What You’ll Need:
- Bust Form
- Soft Filler
- Duct Tape
- Masking Tape
- Acrylic Paint
- Decoupage Glue Sealer
- Paint Brushes
- Scrap of Wood for mounting
- L-brackets x2 & screw
- Wooden base
Step 1: Prep
There are several companies that sell plastic or resin dress forms and tshirt forms online. I used a low cost blouse form that I ordered from www.acmedisplay.com, then used a hand sawzall to cut off the bottom portion below the navel, to give me a nicer looking “jewelry sized” bust form.
You can find this item here: Female Torso Body Mannequin Form
Step 2: Tape
Wrap your form completely with duct tape, including the bottom. To give it more stability, stuff the form, as you work, with something soft and light like paper, bubble wrap, or cloth rags. I ended up using the packing paper that was shipped with my form for my stuffing. Wrap evenly and try to keep creases and wrinkles to a minimum. The cleaner you wrap your form, the nicer it will look.
After the duct tape layer is complete, repeat the wrapping process with masking tape, until the form is opaquely covered, and you can’t see the duct tape anymore. You will most likely have to use 2-3 layers of masking tape to do this.
*If your form is hollow backed like mine, you will need to attach something solid across the back to screw into when mounting. I used a paint stirring stick that I taped securely to my form. This will serve as a brace for the L brackets, when attaching your form to its base.
Step 3: Paint
You can use virtually any kind of water based paint for your bust, but I’ve found that acrylic paints work best with the masking tape. Make sure that the coats are even and no globs gather between the tape lines while painting. Your bust will appear veiny and rough when it dries. It’s normal for the tape to wrinkle slightly while painting, but it should’t remain that way after the paint sets.
Step 4: Seal
Once your bust is completely dry, use the Decoupage or a craft sealer like Modge Podge as the last layer. Apply just like the paint, keeping your layers even and smooth. Let dry overnight.
Step 5: Mount
Using your two L-brackets, affix your bust to a wooden plaque base. You can find these plaques in various sizes and shapes at most craft stores. I bought mine at Michael’s. I also decided to paint my base black instead of leaving it as natural wood, but you can use whatever color method you chose.
Screw your brackets to the bust first, then the base, in case you need to bend them slightly for the bust to sit evenly and square on the base. That’s it!
Now you have a lovely handmade necklace bust that you can proudly display in your home or take to craft fairs, etc!
If you liked this DIY, but still have more to display, I will be submitting a tutorial on how to utilize a salvaged wooden pallet for a super cool wall display next. Stay tuned.