Ok, this is kind of embarrassing but it’s such a useful tool I’m just going to go ahead and put it out there – this exact replica of my body I mean.  The duct tape dress form DIY is nothing new, but I really want you all to create your own so we can show you some new Hot Mess Mommy tops and dresses and you can sew them to fit just right.  My friend Mary and I really worked to perfect the technique and show you all the supplies to make a really effective yet simple custom dress form of your own body super inexpensively.  Get the full tutorial on  How to Make a Duct Tape Dress Form after the jump…

Duct Tape DIY Dress Form

You will need:
-A big, old T-shirt that will be destroyed
-About 50 yards of duct tape (I used five 10-yard rolls).  I got all matchy with our Prudent Baby logo using Duck Tape brand in Tranquil Teal, but it also comes in Island Lime, Green Clover, Red, Yellow Sunshine, Neon Pink, Funky Flamingo, Purple, and Totally Tye Dye for some craft-room coordination.
-One 4′ or 5′ length of PVC tubing depending on how tall you are (can find at any hardware store for a few bucks)
-Batting
-Spray Adhesive, I used Aleene’s Tacky Spray
-1 can of Expandable Foam (from the plumbing section of the hardware store)
-A pair of disposable gloves
-An umbrella stand (I used this plastic one from Ikea)

1.  Acquire one best friend (hey everyone, meet my bestie Mary).  Leave your bras on so your boobs retain their normal clothing-wearing shape, then put the old t-shirt on top.  Begin by wrapping tape around each other’s waists like so:

Resist the urge to suck your stomach in.  You need this thing to be your actual size or it’s useless.

2.  Now take the tape and cross it over your chest from the bottom of one boob around the back, then the other side:

3.  Oy, this is getting humiliating.  Using small pieces of tape, tape around your breasts (without smushing them).  Tape up your back and around your shoulders like you have cap sleeves on.  Layer the tape up, you want about three layers in any given spot.  If you want, you can also wrap a piece of old t-shirt around your neck and tape your neck as well, so you’ll also have a neck on your form, but we were running low on tape and had zero intention of going to the store for more looking like this:

Back view:

4.  Now continue to wrap tape around your stomach and your booty.  You want to go further down than this, but I ran out of tape.  If you do it too tight you will regret it, it’s not that fun to wear this much hot sticky tape for long:

5.  Now use scissors to cut open the back of your duct tape body cast, cutting through the t-shirt but being careful not to cut the bra:

6.  Lay your form down and spray the inside of the boobies with spray adhesive:

and stuff them with batting:

Now spray the entire inside with spray adhesive and stick batting to it:

7.  Cut a scrap piece of cardboard and hot glue it to the inside of the neckhole:

Tape the back slit of your form shut and turn the whole thing upside down.  Stuff with more batting or even newspaper or whatever you’ve got:

8. Pour a glass of pinot.  Grab your spray foam and a pair of disposable gloves:

Stick your PVC pipe into the center of your dress form:

And using the long wand on the spray foam, stick the tip down as far as you can and spray the foam around the pole.  Also spray the foam in a few random spots throughout your form.  The foam will be really sticky, it will about triple in size and harden, giving your dress form some heft and cementing your pole in place:

Here is a close up view of what it looks like when you first spray it:

And here is why you should be wearing disposable gloves.  My skin is still peeling off:

9.  Let it set for about four hours or overnight, then turn your dress form over and stick the bottom of the pipe in your umbrella stand, adjusting so the form is as close to your actual height as possible:

Now mine looks like this.  I had to go out and buy more tape to finish it up.

I went ahead and closed the armholes with tape, but you can actually make duct tape arms if you want.  Make sure you indicate where your armholes are with your tape in such a way that you will remember where they are while you are piecing your clothes together:

Tape up the bottom as well.  You could use a piece of cardboard but the tape works just fine:

Add a few more layers of tape to smooth out any ripples, just be sure not to change your shape in the process:

Make a nice neckline.  It’s important to remember where your neck is when sewing:

And a few final wraps around the waist so it’s nice and smooth for pinning:

Done!

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