May 7, 2012

Tools for the trade

When I decided to expand The Shop and begin selling vintage clothes I had to think about how I wanted to display them and if I was going to wear them in the product photos, use a model or purchase a fancy, expensive dress form. I wasn't about to just lay them out on the floor and snap a picture of them in horrible light. One of the biggest things that helps attract people to your online shop is the appearance. It must look appealing and draw people in and having your items displayed nicely is one of the biggest things you can do. I saw a few different DIY's on YouTube on how to make a dress form but the below video by Threadbanger was the one I decided to follow for the most part.

{the important instructions are in the video}
In the video they use a tree stump and tree stand for the base but I wanted to use something nicer looking so Tyrone and I went to Big Lots and to see if anything would catch our eye. Tyrone was a big help and helped me pick out the tall lamp stand to use. It was super cheap especially compared to what it would have been if I had to buy a body form brand new. I even looked at vintage ones on Etsy but they were WAY out of my price range. I passed up a really old one at the DI (local thrift) that was only around $50 bucks and now I am kicking myself for it.) There are some tutorials that show you how to make one with duct tape but that wasn't the look I wanted. Using brown adhesive packing tape like they do in the video was perfect beyond words.
Now, I needed a model to form the tape to because I was not about to use my own body since the average size of vintage clothing that I find is always smaller than what I am. I asked my sister in law Rachel (my brother's wife) if she would be my model because I needed someone a bit....wait....A LOT smaller than me. Her size ended up being perfect because all of the smaller shirts fit the form perfectly plus even if I do have something that is larger in size to display it will still work. You can't shove a small over an extra large frame. I've tried way too many times. Fail! But you can put a large over a small and make it work. It was a bonding experience for sure because I had to get all up in her business to make sure it was forming to her body well. I totally felt her up.

What you'll need:
1. large plastic garbage bag
2. tape (to adhere the bag to your model)
3. self adhesive packing tape (I had a large roll and didn't even use half of it)
4. wet wash cloth (a bit more wet than just damp worked well but when they tell you in the video not to  use too much water trust them. I hardly used much at all and I didn't have to wait at all for it to dry. You can always go back over it all and wet any corners that didn't stick.)
5. floor lamp (the one I used was super cheap, the top bowl that the light usually comes out of was plastic so I didn't feel bad at all taking it apart.)
6. a bunch of leftover plastic shopping bags (or really anything you want to stuff it will)
7. I used strong tape and some styrofoam pieces to keep the the form in place on the stand.
8. scissors

For the stand I took a floor lamp and took off the plastic bowl and pulled out the cord and threw them all away. I mean I recycled them like any responsible human would. Liar! I was left with the perfect height. I thought about getting a microphone stand so it could be adjustable but finding a cheap one wasn't very easy. I'm telling you the floor lamp was some where around ten bucks and I am so glad it worked out.

I taped the leftover styrophom from what was in the floor lamp box onto the stand around the bottom of where the form would stay so it wouldn't slide down. After that was secure I placed the body form over the styrofoam and began stuffing it with plastic bags until it was really full.

{the blanket I have hanging is so gross and wrinkly - probably has dog hair all over it}

To finish it off I stamped mine with my shop's name and left it at that. Voila!

It has worked out very well so far. I could not be happier with it.


 Amy said...

This is amaaaaazing.

kendahl said...

It is perfect! I never would have thought of using tape, ever. And I barely recognized Rachel - she looks freaking adorable with short hair!

Colleen said...

This is brilliant! I might have to attempt something like this one day....pffffft yeah right.