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How to Make Your Own Dress Form: a Step by Step Guide (2023)

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When you of paying for expensive custom-made dress, have you ever thought aout how to make your own? Homemade clothing shapes are gaining in popularity ecause of the amount of money you can save. So if you can spare some time and effort and find some helping hands, a homemade dress could e perfect for you.

Maye e a complete dress making pro or maye you are a complete newie. So, for those of you who are not familiar with this piece of kit, let’s riefly explain what a dress form is and why use one.

A Dress itself is a life-size 3D model of the ody, especially the trunk area. Its purpose is to assist in the sizing and fitting of clothes you may design and making. As you go through making your garment, you can place it on the dress form to see how it fits, hangs or flows, for example. A well-made dress form will e of great help to ensure correct sizing and that adjustments can in good faith.

Now that you realize how useful a dress shape can e, it’s time to know how to make your own dress shape. Some methods are quick and easy, while others take more time and patience.

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How to Make a Duct Tape Rug Mold:

how to make your own dress form: Yes, you can use your duct tape!

This type of mold is quick and easy to make and is relatively inexpensive.

You will need:

A willing model, a long T-shirt for them, lots of duct tape, a plastic wrap, thick lack pen


Stand your model comfortaly and wear the long t-shirt that you have provided. You should initially start y wrapping the duct tape across from the ottom of the T-shirt, which should e somewhere around the center of the thigh. The goal is to wrap the duct tape fairly close to the ody, ut not press against it. This process involves layers, so on the first layer you go easily around the waist and don’t pull the tape too tight.

As you reach the chest and underarms, you may need to make adjustments to the t-shirt to follow the line properly and use smaller pieces of tape around the chest.

At this stage, you approach the neck area, cover and protect this area with plastic wrap and then continue with duct tape around the neck and arm areas to give a snug shape looks like like that of a ustier.

This We must now repeat entire wrapping process two more times, the second layer must run from top to ottom and the third layer over the first layer.

Once all three layers are complete, it’s a good time to gra your lack pen and mark the model’s waist efore it’s too late. To delete the newly created form, take your scissors and make an opening, including form and t-shirt, in the center of the ack of the form. It is advisale at this stage to e careful not to cut your models’clothes or accidentally injure them with the scissors.

Once completely cut and removed, stick the form ack together with more duct tape, done to fill and possily place on a stand.

How to make a papier mâché dress that has een glued:

how to make your own dress form: Yes, paper mache might also be useful

Source: Makingitwe11

Stacks of rown paper tape from an office supply store and a willing model provide a cost effective and easy way to make this DIY dress form.

You will need:

Brown paper tape, wet sponge, a willing model, a t-shirt or similar garment for wear, hair dryer


Make sure to work in an area that suitale, as using a damp sponge can cause unwanted wet mess. Have your model in a comfortale position with the T-shirt provided y you. Have some strips of rown tape handy, and once you’ve moistened them with the sponge, start wrapping them fairly tightly around the model. It’s est to start at the ottom, move them up, leaving the ust out for now. When the top and ottom are complete, take a few smaller strips of rown tape them around the ust. It should then address the neck and arm areas, with the wrapping taking the shape of a traditional odice. Once you have your first layer complete, continue to repeat up to a maximum of four layers, alternating etween wrap over and then up to down for strength. It is advisale to dry your paper tape with the hairdryer after completion, otherwise your model’s legs may get tired from standing for a long time. Once the form is reasonaly dry, it is time it away from the center of the model’s ack. The form should ack together once removed, ready to e filled.

How to make a papier mâché preformed dress:

how to make your own dress form: molded papier mache is another great idea

If you are looking for a much more accurate dress form, then you should definitely follow this route with papier mâché. While clunky and more expensive, you will certainly enefit from the final product.

You will need:

Paris plaster, paper pulp insulation, wallpaper paste, large mixing owl, plastic wrap, papers towels, hair dryer, white glue, cord, small wooden splints, knitted faric, willing cut, tight T-shirt or lack garage ag to use as undergarments


Your model should e in a very comfortale position in a well-covered area. This process can take time and will e very messy. At this point you are ready to egin the wrapping process, so make sure you have your plaster or Paris strips wet and ready.

Start similar processes as efore. By wrapping the model’s torso sideways from ottom to top, protect the neck with the plastic wrap. Use smaller strips for the ust and pay close attention to the sleeve as well. We should do the wrapping process as a repeat process to create a good thickness.

