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How to Make a Dress out of Paper and Score Your Next Sale

Are you looking for the next best thing to generate buzz? Read on.

Paper dresses are set to be the next store-window rage. They gather lots of attention while being memorable. Most people have never seen one in person and relish the chance to take a picture and share it with their friends. Are you ready to make your store window the talk of the town and a destination in itself? Keep reading to see how you can make your very own paper dress.

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Stapler
  • Mannequin or some type of form
  • A few hours and some imagination!

So you are inspired and ready to get started! Well don’t fire up the hot glue gun just yet… Start out by spending a few minutes thinking about what you want your dress to look like. You don’t have to be a designer to get an idea of what you want to do. Scroll through Pinterest or take a look at your own style for inspiration. If you like to draw, make a quick sketch. How will the skirt lay? Is it fluffy or sleek? What type of bodice do you want? Will it be flowy or tight fitting? Sleeves or no? What neckline will work best? All of these questions are personal preference and part of what makes this so much fun! Want a cape? Throw it in! Copy a superhero costume. Make a two-piece. The sky is the limit and you have the paper. So let’s go!

Once you have a general idea of your dresses shape and style, you can start cutting your paper. You can use whatever type you want. Using multiple types can give your dress different patterns and stiffness. Also, think about your design. If you are making a really full skirt, you might find that you need a stiffer paper to support the weight than if you a making a more delicate dress. Let logic be your guide. You can do it!

When we made the dress above we used Georgia and Rome City maps. An entire dress out of maps… sounds maptastic! It was a great way to show off our town and get publicity for our gift shop. If you have a certain paper or design that you can use to make your dress more relevant to your business then take advantage of it!

Once you have your paper cut, it is good to make a general base. Wrap paper around the mannequin you are using and staple it together to give you a base upon which to build your design. You can make a separate skirt and bodice if that is easier. You won’t be able to tell once you connect it since this is only the bottom level. From here on, you will be building on top of this base. This makes it easy to glue the dress together piece by piece.

We chose to make a ruffled skirt. We used shell shaped cutouts to create the ruffles and give the dress body. Don’t be afraid to use cardboard to provide stability underneath and make your skirt really stand out.

Once you have finished your dress’ design you can move on to the finishing touches. Create paper flowers or a sash for extra pizzazz. Add a splash of color with details on the collar or bodice. Create some cool accessories to go with your design and make it even more memorable. We created a pair of matching paper high heel shoes to go along with our dress. We used the same paper as the dress to keep the design consistent and cardboard for the soles to provide stability. 

Try your hand at jewelry. When you are finished @ me on Instagram! @vintagescarlettvixen I can't wait to see them! Till next time!


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