Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dress Form Gift Box

Hi Everyone, Jan Hobbins here with a tutorial (a rather long one, sorry!) on how I made this 3D dress form gift box. I love dress forms, but even more I love altering things and turning them into gifts or home décor. I decided to make this Sizzix dress form into a 3-d type of box and my imagination just took over and it didn't stop there!
This project is a little more involved, so hopefully I have included enough photos and instructions for those of you who want to recreate this!

First, you need to die cut two sets of this Sizzix Bigz Sewing Room die (two dress forms, two spools, two buttons) from chipboard. Also, die cut two dress forms from patterned paper (I used 7Gypsies' new line, Trousseau here).

Next, cut out two strips of white cardstock paper, about 3/4 to 7/8 inches wide and 10 or 12” long. There are different ways to attach your strip of paper. Some people make short cut marks all along the length on both sides (you will have to cut your strip about 1/4 wider if using this method) and glue those to the inside of the flat shapes, as shown at the very bottom of the next photo. I prefer to cut out strips of thin paper (copy paper or thin brown paper bags) and use these to glue the pieces together as I did on the bottom dress form in this photo. I've also included in the photo, an alternative for those of you who want an easier way to include the dress form on top of the boxes. Just cut multiple layers of the dress form out of chipboard and glue them together, creating a thicker form. I would glue a thin piece of wire in the middle of the sandwich to help secure the form to your boxes.

I started at the bottom and worked my way up one side until I reached the shoulder, cutting off the excess with about 1 ½” extra to tuck in. Starting at the bottom again, but overlapping a bit on the first piece do the same on the other side. Because I have attached this dress form to a box, I poked a brad through the bottom inside of the dress form before I started gluing the strips up the side. Just tape the head of your brad on the inside to make it stay put. This is just to secure it to the box a little better when it's being opened. After you have completed the one side, glue the remaining dress form to the sides in the same way.

Once you have your two sides glued to the strip, front and back, you can gesso it for extra strength, but I usually just glue my die cut paper on top after it has dried. Cut out two strips of patterned paper and glue these along the sides. I then painted the top inside of the dress form with white paint, just where it’s open and an inch down. Sand your edges and ink. Tuck the two end strips on the sides inside.

I used two paper mache boxes from Melissa Frances (they come in a set of three) that measured approx. 4 ½” x 3” and 2” x 3” for my base. I really like these boxes, as the lids came right down to the bottom and they are already painted white.

I cut strips of paper and covered the sides of the lids. I try not to cover the outside of the box base, as it makes it too tight for the lid to fit, so because these boxes were already white, I just stained the outside bases with Tim Holtz Spun Sugar Distress stain.

Next, for the tops of my boxes, I used cream-colored metal sheets and embossed them with the Sizzix Vintage Button Embossing Set. Trace the box lids on the metal, cut out (save your scraps!) and using strong tape, (I use SookWang) adhere to the tops. I then sanded the metal tops and edges and lightly applied Pink Sherbet Alcohol ink with a felt applicator to the tops.

Using the Sizzix Vintage Lace Sizzlit Strip, I die cut a piece of 7Gypsies tape and applied it to the top of the small box lid all the way around. You can also use paper and glue it but I like the fact that this tape has a backing on it, so it’s easy to die cut and after peeling off the backing, easy to adhere.

You are ready to attach your dress form and box top together. Poke a small hole in the center of your small box top, apply some strong adhesive to the bottom of your dress form, on either side of your brad, and pull the brad through the top and separate. This just secures it a little better, especially when you are adhering it to a slick surface, like the metal. If you are just using the thick chipboard dress form, pull your wire through, tape over the wire and hole and bring it back in the opposite direction and tape again, clip the excess off. Trace the lid onto some patterned paper, and cover the inside of the lid to cover the brad. Next , apply a strong adhesive to the bottom of the small box, attach the small box bottom to your big box lid securing a brad through the middle of the two. Again, cover the inside bottom of the small box with patterned paper and the inside lid of the big box to cover the brad.

Also, I covered the inside edges of the box bottoms with patterned paper. For a little extra touch, I added a scalloped bottom on the big box.

I was really happy to discover that the Sizzix Oval Scalloped Framelits were the perfect size for these boxes. I cut out the biggest one with white cardstock and another one from patterned paper. Glue the two together and adhere to the bottom, patterned paper facing out. Now you are ready to decorate your box!

