Monday, August 22, 2011

~VINTAGE MANNEQUIN DRESS FORM~ A Makeover From the Ground Up


Earlier this month I shared with you some photos of the hot pink and black dress form I discovered at a local shoppe (you can see her at the top)!  Miss Josephine (that is what I named her) was originally bright hot pink and lots of black and way tooo intense for me!  Well, Miss J's transformation began a couple of days after I found and today I'm going to walk talk you through her makeover up until this point!

I've purchased several new and vintage and antique dress forms over the years and all were made of metal, papier-mâché or layered cardboard.  Well... my new friend, Josephine, is the first one I've ever found made of fiberglass.  I wasn't even sure what her body was made of until I asked my Mr. AGPman about it.  (No wonder my fingertips felt like I was being stuck with prickly little needles!)

I began by removing her fabric covering and the thin layer of gray foam.  It had been attached with cheap hot glue so most of it pulled right off (I also removed her finial).
(sold in tubs at hardware stores)

After discovering she wasn't made of papier-mâché (my first guess) I knew immediately I'd have to resurface her body with joint compound (JC).

I donned a pair (several to be honest with you) of latex gloves and began by NEATLY smoothing the JC over the fiberglass webbing with my hands.

You want to make sure when apply JC that you smooth out as much of the product as possible.  You will need to sand off any ridges and bumps so the smoother your surface ends up being the less work you'll have later on!

After thoroughly drying (only took about an hour in our Oklahoma HEAT!) I lightly sanded off the rough areas and applied a second coat with a 3" sponge brush!  My goal was to have a fairly smooth surface but one that would have some character after it was painted!  I didn't take a picture of the sanding part because I didn't want to ruin my $$$ camera!  (WEAR A MASK!  That powdery stuff goes everywhere!)

After smoothing out my new best friend :) I feathered off the majority of the dust and then primed her with Zinsser 123 Primer using a fresh 3" sponge brush.  Do not skip this part.  If you paint directly over JC it will not hold and will eventually crack and flake off!  You also cannot spray paint over JC.  All it does is absorb into the JC and you waste a bunch of money!

After priming I gave her two coats of my favorite Cottage White Latex Paint (Behr Paint/Home Depot).  Now, I just may recoat her again with my favorite sugary pink paint (custom color) before I move on...

I have great plans for Miss Josephine!  I've pretty much settled on a French Theme and plan on hand painting French lettering and maybe some tiny roses on her body in a sweeping garland-type style. Again...haven't fully decided yet!  I'll keep you posted.  At least for now this is where I'm at!

I'm off to work!  Hope your day is fabulous!

Love to you...


Maria said...

Wow, Miss J sure looked smooth and smokin'! Great Job, R! She's going to look really awesome once you're done with her!! I can't wait to see the transformation! Hugs, M

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Wow, a lot of work! I had a dream that I found a dress form at a garage sale and I had a craft day at my house with friends to heIp decopage her.
Did you name her yet? If she is French, she needs a sweet Frenchy name!!

Anonymous said...

"She" is one lucky lady to be in your hands!! I can't wait to see her finished!!
Have a Great Day!

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, she looks beautiful and elegant now. You really prettied her up, Rebecca!


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Lots of work went into Miss Josephine's make-over....she looks so nice and smooth and clean now!
I love your idea of the lettering and
garland of your hand painted roses...
that should really "bring out the French" in her!! :0)
I am assuming YOU intend to keep her for yourself?? If you were going to part with her, I bet you would be mobbed with requests!!! I'd be among the mobbers!! LOL
I am always in awe of the talents you have....I do believe you can do just about anything you set that pretty little mind to!! God has blessed you in a special way....
Have fun with your new friend..can't wait to see her "all dolled up!! to you, Love, Francy

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

I can't wait to see Miss Josephine finished! I know she will be beautiful.
hugs~~~ Daphne

Goosegirl said...

Oh Miss Josephine is becoming so lovely. I can't wait to see her has she changes. Very pretty Rebecca. You have such vision. I wish I could share a cup of tea someday. Once again, I have your music playing while I drink my cuppa. I pray you are blessed with a beautiful, joyful, and creative Monday.

Unknown said...

I just found your beautiful blog and have enjoyed looking at your posts and listening to your beautiful music. I was very inspired by your work space but even more inspired by your relationship with God and how He works in your life. He works in my life that like that too and it is so nice to find someone to share that. I too am a rose painter also, and like you have evolved over the years. I am still working FT and don't get to post as often as I would like but I will visit you often. I hope you will visit me and check out my roses. Your work is simply beautiful. Have a great day.

Brenda ~ The Heminger Farmhouse said...

I can not wait to see Miss Josephine when she is all done!! She is going to be absolutely gorgeous!!

Warmest hugs, Brenda

Unknown said...

She is going to be gorgeous! Interesting proccess getting her to this point!

KatyDidStitches said...

So Miss Josephine is going to have rose tattoos!

She looks wonderful...her new skin is so smooth and creamy. Do you think JC would work on us real gals? Never mind...probably not...sigh...


Elizabeth and Gary said...

I love her Rebecca...I can't wait to see how you dress her up!
I purchased a dress form a while back right now I have a apron over her. I planed on making a new cover for her and dressing her with my vintage jewelry.
Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

Lavender Cottage said...

Hi Rebecca
A lot of work even to this point but I know you like things just so. I think Miss J is going to be a pretty lady when you've completed her with roses and all.
This was fun seeing the steps and I didn't have to lift a finger. (sorry :-)

Linda Breedlove said...

A masterpiece... can't wait to see her completed!

Marilyn said...

I knew you'd be sharing before long. ;D. You are the hardest worker I know and the girl that gets it done! Keep sharing as you work on her to tease us along.♥♫

Chatty Crone said...

I could never ever begin to do something like this - AWESOME!

Mariette's Back to Basics said...

Dearest Rebecca,

You are quite a handy lady and the way you managed to get to this stage is very genial! Of course you learned from you mistakes in the past. We have a Delft blue tile in our office that reads: If we don't learn from our mistakes, there is no use to make them.
I bet you make a dream dress form out of her!
Love to you,


Dolores said...

Miss Josephine looks like she's ready to be dressed up, she'll be gorgeous when you're finished with her!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Who would have though of that! Great job and I cannot wait to see her finished!!!


Theresa said...

So beautiful, but I liked it as it was too:) You have gone to soooo much work BUT it is really looking gorgeous!

Enjoy your day dear Rebecca, HUGS!

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