“Vintage” Dress Form





Yesterday afternoon I popped into the recycle area of the dump and found a dress form. Purple, non-vintage, a little grimy, but good bones. I thought somehow she’d be fun for displaying my jewelry at a vintage craft fair in November. I brought her home and went to work with some duct tape to seal the gaps and the same old book I used in my shadowbox project. The book is some sort of horticulture guide from 1883 that I picked up (almost in pieces) at a garage sale years ago. It’s all written in German from what I can tell. I found my bottle of Modge Podge and went to work. I started simply gluing strips, then found the watered down paper maché technique to work much better. All this while I made dinner (see pot on stove!) I saved the first page for the front of the bust and a few interesting charts to place here and there. The neck tag is part of the binding that shows the title of the book. The back neck tag came from the tiny pieces of folded fabric at the top and bottom of the spine that finish off the book. Lovely red and white striping.

With a blank vintage award rosette, a really cool old etched “good business” button I found at Red Books & Chairs, and a round ornamental piece of lamp hardware all glued together I created the brooch.

The locket and chain are from the Alameda Flea Market. The locket holds a photo of my great grandparents.

I’ve yet to figure out what to do with the telescoping white plastic base of the dress form, so check back, I’ll think of something.

UPDATE:
My friend Rose suggested finding an old lamp base. So today I went to the recycle area again and lookie here! Five bucks and a hacksaw job!

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39 Responses to “Vintage” Dress Form

  1. #1 - Deabusamor says:

    Wow, that boring old dress-form turned out looking so unique! Great job, I’m sure your work will look amazing on it. 🙂

  2. #2 - LoveMeKnot Creations says:

    great job on the dress form! Maybe wrap some fabric around the pole??
    Kudos on the great find!

  3. #3 - englishvintagedreams says:

    This looks amazing! Great for display at shows, photos, I would have it on display at home too!

  4. #4 - Barbra says:

    That will lure customers…definitely!

  5. #5 - Alisa says:

    Beautiful job! Where do you live…I want to look through the dumpsters in your neighborhood 🙂

  6. #6 - Karen Beth says:

    Wow! I just love this piece! What a find too! This looks like something you would pay hundreds of dollars for in a swank boutique. It will be so great for craft show displays and such. Great work!!!

  7. #7 - Mrs.Kwitty says:

    Fantastic!! What a score–and you have turned it into something truly wonderful.
    Smiles, Karen

  8. #8 - DreamON says:

    And don’t you have fun! Great idea. Keep up the good work.

  9. #9 - Mary Ann says:

    Wow – what a great idea. That looks amazing.

  10. #10 - vanna says:

    holy, moley!! that is awesome!! what a fantastic idea. i’m in awe!

  11. #11 - beccieblossom says:

    What a great idea – I just love the way it came out!

  12. #12 - BabyLyons says:

    what a fabulous idea!!!

  13. #13 - At Home with Kim Vallee says:

    A wonderful transformation.

  14. #14 - Kayce says:

    Wow! That’s fantastic! What an inspiring blog post… thanks!

  15. #15 - Anonymous says:

    That’s a very cool way to use and display a dress form! Of course, I’m jealous as no one where I live would leave a dress form in a dumpster! 🙂

    I agree with lovemeknot as well in that some fabric around the pole would work well!

  16. #16 - ChatonDesigns says:

    Wow! Great idea…it certainly turned out well. It will be a wonderful way to show jewellery too 🙂

  17. #17 - Erin says:

    Oh my goodness, you are so creative!

  18. #18 - Anonymous says:

    Thats so beautiful! The lamp pole really adds the finishing touch! Love you work!

  19. #19 - Ludwika says:

    I know this is an old post, but i just thought i would tell you how much i enjoy reading your blog, you are my first blog i will follow, its very inspiring.

    Its such a lovely and personal dress form!
    The book-papers look danish, “Plantelære” means plant-learning/plant-education in danish 🙂

  20. #20 - Fishstikks says:

    Wow oh wow did that turn out so very awesome!
    Totally love it!

  21. #21 - Marsha says:

    so gorgeous! what a great imagination you have.

  22. #22 - honstuff says:

    What a FABULOUS job you did! It looks vintage without the price! Great idea you had.

  23. #23 - Me & My House says:

    Okay, so I am now officially a follower of your blog! I wish you lived here so I could pay you to do this although it seems easy enough…I LOVE the transformation here and the vintage lamp base was a GREAT idea! OMG! Anyhow, I may have to try this as my search for a vintage dress form is looking a little sketchy…see my recent post for what I am looking for and if you have any suggestions…thanks so much for the inspiration!

    -Kennesha
    http://www.menmyhouseblog.blogspot.com

  24. #24 - Me & My House says:

    Okay, so I am now officially a follower of your blog! I wish you lived here so I could pay you to do this although it seems easy enough…I LOVE the transformation here and the vintage lamp base was a GREAT idea! OMG! Anyhow, I may have to try this as my search for a vintage dress form is looking a little sketchy…see my recent post for what I am looking for and if you have any suggestions…thanks so much for the inspiration!

    -Kennesha
    http://www.menmyhouseblog.blogspot.com

  25. #25 - SweetPeaknits says:

    What an amazing idea. I'd love to try that for my old dressform.

  26. #26 - Ingrid says:

    The language of the horticulture book is Norwegian from the 1800s, when Norway was in union with Denmark. Just a fun fact 🙂

  27. #27 - Anonymous says:

    so creative u r gifted!!!!!!! can I make one for my room? so clever … just amazing.

  28. #28 - Kristy says:

    Love what you did to that old dress form!!! I happened upon your beautifully creative blog and creations while searching for vintage dress forms, which I collect miniature versions of! I look forward reading more and getting great ideas on making beautiful items!

    Sincerely,
    ~Kristy

  29. #29 - Rachel says:

    Adore this. I want a dress form so badly.

  30. #30 - Gayle says:

    I'm always amazed at your creativity! It's funny, isn't it, when you set your mind to finding something(s), suddenly there it is!!! The old lamp base is what takes this to the next level!

  31. #31 - ofpaperandthings says:

    This looks great! I did something really similar – except I didn't have a dress form so first I made a duct tape one. Then I mod podged it.

  32. #32 - Megs says:

    This is great…I stumbled upon your blog in my own search for a vintage display form to use for photos…and to no avail…they are all so expensive! anyway, what a fantastic idea, i just may try it, thank you for sharing…

  33. #33 - Stephanie says:

    I have been following your blog a long time and searched today on how to cover cloth dress form with paper and walah an old friend blog popped up. Neato!

  34. #34 - mary ann conner says:

    I made my dress form into a standing lamp for my bedroom.

  35. #35 - Bookworm says:

    What would have made it even better is if you used either old patterns or a sewing book.

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  37. #36 - Becky says:

    what a lovely idea, and a great job! I am going to try this too!

  38. #37 - Debbie Knost says:

    Cathe,
    Thanks so much. Love your creativity.

  39. #38 - jo says:

    fab. super fab. love this!