www.marchforbabies.org/personal_page.asp?pp=3833979&ct=4&w=5312034&... by Brie
Good Morning Everyone!
We are in the process of creating a new homemade dress form for our shop use and displays and wanted to share the process with you.
These can sell in stores for a few hundred bucks and used are still more than what we paid.
This is good for any shop that makes anything that a person can wear, Jewelry, or vintage or accessories...
Many of you may have store bought dress forms, but if you are like me, if you actually made a dress on it, it wouldn't be fitted to YOU. Plus we like the look of it for displays and photography and looks cleaner and displays jewelry and scarves and neckwear very well.
These dress forms, once complete can be painted, covered with fabric and changed as needed. A very functional tool and photo prop we made for the cost of 3 rolls of duct tape. It only took a few hours to make (we still have to paint or fabric cover it).
It can be mounted as you like from things lying around your house fairly easily.
There are some Youtube videos showing how to make them also and I will post those links for visuals as well.
Here is how we did it.
3 rolls plain duct tape
1 old mop or broom handle or similar
couple scrap pieces of 2x4 lumber
1 old long tshirt
old towels or sheets or whatever for stuffing
Hammer and few nails
1. I wrapped my daughter in duct tape from her neck to her lower hips. Be careful that the neck and entire area to be wrapped is covered with the old t-shirt first. You may need to wrap neck with a scrap fabric.
HINT: Make sure you pay attention to how the duct tape forms to the body. For some curves it may be too wide or too long.
You need to cover torso with 3 layers in contrasting directions. First layer horizontally, second layer vertically, and third horizontally.
2. Cut fully wrapped duct taped t-shirt off from the back being very careful how you cut and not to cut any underwear. This cut will form a vertical 'seam' in the back of the form.
3. Once form is off, carefully line up back seam and re-tape.
4. Tape over top of neck. Place a large piece of whatever you are stuffing form with in neck and shoulders. Make sure when you pack form, you pack it well so its not too soft or flimsy.
5. Prepare your stand (I asked my husband to do this part, he was having fun playing with power tools ;) We sawed an old broom handle, drilled a hole large enough for handle to be mounted into wood base.(The depth needed for this hole depends on height you want form and weight of form itself. My form would be heavier than my daughter's because she is tiny and I would need more stuffing :P
For the base we used a couple old 1x8 trim pieces that are true 1 inch thick and drilled mostly through both. We placed two trim pieces on either end for more stability, that are slightly wider. You can glue in handle to base or maybe even use a little craft cement around hole to hold form stronger.
6. Place form onto handle. Top of handle should go into neck (already stuffed neck) and then finish stuffing form. (it is okay to lay it down to stuff as you will be able to shape it just before finishing. Make sure form is stuffed stiffly. And be careful to stuff around the mounting post (broom handle) so the post is centered. We used old towels and an old blanket and sheet (too bad to use for anything else)
7. Once you have stuffed around the post and have filled it FULL, place duct tape over bottom until it is fully covered and over bottom of arm holes. Tape form to post also, as this keeps form from spinning on you when you use it.
8. Now you can 'sculpt' your form. You want to make sure that its even and "filled out" in all the right parts. Make sure the duct tape is laying flat and not wrinkled. This may take some work, but take your time.
9. Once your duct tape is smooth and form is shaped how you want it, you can paint it, paper mache' it, or fabric cover it.
Then its ready to use for dress or clothing making or to display your items.
Here is a Youtube link - there are others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsXOxxZhBbI
I think we are going to paper mache' then paint ours.
Then I will just have to go fix some of my pics at my shop :)
Enjoy! and if you have any questions or want to know more specifics about how we did it, feel free to ask!