Mannequin Gets New Life

April 26th, 2010 in blog, projects     
MimiToria Gretchen Schaumann, contributor
15 users recommend

The updated mannequin (Carolina) displaying some of my jewelry I design.
She had ugly dirty material covering her up, and a wobbly stand, but I figured she could be made over somehow.
Tools of choice used for this makeover.
I started cutting off the material, as I went to an event a few days after purchasing her and noticed the mannequin on display in this home was similiar to the one Id just bought and it had a great hard cardboard frame underneath the icky overlay of material.
I worked my magic by going through the open arm holes on either side.  This photo shows you all of the hinges and wing nuts that make up the inside of this style of mannequin.  Each of the sections will totally come off which is what I did to remove the fabric completely.
I worked one section at a time, taking apart sections and than putting them back again before moving on.
Slowly coming together. 
I thought I was finished at this point with the black staying on, but when I put jewelry on her and took photos, I decided to remove that as well.
I felt the black, just totally distracted from the jewelry and I didnt like the way it looked, so kept going by removing this portion of fabric too.
At this point I was 4 hours into her make-over and not about to quit, so went on to remove all of the material covering her up.
No More black distractions either when photographing jewelry on the mannequin now.
The updated mannequin (Carolina) displaying some of my jewelry I design.

The updated mannequin (Carolina) displaying some of my jewelry I design.


This mannequin was found in an antique booth a week ago today.  She was an additional 20% off, so really quite reasonable.  As ugly as she was, I knew that I could do something with her.  As a jewelry designer I am always looking for good props for displaying my pieces, and this truly makes a difference with the overall presentation of my designs.

At first, I hesitated buying this manne.  She was wobbly, the sections were all messed up, she was dusty and the material was dirty.  So what to do?  Re think a minute, and snatch her up...  My thoughts were to duct tape her tight with Gorilla duct tape, and than modge podge either piano roller music or sheet music on over the duct tape.  It never entered my mind to remove the fabric.

Check out below for the process I undertook.  I still have the cut up/scratched up hands that went with the makeover, but it was worth it.

To see more you can check out my blog post about her on my personal blog. http://mimitoriasdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/04/from-ugly-to-fun-display.html

 


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posted in: blog, projects, vintage, metal, cardboard, mannequin, display prop, jewelry display piece

Comments (20)

Lauretta writes: There is such a thing as Gorilla duct tape???? Where would I find such a thing? I'm just redoing a wicker mannequin and I want to cover the wicker with something. I like your finished look! Posted: 9:27 am on November 20th
PearlieGirl writes: Wonderful transformation! I have been looking for an old dress form as well, but no luck as of yet. So glad I saw this post just in case I run across a similar one. There are great bones under all that dusty material. Posted: 1:48 pm on November 2nd
lamont16 writes: MANNEQUINS ARE FIERCE ON THE HANDS.....I HAD A SIMILIAR EXPERIENCE.....GREAT JOB ! Posted: 4:04 pm on June 1st
MimiToria writes: Junkyard Ballerina...Did you buy this necklace in this post from last week-ends California event????
I've been dying to know if it sold, but haven't heard back from Sue yet. If you did, you certainly bought my favorite necklace I've ever created yet in my 13 1/2 years of designing jewelry. :)
Thanks guys for the nice comments. She was a bit of work, but for the cost of $30, well worth every minute I put into her. The one on my blog post on my blog was priced at $179 for the same thing. Just had the work done. I like the fact that I transformed her and feel like I gave her a new life and saved her. Teee heee! A junker for sure feels this way.
Gretchen Posted: 6:17 pm on April 30th
MimiToria writes: Junkyard Ballerina...Did you buy this necklace in this post from last week-ends California event????
I've been dying to know if it sold, but haven't heard back from Sue yet. If you did, you certainly bought my favorite necklace I've ever created yet in my 13 1/2 years of designing jewelry. :)
Thanks guys for the nice comments. She was a bit of work, but for the cost of $30, well worth every minute I put into her. The one on my blog post on my blog was priced at $179 for the same thing. Just had the work done. I like the fact that I transformed her and feel like I gave her a new life and saved her. Teee heee! A junker for sure feels this way.
Gretchen Posted: 6:17 pm on April 30th
JunkArchitect writes: Gretchen, you did a fantastic job transforming the mannequin and it really is the perfect backdrop for your jewelry.

Jim

Posted: 10:18 am on April 29th
ThePolkaDotCloset writes: Wow, it looks like you got into more than you bargained for! I just found a vintage Acme dress form at a thrift store for $50.00...it was a happy day! Posted: 11:04 pm on April 28th
Junkyard_Ballerina writes: Hmm...never thought of taking the fabric off...!
Nice! Annnnd....I *love* the necklace I bought from you!
Every time I wear it, people stop me to make a comment. So far, the little bird's nest & bird above it are racking up the most comments. Fun! Posted: 11:39 am on April 28th
CleverJunk writes: I love, love, love this...You are so right; jewelry, or anything for that matter, needs a great display piece. Great makeover! Posted: 10:34 pm on April 27th
vanj writes: AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME, AWWWWWWWWWWWESOME!!!!!!!!

VANESSA JOANNE Posted: 7:13 pm on April 27th
alicemom writes: What a great new life it is! Second time around it way to fab.
smiles, alice Posted: 7:05 pm on April 27th
chippingcharm writes: She looks lovely Gretchen...glad you stuck with it :) Laurel Posted: 2:19 pm on April 27th
shabbychick writes: Gretchen - your manne turned out fab!! I agree with sandyrae - the jewelry is a beautiful contrast to the raw beauty of the mannequin (aka "Carolina").

I've been on the lookout for a tattered old dress form too, and hope to find one at Springfield Extravaganza next month.

Thanks for sharing Carolina's new look with us!

See you soon, Kathy Posted: 11:23 am on April 27th
RustyDiva writes: Wow ~ now that's mannie love! Great outcome but whew......your hard work paid off. Great job! Posted: 9:48 am on April 27th
oldnews writes: It looks like tons of work, but boy did it pay off! It's beautiful! And so it the necklace!! Wow! Marie Posted: 9:26 pm on April 26th
EmmasNookandGranny writes: She's a beauty!
~Marge Posted: 7:42 pm on April 26th
junkfestgirl writes: I love how she turned out and I'm thrilled that I have one just like yours...better get to work! I was just telling the other JunkFest girls about my plans to modpodge old book pages over the bodice of a damaged dress form I have! Great minds think alike? Posted: 7:42 pm on April 26th
TinTinJunkFan writes: Excellent transformation....this mannequin looks 100 yrs old! Posted: 4:53 pm on April 26th
fellowjunker writes: I have always wanted an old dress form....now I am really mad because I think I have passed up a few of these that looked like the 'before' having no clue what treasure lie underneath!!!! Well done Gretchen...love this!
xojanis Posted: 4:46 pm on April 26th
sandyrae writes: i love how your jewelry stands out against the raw beauty of the mannequin. lovely! Posted: 4:40 pm on April 26th
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