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Monday, July 23, 2012

French Style mannequin upcycle

Hi guys! I have been busy lately gathering things and making things for some upcoming shows. I have always wanted a "Frenchy" mannequin for display but I am both poor and cheap! I got this vintage adjustable mannequin at an estate auction last month. When will I learn to take a "before" photo?! Trust me she was sort of ugly. She had a faded navy blue knit fabric on her "bits". I considered peeling her..which would ultimately been easier I think..but decided instead to paint her.
It took 2-3 coats of gesso and I am glad I started w/ that because she would have taken many coats of paint otherwise..the fabric just soaked it up! I used a mix of acrylic craft paints in khaki and raw sienna and burnt umber and added more white gesso to the mix..I didn't want a solid color, but an aged look. I did cuss a bit when I realized I had to paint the inside of the pieces where the fabric wrapped around otherwise I was going to be seeing navy blue on the inside which would have bugged me! Next time I will peel then paint!

I added "decals" that I made with my old signage stamps. I stamped on white tissue paper with Staz-On ink and cut out as close as I could and applied the "decal" with Mod Podge. This works best on a white background so I did go back and paint over the edges with some of the background paint to blend it in a bit. Basically a free decal! This also works great with stamping because you don't have to worry about stamping on an uneven surface and having a "mis-stamp"..just stamp away on the tissue paper and pick your favorite! I also added the word Paris to her front. Now..I have to decide whether to sell her or keep her?? Sometimes having some cool display pieces draws people into your booth. I do have other styles I am working on "French-ing" up..maybe I will let some of those go! I will share their pics when I finish them.

I got some vintage frames Saturday morning while estate sale-ing w/ Ed. Not a lot of finds but a few goodies! This was a vintage gold painted frame w/ metal corner appliques. I added cream paint and a Graphics Fairy insert. I may go back and redo this printed on text or different paper..the white is pretty stark! Maybe I will spritz it w/ coffee..
This was also a gold frame and the vintage insert was in a different (plastic) frame so I swapped it into this one. I think Cotes is "coast"? I am loving this shade of gold with aqua lately!

This was a nasty plaster frame complete with rust stains! I added cream paint (and lots of scrubbing..these frames were filthy!) and I used French text with a cut out Graphics Fairy lady. After I got it all together I noticed a tiny gap on the bottom edge where I should have not trimmed it as close. It bugged me and I knew I could either redo or cover it. I picked cover it! I was thinking paper rolled rose but they were too clunky so I went with this!

A rosette made from yummy robin's egg blue vintage taffetta ribbon, a vintage pearly bead and paper leaves I made from the same text...I think I like this better!

I cut the leaves w/ my fancy edge scissors, crease the center and then add texture/leaf lines by adding creases. I use a long nose pliers and grasp the leaf at the correct "leaf line" angle and crease the paper against the pliers nose edge. I work my way up from base to tip spacing them accordingly and then so the other side. Easy peasy! I will have more things to share later..back to work! Til next time! Julia


The Polka Dot Closet said...

Wow, I love redoing old frames, it gives them such a great new life!


Anne said...

Beautiful! I've just discovered your lovely blog, and am now following...
So nice to meet you!