Duct Tape Dress Form DIY

Recently we hosted a new type of class at the shop: Crafty Times at Stash.  The idea is to facilitate a creative activity outside the comfort zone of fiber and yarn; from beads and wire to duct tape and paper, anything is possible!

For our first Crafty Times, we created a body double out of duct tape.  Why a duct tape dress form? you ask.  Well, your mini me can act as a close replica of your body, standing in when you need your own measurements, want to see what something looks like on, or need to drape or pin a garment in progress onto a body.  They can also act as sculpture, physical art pieces for you to embellish and display.

To get started you will need:

  • 1-2 rolls (60 yards each) of good old silver duct tape
  • an old t-shirt that will be cut up
  • scrap cardboard
  • polyfill, wool, bubble wrap, shredded paper, newspaper, or other stuffing material.
  • 1 hanger (optional)
  • a friend to help

Pre-cut some tape for speedier mummification.

Start out wearing that old t-shirt.  Stand with your feet hips-width apart; try to avoid leaning or shifting your weight as this will affect your finished dress form.  As you wrap the tape, keep in mind that it should be snug against your body, not just attached to the shirt.

Begin by wrapping tape horizontally just under the bustline.  Do the same around the hips; don’t go below the t-shirt hem.  Following the natural curves of the body, apply short sections of tape, taking care to smooth the tape down as you go.  This will make for a prettier finished form.

Make an x (cross your heart style) between your breasts or pecks.  This is your time to lift and separate, so go for it!  Smaller pieces of tape (4-6 inches) work well here.  Continue layering over all of your curves, around the arms, and neckline, following the hems of the shirt.

Once everything has been covered, do it a second time.  You want to create a firm shell.

Using sharp fabric scissors, cut up the back of the duct tape/shirt.  Be careful not to snip skin or undergarments!  Now breathe a sigh of relief–it can get hot in there!

Now you’re ready to seal, stuff, and decorate!

Cut cardboard to create a firm base.

Use a plate, cup, or other round container to create rounds for arm and neck openings.

Fill with shredded paper, bubble wrap, polyfill, scrap fibers, just about anything that can fill in those curves. We used scrunched up paper and bubble wrap in the bottom, filled the torso and bust with shredded paper from the office, and topped it all off with more bubble wrap. Then add your final piece of cardboard into the neck opening and tape into place. You can also add a clothes hanger before closing the opening, allowing you to hang your form for storage or display.

We added a strip of zebra-striped tape around the base of this form.  Others have completely covered their dress forms in decorative tape, fabric, or paint.

Have fun with this!



Filed under Crafty Times, Tutorials

2 responses to “Duct Tape Dress Form DIY

  1. Cat

    I have wanted to make one of these for some time, you make it look like a lot of fun!

  2. This looks like fun! You’d definitely want to do this with a friend…

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