I tend to go a little crazy with Christmas decorations every year and, while my boyfriend does appreciate the warm winter feeling at home, I finally had to admit that having a tree as big as our dining table in a one-bedroom apartment was maybe not such a great idea. Hence, my sewing mannequin had to work as a Christmas tree.
- A mannequin.
- Old newspapers/magazines.
- Thick green wire.
- Soft green wire/green thread/etc.
- Thick green garlands (I used 5 three-meter long ones).
- Your favorite ornaments.
1. First, you’ll need to unbind the newspapers or magazines. It doesn’t matter if the pages have nicely cut edges or not, as they’re not going to be seen; however, the thicker the paper, the better they’ll support the weight. Roll tubes out of the pages and glue or tape the end. Once again, all this will not be seen, so don’t worry about making them pretty, just make them strong.
2. Depending on the length you want for the skirt, you may need to attach two or more tubes together. For that, you just need to insert the end of one tube into another (you’ll find that naturally most of them have a narrower and a wider end) and tape them together.
3. Once you have all the tubes ready, you’ll notice that not all of them have the same size and that will be problematic when you make the hem, which is why it’s better to cut them all to the same size beforehand.
Tip: I only used 8 tubes for my skirt and I regretted it halfway when I had to attach the garlands – believe me, the more tubes you use, the easier it’ll be to attach them. Plus, the structure will hold the weight better.
4. Once you have a nice amount of tubes (I guess anything between 12 and 16 will be perfect), you can start attaching them to the sewing dummy. First, tie a ribbon very firmly around the dummy’s waist and then simply fold one end of each tube over the ribbon and tape it. You can also add some horizontal tubes for good measure, depending on how heavy the garlands and ornaments will be.
5. When you have all the tubes hanging from the ribbon, you need to make the hem of the skirt with the green wire. For this, make a circle with the wire as big as you want the hem to be and twist both ends together with a pair of pliers. Then, you can start attaching the paper tubes to it using the same method as before (fold and tape).
6. The structure of the skirt is done! Now it’s time to hang the garlands. For this, I used the soft green wire I use to attach my tomato plants to the stakes, but you can also use green thread or anything else that won’t be too visible. The best is to start at the waist of the mannequin and to go down around the structure in circles, attaching the garland to the newspaper tubes at regular intervals when it starts to sag from its own weight. Be careful to attach it both to the tubes and to the garland on top of it, as it’ll be much sturdier that way. The last row should cover the green wire of the hem.
There you go, your pretty and original Christmas dress form-tree is done! You can finally go crazy with the ornaments! I also added a red top, a red ribbon and a beaded garland as a necklace to make it look more like a dress, and a Santa hat in place of the star.
Now sit back and enjoy the praises you’ll most definitely get!