I recently finished a fun and easy project made out of 3 paint decks from Sherwin Williams. Sorry Sherwin Williams but I was looking for a creative way to bring people into our booth at the Home Show that I speak at every year.
I had a crazy vision of making a life size mannequin covered in paint swatches. I had no idea how to do it, so it was a little trial and error.
I first started by ordering a short petticoat off of Amazon and I thought I could use my daughter Ava’s mannequin (yes, the one right out of her very bedroom) to secure it to. The petticoat was too short, so I ordered a full length one and that was sooooooooooooo much better. I tied the petticoat around the waist of the mannequin form tightly and crossed my fingers it wouldn’t come undone.
I literally took apart 3 Sherwin Williams paint decks so I would have all the individual cards. Well Mr. Magic did it, but you know what I mean. Then I snipped off the white at the bottom of each card. See where the black arrow in the pic is pointing to? I didn’t want that on the mannequin.
And then I had to decide HOW to secure the swatches to the petticoat. At first, I thought I would staple them on. Because nothing says “blonde moment” quite like trying to figure out how to get a stapler up in to all those middle areas.
So I got smart and switched to a hot glue gun. It worked brilliantly but I used ALOT of glue and ruined a few fingertips in the process. I only glued the top of the cards down so the skirt could still “move”.
I also originally started at the bottom of the petticoat as you can see in this photo and then decided that was going to be a hot mess trying to keep it even, so I got smart again and began at the top.
I started out trying to kind of keep color groups together, but that went sideways quickly so I just ended up going rogue and being random and it was much easier that way.
I got the mannequin all covered in paint swatches. That was a 3 night deal. Then I had to ask Mr Magic for his help. The skirt was so stinkin’ heavy that I just needed to know that I knew that I knew it wouldn’t come untied and crashing to the ground. Can you imagine??? So, he tied the petticoat laces on the waist to the back of the mannequin metal for me. What a gem!
I was thinking I wanted somehow for the top of the mannequin to tie in with the “home and garden” theme of the Home Show I was speaking at. Plus, on the slim chance that Chip and Joanna (the headliners on the show) wandered by my booth, I needed my mannequin bodice to be on fleek. Lol.
So, I had our oldest son Noah help me cover the top of the mannequin tin foil.
(this section of my post contains an affiliate link that I make commission from if you order! )
I was going to use this sheet moss to hot glue all over the tin foil because #ohAva did want to keep her mannequin and I told her I wouldn’t ruin it.
But I lied.
The tin foil just wasn’t going to work and so I ripped it off and just glued moss to the entire bodice.
You can find sheets of moss to buy on my affiliate link HERE . I prefer the green moss over the brown!!
For the curved and tricky parts I cut pieces of moss like this and hot glued them on. And yes, I was working on our bed because nothing says “romance” quite like moss crafting in the bedroom. Lol. I actually do a ton of projects next to our bed while Mr Magic and the kids are reading, chilling or watching tv. This way we can all be in the room together!
This is what it looked like about half way thru. A word of caution should you attempt this diy project. This moss step is very, very, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry messy. Moss on the bed. Moss on me. Moss on the carpet. Moss everywhere. Put down a dropcloth! Just a friendly heads up!
Then I cut strips of the moss to put on the “shoulder straps”! And the moss was done too!
I took a dried up Wooster paintbrush of ours and I ran a line of tape across it and spray painted the tip turquoise. I added some scrapbooking embellishments and rhinestones and hung it like a necklace with some jute. (On a side note, these are my favorite paint brushes of all times to use on our wall and cabinet jobs. You can order them HERE. PERFECTTTTTTTTT in little, female hands and easier to control!)
And #ohAva couldn’t believe how good it turned out. Lol.
The thing was huge. And so colorful. Like a paint chip peacock. Lol.
And we kept it in our garage until the Home Show. I did notice that as it sat in the garage, some of the ends of the swatches began to curl up just a bit which bothered me zero. But I think the humidity did it and since I only hot glued the TOPS of the swatches on, the rolling happened. It just added to the charm!
The day before we had to transport it to the Home Show, I noticed my neighbor Paula’s magnolia tree in bloom and I thought it was a perfect photo opportunity. So I made our middle kiddo Easton haul it down the block with me. And then I promptly freaked out when the wind almost blew it over.
So he had to hold it up for me. And I had to try to shoot a photo WITHOUT getting all those little orange flags in the shot when the wind died down enough that he could let go. And for the love of all things holy, CAN MY KIDS JUST TURN OFF THEIR INSTAGRAM NOTIFICATIONS FOR ONE MOMENT? #forthelove He was way more interested in his phone than mom’s masterpiece.
I failed to mention that shortly after I began this project, Mr Magic, my voice of reason…. asked me how I thought this monstrosity was going to get transported? I can promise you with everything in me that the thought had not even crossed my mind. Isn’t that how our creative minds work? We dream up the idea and will figure out the practicalities later.
So I jokingly called him a “dream crusher” and begged him to figure out a plan for transport.
We rent a moving truck to move all my pretties into the Home Show anyway, so we had room to stand it up in between this green cabinet and this leather chair project. Don’t tell the moving truck people but he literally used metal brackets and drilled them down around all 4 “feet” to keep this thing standing upright on the trip to the convention center! He is a genius.
And this thing was such a huge hit!!!!! There were so many people taking photos of it and coming in to look at it. If you have a booth anywhere, ever….. pay attention….. this “prop: was eye candy. And eye candy draws a crowd. Always have eye candy when you want to sell stuff. xoxo
Miss Vicki also saw one little boy lay down on the floor and actually look UP the petticoat. What I would have given anything for a photo of THAT!
And no, Chip and JoJo didn’t see my mannequin but did you see that I got to interview them???????????????????? It was on Periscope and I nearly died with excitement and you can still see it here.
I’ll have pics posted of my paint chip mannequin on my Pinterest soon, but as always, feel free to pin the pictures from this post directly to your Pinterest. We were able to donate this to a local KC charity who raises money for breast cancer patients so my heart was happy!
That is amazing! So you to come up with it!
Loved, loved your story. What a fabulously creative piece! But how about that family of yours to help make your dream come true. Makes it even more beautiful!
You are a creative genius Jennifer Allwood!
You are so kind!
This is awesome, and brilliant, and cute and punchy! I love your idea and appreciate the tip for ‘eye candy’ because I’m participating in a big vintage sale soon for my stuff.
I love DIY projects and this is absolutely awesome…..love it !!!!
How creative. I never would have come up with a paint chip skirt. I have a mannequin that I like to dress, but this is really hitting it out of the park!
I love what you did with the paint samples on the dress form. I am obsessed with dress forms and mannequins and always looking for creative ways to show them. I am not an artist so I have to rely on ideas that are easily done with things like you did with the paint samples!! Brilliant and beautiful!!!
THE ABSOLUTE CUTEST THING I HAVE SEEN…LO-O-O-O-VE IT! IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET THE PAINT CHIP BOOKS FREE OR FOR A NOMINAL FEE. I HAVE WANTED TO DO SCHOOL PROJECTS WITH PAINT CHIPS. ANY INFO WOULD BE HELPFUL.
It’s Toooo beautiful.
I loved it .
Instead of moss what can I use??