I used the Sizzix Tim Holtz Tattered Flower Garland Sizzlit die for all my flowers. I cut out lots, and use quite a few layers (held together with brads) to give them lots of dimension. Love this die! Ink and shape the petals. 
Here’s a tip when making your flowers- I use a foam mat (I have a WRMK one for their stitching tool) and stylus to shape them. Just place your flower on the mat and roll your stylus around each petal. It softly curves the edges on your flowers for more shape. It’s fast and easy with the foam pad and is gentle on your paper!

Place your finished flowers and leaves at the base of your dress form and the side of the small box lid and side of the large bottom box lid. I also glued two of the chipboard spools together and covered the front and back with patterned paper. Wrap some embroidery floss around the center and attach a hat pin. I covered the chipboard buttons with some cut out buttons from the left over embossed metal. Some of these embossed buttons fit perfectly over the chipboard buttons. Sand the raised areas and tie some embroidery floss through the holes. To finish off your box, I used Ranger's Liquid Pearls in Perfect Pink and made tiny dot swirls on the dress form and around the clusters of flowers.

Now, what fun are cute little boxes without something in them?

For inside the dress form, I made a miniature dress form needle book using the Sizzix Tim Holtz Mini Sewing Room Movers & Shapers Set. Cut out two from chipboard, four from patterned paper, and one from felt or wool for your needles.

Cover both sides of the chipboard, sand and ink. I clipped the skinny points of the bottom of the dress form stand, so it fit inside the box a little easier. Decorate with a flower and some Liquid Pearls. I punched a small hole just below the neck part in all the pieces, and attached them together, wool in the middle, with a small ring. (I think this was a Tim Holtz one) To finish it off, tie some ribbon and a charm to the ring. This goes inside your dress form at the top. Mine was a bit of a tight squeeze, but I had cut my side strips 3/4" wide (I would cut them a touch wider next time) so I had to turn it a little when inserting it.

For the small box, I made a tiny book with the small Sizzix Oval Scallop Framelit. The front and back are cardstock, covered with patterned paper and the inside papers are smooth white cardstock. You could put quotes in here, or a message. Attach these together with a ring. I hung a chain made from little buttons and rings, and a mini Maya Road spool from the ring.

And finally, in the big box, I made a pincushion with felt and stuffing. Just cut a oval piece of felt about twice the size of your box, use a gathering stitch around the outside, stuff, and pull up your thread until you have a nice curve, insert into the box. And you're done!!

I hope I’ve inspired some of you to try something different with your dies and create a 3 dimensional project!


Box: Melissa Frances- Stacking Boxes
Patterned Paper: 7 Gypsies- Trousseau
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink- Tattered Rose, Weathered Wood, Antique Linen
Stain: Tim Holtz Distress Stain: Spun Sugar
Alcohol Ink: Ranger Ink Adirondack Alcohol Ink: Sherbet Pink
Liquid Pearls: Ranger Ink Liquid Pearls: Petal Pink
Adhesive: Claudine Hellmuth Studio Matte Multi Medium; Sook Wang Tape
Pin It!


  1. Wow Jan, what an amazing project! Love how you made a 3D dressform, with the smaller dressform inside. And the boxes and things you put inside them are fantastic. I could just look and look at this project. TFS!!

  2. You're amazing! Just amazing! I love your project!! I'm speechless (and that never happens)!
    Brenda Savage

  3. This is amazing Jan! All the details are extremely beautiful and make this project totally you! I love the mini dress form needle holder - great idea!

  4. WOW I love this. I must try and make something like this,. Thanks for the inspiration and for the tutorial.


  5. The detail you gave this beautiful project is just amazing!!!

  6. So stinkin cute! Thank You for the detailed instructions.

  7. This is an amazing project! Thanks for the turtorial.

  8. This is one of the most incredible projects I've ever seen!! Love everything about this, Jan!

  9. One question How did the dress form end up hollow? Didn't you stack complete forms together or did I miss a step?

  10. Beautiful. Can I use sizzix dies pop up cake instead of gift box?

  11. This is a great idea! Can't wait to try it. Thanks

  12. This is absolutely stunning. What a lucky person who gets this.

  13. Fabulous - you literally think out of the box!......what a stunning it!

  14. Wow, Jan...this is soooo amazing...and so pretty too! Love it!


We'd love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...