Hanging or Tabletop Duct Tape Dress Form with Easy Alterations

Picture of Hanging or Tabletop Duct Tape Dress Form with Easy Alterations
This duct tape dress form was made after my friend had two babies close together in age. I wanted to make a form for her that was both inexpensive and easily altered so I could take it in as she got smaller, although this instructable could be used to add an inch or two to the dress form as well.
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Step 1: Supplies

For this project, you will need the following:

-Duct tape: I used just over one roll for my friend, who is pretty tiny. You should probably have at least two or three rolls on hand.

-Shirt or plastic garbage bag (person sized): Whichever of these you use, it should be as long as you want your dress form to be tall

-Clothes hanger

-Newspaper: lots for stuffing. I used almost two whole newspapers from Thanksgiving, so they were even fuller than usual.

-Permanent marker/pen that can write on duct tape


-A friend

-Sewing pins

-Tape measure

Step 2: Prepare your model

Have the person you are making the dress form for dress in snug clothing, such as leggings and a close-fitting shirt. This will cut down on odd lumps and extra bulk in your final product.

If you're using a shirt to make this dress form (Note: it will get cut and become one with the form), skip to the next step. If you're using a plastic bag, tun it upside down and cut a hole in the bottom just big enough for your model's head to fit through. Have her pull the bag over her head so you can judge how big & where you need to cut your armholes. Cut circles in the bag where your model will put her arms through. Try to keep the arm holes as close-fitting to your model's arm size as possible, as this will make constructing your dress form easier later on.

***This is a good time to pause for a trip to the bathroom. Soon your model will not be able to sit or move around easily without possibly damaging the dress form in progress.***
harman03 years ago
I had been looking for such an inexpensive way to make one of these for some time now! We ran into a few issues making mine, so here are some substitutions we made:
Where the trashbag ripped or did not cover, we put sheets of plastic cling wrap, it worked very well.
Instead of newspaper, we stuffed the dress form with our huge collection of recyclable plastic grocery bags (like you get at Walmart, Target, etc.), which worked nicely, since we had no newspaper on hand. If you're going to do it this way, though, make sure you have at least a large trashbag full of the bags first.
handprints4 years ago
I am so glad you posted this instructable! You can make a great dressmakers dummy very inexpensively! The "real" ones are SO expensive!

I made one of these after buying an online pattern but since my daughter would not be a part of the action, I was unable to pull the duct tape really tight around my body. What I ended up with was a ginormous torso of me! (I was scared).

If you keep your duct tape REALLY tight on your model's body (unable to breathe tight), you can get a pretty accurate and unique measure of someone you will be sewing for! Or, your alteration instructions are really good too.

Way to go for all the seamstresses in the world!!!!
mksabrina (author)  handprints4 years ago
Thanks for the nice comment! My friend that modeled for me is a fidgeter, so I had to alter hers to be accurate even with tight taping. I'd love to see pictures if you get the chance to alter or redo yours.
lemonie4 years ago

It's good, but what's it like to wear for an evening?

mksabrina (author)  lemonie4 years ago
I would imagine it wouldn't be comfortable at all if you were to make a duct tape dress this tight. This instructable is for the dress form (mannequin) to use while working on sewing projects.
Ah, I misunderstood something (there's a lot of tape around here)

foobear4 years ago
I thought of doing this too! Well done!