Saturday, January 5, 2013

DIY Duct Tape Dress Form - Part 2

So, after Mr. A cut me out of the duct tape dress form we made, I put a hanger on it and hung it in the bedroom on a ceiling hook.  I padded the hanger with some fabric scraps so it wouldn't distort the shoulders.

...And there she hung over the weekend. 

To fill the dress form, I first had to plug the leg holes.  I reinforced the edges with more layers of tape and then cut 2 pieces of foam core the same size and shape as the holes. (Note: She's hanging up in the doorway.)

 The shape doesn't have to be exact.  You can set the leg plug and tape it in a couple places, and then trim the shape smaller, as needed.  Tape the plug in place all the way around.

Now comes the sticky part.  I used a combination of Great Stuff and newspapers to fill the form.  Use one can of Great Stuff at a time.  I squirted it far down into the legs, and when the can was empty, I grabbed some newspapers and used them to stuff the stuffing down farther.  The stuff expands but not as much as I had imagined.  You've got to take the paper and cram it into the crevices or they will cave in later.

The newspapers caused problems.  Don't use them!  More on that later.

Oh, and you need gloves for this because it will get ALL OVER your hands!  If this happens, just use some nail polish remover with acetone and it will come off.  And it will probably ruin your gloves, unless you feel like taking acetone to those, too.

This is what the inside abdomen/hips looked like after 2 cans of Great Stuff:

You'll want to let the GS dry in between cans.  There are two indentations down the legs where I took my fist with some newspaper and crammed the stuff in farther.  I took the waiting time as an opportunity to fix the abdomen.  When I compared Dolly's (yes, I named my dress form Dolly) tummy with my own I found that she was a good inch bigger than me.  

I grabbed an blade knife and performed surgery down the center front and made a slit at the fullest point:

Then, I brought the tummy in and taped it up nice and good:

VoilĂ , food baby GONE!  I compared mine and Dolly's waist measurements and they matched.

So I continued to add more cans of foam, and stuffing the newspapers in after each can of foam.  It looked great at first.  Much of the inside of the abdomen is filled with newspaper, and then I added more foam on top, which caused the tummy to cave in.  I added a hanger before I taped the back up all the way.  I taped the armholes closed the same way I did the leg holes, and then sprayed the last of the foam through the neck hole.
 Holy cow, it looks like an enormous goiter: 

The goiter went down as it dried but I still have some foam to scrape off.  This is Dolly all filled with foam and newspapers:

 The upper body looks really good and matches my measurements, but the abdomen and butt have some serious caving in issues.

If I were to do this again, I wouldn't use any newspapers.  

They just left air gaps which caved in from the weight of the foam above.  My husband suggested comparing abdomen measurements and adding a layer of tape where it caved in, and filling that with spray foam.

I wish I was a Mythbuster and could fill my body cast with a medium that handles weight better.  Dolly's leg stumps even caved in a bit after I added foam above the abdomen.  Sigh.
 I got a nice gift card to the fabric store for Christmas.  Last night I was picking up some fabric and stopped to take a look at the dress forms.  They were $110 off, which was tempting.  The petite dress form's couldn't dial up enough to fit my waist size and the shoulders are not adjustable.  Considering the fact that I have smaller than average shoulders, this would not work.  If I can't make it look truly like a body double, than this duct tape dress form is the best option I have.
 I am a little discouraged with the bottom half of the dress form, but when I get the courage again, I will fix it and let you know how it goes.


  1. I saw your interesting post on your duct tape dressform. Earlier on my (neglected) blog I posted about the My Twin dressform that my husband and I made:
    It is a lot of work, but well worth it. I didn't post a lot of details on the blog, but you could contact me if you ever decide you would like to do one of these. (it's probably not much cheaper than the boughten ones, but mine turned out very well.

  2. I found this on youtube a while ago when trying to figure out how to resize a pattern, another cheap way to make a dress form.

  3. I think you're right about the newspapers because the spray foam comes out wet and might cause the newspapers to get wet and disintegrate before the foam dries. I know they sell spray foam at the hardware store that expand to different degrees, so if you use one that expands more it would fill the dress form in fewer cans. Or maybe just pack it in really tight with cut up insulation (the non toxic type) or dense polyfill... good luck! So far it looks great!

  4. I've always wondered how these look after, yours looks really good!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them!