray paint (I used Krylon ColorMaster in Italian Olive satin, Krylon ColorMaster in Black flat, and Treehouse Studio Clear Acrylic Matte Coating – all picked up at Hobby Lobby)
  • Replacement decals for dials, lights, etc. (click here)
  • Customized Willy’s Jeep vinyl decals from Vinyl Creations in Matte Maize color (click here) More about this towards the end of the post.

STEP ONE: Take apart as much of the Jeep as you can.  Everything is held together with screws so it’s easy to disassemble.
STEP TWO:  Peel off the old stickers and decals.  Some came off perfectly and others were a major pain.  I used Goo Gone and a razor blade to help remove the difficult ones.
STEP THREE:  Give the entire Jeep and it’s parts a good cleaning with warm water and soap so the spray paint adheres well.  Ours was filthy!
STEP FOUR:  Once everything was dry I covered the wheels with plastic grocery bags to protect them from the green spray paint.  I started with the green paint on the body and began painting the Jeep upside down.  I did several light coats of spray paint over all the pieces.  When it was time for the wheels I used a piece of cardboard to protect the Jeep from over spray.  I didn’t spray the entire tire, just the white wheels.
STEP FIVE: Once everything has dried, reassemble the Jeep.  I waited to spray the Jeep down with the matte clear coat until it was fully reassembled.
STEP SIX: Once the clear coat has dried, place your new vinyl decals and replacement stickers.  Now go grab your little one because you’re done!
It was totally the vinyl decals that brought this Jeep to life.  I worked with Rob from Vinyl Creations to create these decals for the Power Wheels Jeep.  Rob was amazing to work with!!!  I contacted him with my project and gave him the dimensions for the stickers.  He custom sized everything for me and gave me great suggestions on how to make it even cooler, like adding the TP35 (tire pressure) decals for the fenders to make it more authentic looking.  I could not be  more thrilled with how everything turned out!
Sam is even wearing a shirt with iron-on Jeep decals from Vinyl Creations.  It’s perfect for this Jeep loving boy!  My brother-in-law saw it and loved it so much my mom is making matching shirts for him and my little nephew 🙂
Now if we could just get some more sunny days so Sam can drag the neighborhood in his cool new Jeep!
I’ll leave you with the before and after.
SOURCES: Willy’s Jeep decals in matte maize | replacement Jeep stickers | Krylon ColorMaster Italian Olive – satin spray paint (Hobby Lobby or Michaels) | Krylon ColorMaster Black – flat spray paint (Hobby Lobby or Michaels) | matte clear coat spray paint | t-shirt decals
Be sure to check out Vinyl Creations on Etsy (click here) and Facebook (click here)!


  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper Avatar

    this is SO amazing!!!! sam is one lucky guy and now must the be envy of all the neighborhood boys!

  2. Amy Avatar

    You = Brilliant. You got all the Martha Stewart genes.

  3. Mindy Avatar

    So Friggin awesome!!! I can only imagine how stoked he is about it.
    Soooo I left a big long rambling comment on your Frozen party post, and then our power went out and it disappeared. Lame. It kinda rocked and I would have TORN up those powdered donuts.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Looks great!!!! – currently doing a Barbie Jeep restoration myself. If anyone is trying this and is having trouble removing the decals try using a hair dryer to warm them up first. It seems to re-activate the adhesive and they come right off in one piece and leave very little residue behind

  5. sonia Avatar

    Going to try this myself for my grandsons! Which set of replacement decals for the dials, lights, did you use? Thanks!

    1. Shelley Avatar

      Awesome! They’ll love it. Two and a half years later and my son is still obsessed with it! It looks like the decals I used aren’t available anymore, but the most similar are the ones for the Green Wrangler. If you visit the “replacement Jeep stickers” link at the bottom of my post, just scroll down a bit and you’ll see the Green Wrangler ones. Best of luck!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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