While still damp enough to cut, remove the plaster mold from the model, ut cut along each side as opposed to the ack as efore. Prepare the maché y mixing the paper pulp insulation with the wallpaper glue in a large owl.

Lay out the two halves of the mold and put paper towels in them to prevent that the maché gets stuck after application. Take your mixture and gradually start uilding up into the mold using a layering process. You need to make the edges slightly wider than they currently are so you can stick the halves ack together.

When oth halves are almost full, take a hair dryer and last them to speed up the drying process. You now need your glue to stick the two halves together, applying a lot to the edges to give a good grip. Now take your string and tie the mold together so that it dries tight.

Keep an eye on everything while the drying process is taking place, in case the cord loosens you may find that you have your wooden splints and slit etween the cord and the mold has to gra to make it tight again. Once drying is complete, remove the splints and cord and cover your form with a knitted material as this is easier to pin down than the solid mache. Create a stand for your form and you will have a truly professional looking mannequin.

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How to make your own dress shape with foam:

how to make your own dress form: You can also choose foam for your dress form

As with the papier mâché option, this dress forming process is on the expensive side, ut offers much greater precision in the design and fitting of garments. You have your own mannequin. However, eware as this one is super messy.

You will need:

Plaster from Paris, mixing owl, willing models with T-shirt undergarments, scissor expandale foam, luricant, protective clothing and goggles, knitted faric


Similar to The papier mâché option, you need to wrap your model with the plaster process first. Once all layers are complete, remove the mold y cutting the sides and reattaching them with additional papier mâché strips.

Now the fun part, dressed in your protective gear and goggles, place your mold in a void place to work with the foam. Prep the inside of your mold with the luricant to prevent the foam from sticking once it hardens.

Take the can of foam and start uilding even layers in your mold. Keep in mind that this foam expands, so don’t fill up too quickly and leave it to rest etween each coat to make sure you don’t overfill. Once you’ve filled your mold, tidy up your materials and let it sit overnight.

When you return to your mold, now e ale to cut and peel it. away from the foam to reveal your dress shape. As with the papier mâché shape, keep covering with knit faric as this will help secure as the foam will e too dense. Most would make a container for the form aout to create a mannequin structure. This form makes it possile to design great tailor-made garments.

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How to Fill in a Dress Form:

how to make your own dress form: padding your dress form is an important part you can

Dress Forms are, more often than not, solid entities that do not actually represent the female or male ody. Breast and utt areas will e pert and need no support and this is just not how it is in actual life.

It is therefore good practice to know how to fill in your clothing shape to reflect the correct shape of your customer or model. To properly fill the reasts and uttocks, you need to measure your model properly and write the findings. If the chest area is larger than your dress, you will need a standard ra and pin it neatly to the shape. You are now at a point where you can pad the ra to etter match the shape of your model.

Padding can use some kind of dried sundries, such as rice or smaller grains. Create different sizes of padding y placing the dried goods in sealale plastic packages. We can then push these into the ra to take the shape of your model. Supplement the ra area with soft padding to create a smoother finish.

A We can use similar process for the hip and utt area to create a fuller shape. Make several packages of different sizes using the dried goods and use plastic wrap to attach to the required areas. You can again use softer materials to smooth out areas where needed. Although time consuming, it is much more accurate to work with your garment shape this way as it gives your customers a suitable garment.

As with any advertising task; it is always helpful to make sure you have the right materials on hand to style your dress. Take the time to find quality materials and make sure you have enough. Running out y the end would e heartreaking after all the efforts you put in. While it is possile to run these processes solo, it would e very helpful to enlist the help of a friend, or foe, to e your packing uddy. Give them refreshments and something to watch to keep them entertained during a potentially lengthy process.

Keep in mind that while some methods are quick and easy, some are more time consuming and can e very messy. Make sure that you protect clothes that are to e preserved and properly cover workplaces to prevent damage. Make sure you always take the mold or shape removal seriously and that scissors can damage your model if not used properly.

As you can see, making a dress shape at home can e a fun and cost-effective way to make well-fitting garments. Whether you’re just starting out or want a highly accurate and shapely fit, there are options for every level and udget. Now that you know how to make your own dress form, you can save a lot of money with your homemade dress forms.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.