Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dress Form Tutorial ~

Several months ago someone asked me to do a tutorial on
the dress form I decoupaged with vintage sheet music.
I'll try to make this as easy as possible.
You need lots and lots of old sheet music or new depending on
your taste or what you have. You can use old sheet music covers, old book pages,
just have lots of paper to cover your dress form. Just about any thin decorative paper should do.
Here is what you need:
1~Mod Podge, gloss or matte finish 16 oz. bottle
2~small paint brush, sponge, fingers do the job too.
3~30-40 sheets of 8"x10" thin decorative paper, sheet music, book pages, or what you prefer.
4~Scissors or xacto knife.
5~Drop cloth, this is messy.
6~Wet rags for wiping your hands.

There is no prep needed to be done on your dress form. Mine is a newer one
with a styro core and the outer surface was a heavy vinyl shell. If you prefer to sand it lightly
all over, do so. I don't think it's necessary. Depending on what type of surface you have on your form, if it is a vintage form with fabric you can decoupage right over that. You have to use your own judgement.
On the flatter surfaces of my form I used bigger pieces of sheet music. Spread MP on the part to apply
paper, spread paper over that. You can try getting most of the wrinkles out or leave them.
Spread MP on another patch, apply paper. I used larger sheets for larger flat places.
Use smaller pieces of your paper for curves, for smaller curves I snipped so the
paper would evenly lay.  I had decorative sheet music covers and cut those up
and applied to her front waist and belly. When going around those curves snip your paper
so it will lay flat without wrinkles and use smaller pieces of paper. I prefer the smooth look.

If you enlarge the above photo, notice how I snipped
the paper that is laying on her shoulder, you can do that part first then lay the
piece below on last.
* After  you lay several pieces of sheet music use your brush to put one coat of MP over those pieces.
* After you have completely covered your form with paper give it another coat
or two of MP.
On her bustle I cut out a black and white moth and applied it.
You learn as you go with applying your sheet music.
Remember to use smaller pieces for curvy areas and snip when needed to lay paper flatter.
I used very small pieces on her breasts and did snipping in her cleavage. Under her breasts
I snipped a couple sheets of music paper also.

Hope I gave you good enough instructions. I learned as
I went along. If you have questions and finish your project,
send a photo to:
kayinseptember at yahoo dot com
Happy Decoupaging!


  1. Wow girl, you gave us a wonderful tutorial!
    Plus, I enjoyed my visit here as I just couldn't stop at one post!!!!
    Simply Beautiful!!!
    everything vintage

  2. Oh WOW!!! This is just totally drop dead gorgeous!!! Absolutely looove this! I am a huge fan of dress forms..:) Mite have to give this a go! Sooo inspiring!!TFS
    Lou xx

  3. This is beautiful. I am so inspired to make one. I will have to find one of these dress forms and do this. I would love to have this displayed in my sewing room. It's a one of a kind creation and the lace collar is just makes it so special.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. What a stunning finished form you've created, Linda! Really wonderful! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. Be still my heart! What a beautiful project!

  6. That is a great tut. Thanks for sharing with us.


  7. She looks beautiful! And your instructions were great!

  8. Thanks for the great tutorial. Love your blog. Photos are wonderful and inspiring.

  9. Beautiful lady. You did good. I love the butterfly on her bustle.

  10. Love really did do a great job of fixing the paper at the right area!

  11. Simply stunning!!! Thanks for the how-to.:)

  12. I want one of these so bad. I am gonna go looking again for a plain little girl to bring home. I wanna fix her up like yours. Love it and thanks for such great instructions.


  13. What a lovely idea, dear Linda - that looks sooooo beautiful!!!! Thank you so much for your instructions!!!! And also for your sweet comment!!! I wish you a wonderful week,

    take care, hugs Jade

  14. Wow !! that is amazing !!
    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial !

  15. Now i'm looking for a dress form so I can do this project. AWESOME!

  16. Awesome tutorial...very thorough!

  17. This is beautiful. I think I will redo mine. My daughter had covered in this same fashion with paper and then painted it...but I like this look better!
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog :)
    Priscilla aka priscillastyles

  19. This is beautiful. I have an old dress form stored out in my shed. I should bring it in and cover it. It would look wonderful in my new entryway. Thanx for the tutorial!

  20. Now if I can just find the dress form...

  21. Lovely blog......very inspirational!!

  22. I couldn't find a way to email you personally. I just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog & commenting during OWOH! I visited every blog but am now taking the time to explore a bit more. Love the tutorial! Lots of wonderful links in your sidebar to explore too!

    Best wishes,

  23. Awesome tutorial! I did a manni makeover post awhile back, I must admit tho, yours is prettier! I'm going back to look at more. Lisa

  24. I have a few partial mannequins that this might work really well on. My mother has gifted part of her immense sheet music stash. Thanks for connecting the dots for me!

    You can see them in my studio shots on one of my earliest posts on my blog.


  25. Your form is amazing! I hope to find a small form and give this a try.

  26. I have a life size mannequin. I wonder what that would look like? Maybe I will do an arm or a hand before attempting the entire body!

  27. Thanks for the tutorial. Great information! I LOVE the butterfly on the back of your dress form. Very cute.
    Patricia :o)

  28. This is wonderful, and yours is so perfect.

    thanks and blessings

    barbara jean

  29. love your blog!! Now a follower.. thank you!!{:

  30. So totally cool! If I can ever find one of those on the cheap for me to dress up I'll do it!

  31. I just found your blog via No Minimalist Here and the title caught my eye...then I saw this post using the vintage sheet music. It's precious and you are full of wonderful ideas. BUT...if you ever come across sheet music with a song titled 'Come A Little Closer' by Alma Garrett Stubbs PLEASE let me knnow. She was my Grandmother and we've only got one copy of her songs that were published many years ago.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and am now following. I love your post with the little boot you turned into a pin cushion with the toile fabric! Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas! Hope you'll visit my blog too!

  32. I LOVE it!! You did a GREAT job.

    I just got a new dress form (Isabella) on Wednesday and spent Thursday "pretty-ing" her up. I didn't decoupage though. Stop by and take a peek at what I did.


  33. Hi There!

    I am so glad I found you and your blog. I am also thrilled to have you as a new follower.

    This dress form tutorial is just WONDERFUL. I am taking on a very small space at a local antique mall (for the first time). I've been shopping ebay for vintage dress forms...and, well...just can not justify the price of them. After reading this, I have resolved to get a new form and do what you did.

    The results are truly amazing.

    Once again, so glad I found Robin's Egg Blues.

    Starview Sonnet

  34. OH my gosh! That is gorgeous! I love Mod Podge!

    Mermaid Debbie

  35. I enjoyed visiting your blog. I will come back when I have more time. Loved the lambs! I had just posted a short note about my pet lamb on my Studio Solutions (organizing) blog. Best pet I ever had! I also love your wrap. Did you design it? Very nice look.

  36. Oh yes, I love the dress form as well. I have one waiting in my studio to be updated.

  37. Joella26.9.11

    ok so it's been over a year since i first read this post and have been dreaming of doing this project ever since. The only problem was in finding a torso or dress form. I had put an ad on our local radio station and facebook last year but heard nothing. I decided out of the blue last week to try one more time and JACK POT a woman emailed with one she was wanting to give away. I am soooooo excited. Hope it turns out as nice as yours. Thanks for posting this great tutorial.


Thanks for taking time to comment and visit QBC. :)