Designing your own Dress Form Christmas Tree is a fun project, even for beginner crafters.

In addition to being a fashion themed holiday display, they are also an eco-friendly way to decorate.  Because after Christmas is over, you can remove all the decorations and use the dress form for displaying jewelry or clothing. You can’t do that with a Christmas tree!

Or, you can change the decoration for other seasonal celebrations such as these —

That is why we now refer to them as dress form holiday trees, instead of dress form Christmas trees. They can be a decorative display all year long.

Mannequin Madness has been promoting this unique alternative to the traditional Christmas tree since 2014 when we released our first digital tutorial to demonstrate how to make them. Previously we were designing dress form Christmas trees just for our corporate clients.

So, needless to say, we are experts at this crafting project. And as with all crafting projects, starting with the best materials always leads to the best outcomes. This post is to give you four tips on selecting the best canvas – the dress form – for your desired style.

Tip #1: The Stand

The most important feature in selecting your dress form is the type of stand it is on.

The stand needs to be strong enough to withstand the weight of the garland and decorations. The last thing you want is to have all your creative work diminished if the finished result is a wobbly or lopsided tree. Or worse, if it topples over.

Regardless of what your dress form looks like (or if it is a new or used dressform), make sure it is on a sturdy stand. And also be sure that the height of the stand is adjustable to give you maximum flexibility in designing.

We recommend a metal or aluminum stand like the ones above with a flat base. It doesn’t matter if the base is round or square. Another option is a stand with wheels, because the weight of the wheels will stabilize the form.

We don’t recommend a stand like this one below unless you plan on putting a minimal amount of garland and decoration on the form like the photo below on the right.

Dress form stands can be purchased here and if you use the discount code MMBlog you will receive 10% off at checkout.

Tip #2: The Color

The color of the dress form will be the background for the decor on the bodice. So consider your theme and color palette of your decorations before purchasing a form.

For example, the off-white color of this form compliments the fabric and theme of this Kwanza themed holiday tree.

And this black form is a lovely contrast to the turquoise colors on this tree. That silver necklace really pops against the black.

Most of the new cloth dress forms on the market are either white, cream or black. Sometimes you can find vintage forms in different colors like this one.

Or you can use fabric or spray paint  to get the exact dress form color you want like this one:

Wire dress forms come in black, white or copper, but can easily be spray painted as desired. Unfortunately wire dress forms have been much harder to find post-pandemic, but there are some for sale here on Amazon.

And if you don’t like the color of your cloth dress form form or if it has stains or tears in the fabric, consider covering your form with a slipcover. We have some plush velvet dress form covers in blue and purple for sale here. There are jersey ones here on Amazon.


Tip #3: The Style/Size

Dress forms come in different styles (wasp waist, sewing form, french form, coat form) and sizes (from size 2 to size 16). So be sure you are intentionally getting the style form you prefer to have long-term.

We curated a selection of the most popular styles of dress forms used for the holiday trees here. You will get a 10% discount when you use the code MMblog at check out.

Notice how the shape and size of the dress form can change the look of these angel themed holiday trees…

Tip #4: Fabric or Fiberglass

With the exception of wire dress forms (which are made of metal), the vast majority of dress form holiday trees are on a fabric covered dress form. Some people choose a fiberglass torso or fiberglass mannequin because they already have one readily available.

As you can see in the two examples below, you certainly can make a dress form holiday tree on something other than a fabric dress form.

One benefit of a fiberglass torso/mannequin is its ability to withstand harsh elements if you want to display it outside and in a place where the weather is severe.

Our personal preference is fabric dress form because many times we are either wrapping deco mesh on the bodice or putting a corset/camisole on it.  We can get the material or garment to fit exactly like we want when we can pin into a bodice that is made out of fabric versus fiberglass.

After you have purchased your dress form and are ready to start making it, we have more expert advise for you. We have created digital tutorials with step-by-step instructions on the four most popular styles of dress form holiday trees here. They are $1.99 each or free when you purchase a dress form from us.

So — whether it’s for Christmas or for any other theme, simple or elaborate, one time or recurring — enjoy creating your Dress Form Holiday Tree! We want your dress form to be an investment that can be used throughout the years for various occasions and purposes.

For example this Christmas themed tree below could easily become a Valentine’s Day tree if you the swap the poinsettia’s for hearts.

For more inspiration about Dress Form Holiday trees, follow our Facebook group our Pinterest board.

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