Create Your Own Vintage Inspired Dress Form

Vintage Dress Form Mannequin DIY
P.S.  This necklace is for sale in my etsy shop :)
This was such a FUN piece to create!  It involved a lot of steps, but it turned out better than I imagined so it was worth all the time put in.

To make this beauty (we named her "Gloria") you will need a friend that is ready and willing to let you wrap their torso in plastic, followed by duct tape.  My friend Whitney made this process so fun - I suggest paying your friend in wine for their time - and drinking it as you "wrap" them.

After you are done wrapping your very generous friend in plastic and duct tape, you have to cut the form straight up the back, being careful not to cut your friend!

Once the cast of your friends body is removed, tape up the back with duct tape where you cut, so it is a hollow replica of your lovely friend.

You will end up with something pretty creepy looking - see the picture below:
Vintage Dress Form Mannequin DIY
Don't let this scare you - this is just the beginning of a very cool product all your friends will be jealous of.  We used both silver and white duct tape - not by choice, but because we ended up using more than we thought we needed and had to finish Gloria up with silver tape.

Next, you will want to seal off Gloria's neck.  Do this by simply placing strips of duct tape over the neck area while keeping it's shape.

Once her neck is sealed, place her atop an aluminum pole - attached to a base.  This may be hard to come by for some - but I am sure you could find the pieces at a home improvement store. Luckily for me, I work for a company that has a machine shop, so they were able to fashion the pole and base exactly to my specifications.

Once you have Gloria atop the base, you will want to close off her arm holes.  How much arm you want is totally up to you - but I trimmed mine down quiet a bit, since I was going for the classic dress form shape.  Close these off with duct tape, just like you did the neck.

Once Gloria's arms and neck are sealed and she is on top of the pole, you will begin to stuff her.  I used everything from fabric, to pillow stuffing to garbage bags.  You want your mold to be stuffed solid.  So the more you can stick in there, the better!  Now seal the bottom up with duct tape, like you did the neck and arms.  After Gloria is stuffed solid use more duct tape to smooth out any ripples or bumps.

Now it is time to "mummify" Gloria.  Make a simple paper mache paste and use strips of cream fabric to completely cover Gloria.  The fabric mache is a great step because this smooths the form out and makes it even sturdier than just stuffing and duct tape.  After mummifying her with fabric mache, let her dry for about 24 hours.

After ample drying time (being sure that Gloria is dry to the touch and there is no moistness left from the fabric mache) I began mod podging pieces of an old pattern all over her.  This is where you can get creative.  I used an old shirt pattern, so it had arm holes, a neck piece, etc, so I lined those up, to some extent on Gloria.  You don't have to do this, it just depends on what you want your finished product to look like.  Mod podge dries rather quickly, so at this point, Gloria is just about done!

Time to start hanging necklaces, clothing, and all of the like on my vintage inspired dress form.  Special thanks to my sweet friend Whitney for being to ready and willing and allowing me to use her body as the mold for my dress form!

Here is the evolution of Gloria, once she sat on top of her pole:

Vintage Dress Form Mannequin DIY