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Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have always wanted a vintage mannequin(dress form). For the last few months I finally decided to look for one on Ebay, Etsy and various online stores to find the best one! Each one I loved was too expensive ($500.00 to $750.00) or they would not ship to Canada.
So last Sunday I took the plunge and bought a brand new dress form that I found on ebay!
It cost me $189.00 USD+ shipping and within 4 days(Thursday) I received my beloved dress form at 2:30 PM in the afternoon, LOL!! It cost me a total of about $300.00 CAD and I think I did a great deal!
When purchasing the the new form I decided to antique and distress it to look like a vintage mannequin.
I plan to use it a lot and have many ideas for this in the future. Thursday night the transformation happened, LOL!!
This is how it looked when purchased.

I brewed a big pot of strong coffee(the aroma was fantastic in my studio) and painted the dress form with a natural bristle brush (acrylic bristle will curl from the hot coffee)...don`t be afraid to wet the form thoroughly.

After I saturated it with coffee I let it dry a little and then began the distressing with a dry brush and a little acrylic paint. I antiqued the stand, skirt cage and finial with some burnt umber, antique bronze and gold.
It took about  three hours to finish and I think it turned out fantastic!!

The next day I took some test shots and here are the final images with my fabulous Vintage dress form.Of course Photoshop helped a little with the final process. I added a couple of vintage textures and voila!I actually like the before image just as much as the vintage one.

Here are some other images from the same series!

Images are available for download at, and
There are more links located on left side.


  1. If anyone is having trouble leaving comments
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  2. Looks great, am looking forward to seeing what else you do with the dress form. Wish you lived close by so I could raid your prop room :-)

  3. So creative! Absolutely in love with the antique finish. In all decorative painting my favorite part is always adding some burnt umber to the cracks and watching the texture develop. I've been wanting to get me one of these for ages now, just don't know where to store it :)

  4. Thanks Susan!
    Wish I lived closer to you also to exchange props for dresses, LOL! ;)

  5. Thanks Luba!
    I did use burnt umber, mixed it with the antique bronze and burnished gold...also used it a little on the form itself to age the edges.
    I was a decorative painter for 15 years before I went full-time as a photographer. It comes in handy for distressing backdrops.
    I also just did a wall of antique plaster in my studio to do more vintage photography(you can see behind the dress form). It came out great!

    Luba, just store it in your great new studio you and Sean just created...that is where I'm storing mine. :)

  6. the studio space slowly filling up :) your use of colour & texture is so unique, with always absolutely mouthwatering results!

  7. One word of advice don't fill up the studio, LOL!
    Thanks so much for your kind comment!

  8. Inspiring work, as always, Sandra! Love it!!

  9. Hi! Are these for sale by any chance?



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