Jul 3, 2011

Mannequin Metamorphosis - "Milly"

Okay - I am frugal, cheap or whatever, so instead of spending loads of $$ on a fancy antique mannequin, I thought I would try to gussy up on of the two dressforms I had in my studio.

Currently I am working on revamping my craft fair booth display. My next show - The Cherry Street Art Fest in Watseka IL, is a fine art and crafts show, so I thought my booth really needed a redo.

Milly started out as one of those fabric over plastic, adjustable dressforms, I think from Dritz. This form did not have the large dials for adjustments but those horizontal toothed wheels. Making her as small as possible, the divisions between the body sections needed to be taped for more stability. Out came the very tacky USPS priority shipping tape. (Did I mention I am tape challenged!)

Then I cut numerous strips of newspaper and applied them with Mod Podge in a diagonal pattern. Don't know why I choose diagonal, but it looked interesting.

Wow, I went through numerous bottles of decoupage medium from different manufacturers. Luckily I had a good stash, mostly from garage sales. Here she is all decoupaged, just waiting for my next creative step.

For added strength, I reinforced the inside as best I could with duct tape. Then she was painted with white craft paint over which I painted a mix of pearl white paint, champagne pearl and extra pearl medium.

Light pink paint was dabbed and rubbed on in places, some mica flakes applied here and there and several butterfly and dragonfly stamps in muted beige and rose ink were added. With some Territorial Beige craft paint, I "antiqued" around the neck, arm sockets, and hemline. Then the whole mannequin got a final application of Mod Podge Hard Coat.

Once she was all painted the body sections were more noticeable. They are more so on the back then the front. Adding a organza sash and large flower helped disguise this problem.

Next what to do with the neck area which was white plastic with a pin cushion on top and the super ugly metal stand - I applied some torn pattern tissue paper with decoupage on top of the white plastic and when it was dry I painted it glossy black. The pincushion is unchanged and may be a great way to display some fancy hat pins.

After finally disassembling the metal stand, I was able to take off the hem gauge contraption on the bottom. Put it all back together with the adjustable height gizmo hidden under the body. With a bit of hot glue I wrapped the vertical section with black tulle.

Using scrapbook paper and a Xyron 900 sticker machine, I applied the paper to the three "feet", then coated them with Hard Coat for more durability. The space between the feet and horizontal bar needed a bit more drama, so I added loads of black organza petals and a couple of finished flowers. Although it doesn't show up really well in the photos, it is cute in person.

A bit of pretty ivory trim was glued around the neck area. I didn't want any thing too fancy because she will be used to display necklaces. Then two colors of organza were tied around her waist with a big flower added.

Voila - she's finished!

Now my husband is having issues with Milly's "nakedness" and says he will not be carrying her into any shows. I don't see a problem, but if she seems to be attracting too much of the wrong type of attention, Milly may need to acquire a coverup.

What do you think? Does she need cover or not?

My booth colors are white with black and pink accents and Milly should be a pretty addition.


Momma Goddess Treasures said...

She turned out gorgeous!! Love the uniqueness of her. Don't know what to tell you about your husband and his phobia, but she looks pretty to me!! If he insists, I guess you can criss cross some organza over her nakedness!!

Rita said...

WOW! I am so impressed with Milly! She should be a great asset to your booth!

Rita said...

WOW! I am so impressed with Milly! She should be a great asset to your booth!

WellspringCreations said...

You are amazing! If you have to cover her (which seems a shame), you could show how your jewelry looks great with the ubiquitous little black dress! :)

Janet Bocciardi said...

My goodness! She's incredible. In fact I know there'd be folks out there that would pay a lot of money to buy her! (business idea??!) Really nice. Your booth is going to be wonderful

Maria Soto Robbins said...

She looks absolutely stunning! I have a Wolf "Dolly" and would love to do something creative with her as opposed to just wearing an old discarded evening dress-lol!

Kathleen said...

Thanks ladies for your kind comments! She will be going as is for at least the first show and then we'll see. I really don't want to dress her!