Thursday, July 18, 2013

Altered Dress Form and Necklace Busts

Anyone who designs and sells jewelry on line understands the importance of good and high quality photographs that display your creations.  One of the challenges is always positioning a jewelry item in a way that enhances the item without overwhelming it. I had several necklace busts and dress forms that I have used over the years but felt they needed to be a bit dressed up.  So here is what I came up with.

First,  here are some pics of what I started out with:
White Leatherette Necklace Bust - Medium

White Leatherette Necklace Bust - Tall

White Plastic Dress or T-shirt Form

The leatherette necklace busts are sold at a variety of places, but I think I bought the two above at - they can be purchased anywhere from about $8 to $20.  Fire Mountain Gems offers a quantity discount that they call "all assortable pricing" meaning the more items you buy, the less expensive - and you don't have to buy multiples of the same item - the discount is applied based on the total number of items purchased.  I usually wait till I have a need for a fairly large number of items to order.

The plastic dress/T-shirt form is from Barr Display and was $8.95, the stand sold separately is $12.00.  I have used this same dress form in the past for altering - see my past post on "How To Make an Altered Vintage Dress Form" from February 2013 where I used vintage style lace and material to cover her.

I decided to decoupage the medium sized leatherette bust with vintage style paper.  I cut up various size and shapes of the paper and then used Mod Podge to cover the front of the bust. I used a medium sized paint brush to mod podge the back and front of each piece of paper and then "painted" each piece onto the bust overlapping the pieces for complete coverage.  I used my fingers to smooth out any wrinkles - it gets a little messy so I find keeping a wet washcloth handy is helpful for wiping off your fingers from time to time.  I used the matte formula of Mod Podge because when taking photos of my jewelry I did not want any glare, but depending on the purpose for your project you can choose either matte or gloss.  I let it dry a couple of hours and sealed it with Krylon clear acrylic spray.  

If you have never decoupaged, you can check out my post on "DIY Decoupage Bracelet Tutorial" - even though that was a bracelet project, the technique is essentially the same.  I only decoupaged the front of the bust itself and not the base or the back.  But I thought it needed to have something besides "white" on these parts so I spray painted the back and base with Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin in "Champagne Nouveau" which I ordered from Amazon for about $8.00.  I absolutely love this color - it has a soft satin sheen with an antique or vintage look - I anticipate using this color on several other projects!  I found that setting up an old table in my garage and covering it with newspaper was the best place to spray paint.

Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Paint - "Champagne Nouveau"

Here is a picture of the before and finished medium sized leatherette bust decoupaged and spray painted:
Medium Leatherette Bust - Before Pic

Decoupaged Front View

Spray Painted Back and Base - "Champagne Nouveau" 
The taller leatherette bust form I spray painted with Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin paint using a different color called "Caramel Latte."  I like this color, but not as well as the "Champagne Nouveau" color.  I also spray painted a smaller plastic bust I had with the same color pictured below:

Before View - Tall Leatherette Necklace Bust

Spray Painted Busts with "Caramel Latte"

The larger plastic dress or T-shirt form turned out spectacular with a coating of the Champagne Nouveau spray paint - she is absolutely perfect for displaying longer style necklaces.  I added a lacy beige tank top for photographing.

Before View - Plastic Dress Form

Finished Dress Form with "Champage Nouveau" Paint

And here are all my newly covered necklace busts and dress forms ready for modeling lots of jewelry!

Till next time!


  1. Wow, so much better now. Jewelry displays can be so tricky, but these are perfect for showing off your beautiful creations.

    1. Thanks so much Betsy for visiting and commenting!

  2. This is so timely! I partner with Barr Display and I have been redoing some of their wooden jewelery displays, but shied away from those leatherette ones, I had no idea they could be sprayed. yours look great! Thank you!


    1. So glad this might help with some of your projects and altering! I remember your post where you mentioned your partnering with Barr Display - very exciting - hope it continues to go well for you!