Introduction: How to Make a Low Cost Adjustable Pallet Wood Dress Form or Display Dummy.

About: I am an escapee from modern life, now living by the sea in a forest garden in France. After over 20 years industrial experience, I quit my managerial position to study for a degree in Engineering. That done I …

This dress form was designed and made for a specific purpose because over Christmas Sue was asked if she would make costumes for a small independent film company. She was to be sent the measurements of the actors, thus had no way of making the usual tee shirt and duct tape mannequins. As this was to be a fairy/folk tale the costumes were to be quite intricate and as with most small film companies the budget was tight. There was no allowance for buying a dress form and anyway Sue wanted to reuse and refashion as much material and accessories as possible so using recycled materials for the dress form fitted the bill.

The mannequin we came up with is created from pallet wood and a recuperated pole from a display stand and the cost of the whole project was around $1. We used power tools because one, we have them and at the moment are still on the grid and two because we were pushed for time not only in creating the costumes but because we then had to send them across the water to Scotland. However, this whole project could be accomplished with hand tools.

The great advantages of this type of dummy are:

- it can be stored away in a very small space once not in use,

- it is at a great height for working on and trying out designs.

- you can create any size for both men, woman and children on the same mannequin,

- it can even be made in stiff card if you have no wood available to make the form,

- by stretching a tee shirt over the form and/or padding it out with fabric you can make a great display stand for yard sales, craft fairs or for photographing items for sale on etsy or ebay

- if you are only going to use it once, you can recycle the materials into something else, even if it is just firewood and a curtain pole!

Step 1: What to Do

The film goes into great detail, taking you through the construction process step-by-step but if you want any additional help there are two written articles on my blog. The link to them is at the end of the film or you can follow this link HERE

I can not post any pictures of the completed film costumes at the moment as the film is destined for a competition and has to remain under wraps until the acceptance deadline is passed. However, I am really happy to tell you that not only did all the costumes fit but the actors found them comfortable to wear!

We found this a very interesting upcycling project to design and create and a little out of the mainstream idea of reusing the humble pallet. Hope you will find it useful and interesting too.

All the best Andy (Organikmechanic) and Sue (Pavlovafowl)