How to Make a 1/4 Size Dress Form

Written by shaunta alburger
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How to Make a 1/4 Size Dress Form
Use sharp scissors to keep the tape from gumming them up (scissors image by Pefkos from

You can design a small dress form out of newspaper and duct tape, making it pin-able and giving it an interesting industrial look, You can paint the fun and functional form, decorate it with permanent markers or découpage it. You can also use it to make miniature samples of clothing designs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • 1 roll duct tape
  • Thin cardboard
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Crumble the newspaper and start to shape it into a dress-form shape about 16 inches tall , 9 inches around the shoulder and hips and about 7 inches around the waist. The finished form should look like a human female from the neck to just below the hips, without arms. Start with balled or twisted paper and add smoother sheets as you proceed. Go slowly and mould the newspaper until you have the shape you want.

  2. 2

    Cut several 6-inch pieces of duct tape and start to tape the form. Make horizontal rows starting at the bottom, overlapping the tape as you go. The tape will let you mould the shape even more as you proceed up the form. Tape to the bottom of the bust.

  3. 3

    Use smaller pieces of tape to make a flower shape over each of the dress form's breasts. Cross the pieces over themselves in an X shape and then a cross shape. When you have covered each breast, use larger pieces of tape to make an X from each shoulder between the breasts. Use more tape to make sure all the newspaper is covered, then continue with horizontal rows on the top of the form.

  4. 4

    Start at the bottom again and cover the whole form with a second layer of tape, making vertical rows this time. Use your hands and fingers to continue to mould and shape the form as you go. Tape over the top of the neck and the arm openings.

  5. 5

    Set the dress form's bottom on a piece of thin cardboard and trace around with a pencil. Cut the shape out and tape it to the bottom of the dress form for a base.

Tips and warnings

  • You could also use gummed paper tape.

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