The Southern Nest Blog

DIY Vintage Dress Form

DIY Vintage Dress Form

For years I have been salivating over the idea of purchasing a vintage dress form.  At the going rate of $500, I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Seriously though…look at these pictures!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  A vintage dress form has the ability to add an air of chic sophistication to a room.  I. HAD. TO. HAVE. ONE.



I was doing my usual “I’m just going to browse through images of them and lust” dance, when I had an epiphany.  Couldn’t I….make one?  After all, I “age” everything else.  Why couldn’t I do the same with a dress form?  I began browsing retail display stores online and found a dress form for around $50.  I decided to take the gamble and purchased it.  I knew I also wanted one for little G’s room, so I went ahead and purchased a toddler sized form for her as well.

This is what the dress form looked like upon the arrival.  (Pardon the poor lighting, these photos were taken at night.)


First, I needed to age the fabric.  I did this by creating a concoction of tea (I used 10 bags of black tea) and added coffee grounds.  I let it sit for a bit, then painted the “tea-coffee” concoction all over both dress forms.  I went to the Graphics Fairy’s website and downloaded some perfect French-vintage images to transfer onto the fabric of the dress form.  After that, I used stain and watered-down paint to make the forms look very, very aged.  Last, I painted the wooden stands (which were glossy and modern) with matte, muted shades to make the piece truly feel old.  When I was done, I couldn’t believe they were even the same dress forms that had just been delivered.



became this.



And the toddler size dress form turned out perfectly.  It got a little pink tutu and instantly brought the room to a new level.

 See?  Anything is possible with paint and a little creativity.

On a side note…I was browsing through the photos and right after the “dress form” photos were these sweet pictures that I just had to share.  (I went into labor 3 days after making these dress forms….I may have been overdoing it just a tad.)  🙂


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  1. Hi! These are so gorgeous! I’ve been looking for a while now, and wanted to see if you mind telling me where you found the plain forms to start with? Thanks so much!!

  2. Kai, I am so sorry I am just seeing your comment. I found it online after searching for store display dress forms, but I cannot find the exact company! If I do, I will let you know!

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