DIY Duct Tape Mannequin

I have a fun one for you! Grab a friend (or a willing, sweet, and patient husband like mine), go buy a few rolls of duct tape, and make your own dress form! Customized to be just like you, your own dress form will be perfect for sewing your own clothing. I have been wanting a dress form for a while (mainly to decorate with, of course!), but really could use one now that I’m making more clothing for myself. The first two dresses I made caused a lot of running back and forth to the bathroom mirror, and hems are hard to fix on yourself! I came across this idea somewhere along the long “50’s dress pattern” Google-search road. Try it yourself! Just make sure you have 30 minutes to an hour to spare. And leave the ceiling fan on. It’s a hot process, being wrapped in a plastic bag and all.

***Note: To save this post from being WAY too picture-heavy, I’m posting the pictures below in gallery form. If you want to see a picture better, simply click on it to enlarge.

Items Needed: Duct Tape (two-three rolls), Clear Packing Tape (less than one roll), stuffing (old clothes, shopping bags, whatever!), Patience

The first step is to make a “shirt” out of a plastic bag- garbage or shopping bags work well. Bella was my guinea pig, so I used a shopping bag. Cut a hole for your head and a hole on either side for your arms. Leave the holes smaller than you need them!!! Plastic stretches and tears, so you can enlarge them after the bag is on you. You want the arms to fit just a tad bit too tight, as the duct tape needs to go right up under your arm. Put on the bag, and start taping! Start with your chest and work down to your waist, using one layer of overlapping duct tape to cover the bag entirely. Go around to the back and start at your waist and work up to your neck, overlapping and covering the whole way. Go back and duct tape down to your hips (or a little past, if you’re “hippy” like me!) and then fill in the duct tape from your chest up to your neck. I did one duct tape width around my neck. After you’re covered, go back and do a second and third layer. This will give your dress form more thickness and it will hold up better when you stuff it later. After you’re completely layered all three times, cut a zigzag-ish line up the back. Remove the form. Carefully tape the form together with clear packing tape (so you can see your zigzag best). Stuff with whatever you have: I used shopping bags for Bella’s form, and old clothing destined for the rag box and thrift store for mine. Tape up the arm holes, neck hole, and hip hole. Tada! A personalized mannequin.

I’m planning on covering mine with fabric in the near future; I’ll post directions for that, too!

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