Hi crafty friends,

I have a fun project for you today which is my DT project for GSL and here it is:


I feel like this is a little bit like asking an actor what their motivation is lol but really my motivation inspiration was discovered when I was sifting through my stash and looking for inspiration haha.  I found it when I came across these steampunk dress forms and started thinking how cool they would look in black and then I started thinking of the old Time Machine movie where Rod Taylor sits in his time machine and watches the changing fashions in the shop window whizz by.  So then I started to think about putting them in a shop window type of display.  This specimen box (which also has dividers) was the only thing I had that was the right size to accommodate the ladies.

GSL Products Used

To make this project, I will be using the following chippies from GSL:
Specimen Box C12Q
Steampunk Shape Set D33A *coming soon*
Gears Shape Set BB13
Steampunk Lightbulb Set D20D (one element used, can be substituted)
Stackable Labels Shape Set D35H (one label used, can be substituted)

Overview of Process

There are two dress form / mannequin types included in this set but for my display I really wanted three so I used this circled piece of chipboard which I thought looked a bit like a dress form.  As you can see, it is just the waste piece that was leftover from the large wings that had been removed and probably used already.  I have circled it for you in the photo below.  I cut out the whole piece and kept the cogs in place.

Since she would need something to stand on, I decided to use this key from the Steampunk Lightbulb set, but if you don’t have this set, you could use something else as this is the only element I used from this set.

Here’s how I laid them out inside the box to check that everything fit.  The box I am using is the Specimen Box which also has internal dividers included in the set and it measures 6 x 4 inches.

The next step was to paint everything with white gesso – all of the dress forms and the inside and outside of the box pieces.   I am not using the internal dividers so I will keep them for another project.

Once everything was dry, It was time for the fun part – heat embossing!  I am using an Emerald Creek EP called Wrought Iron which seemed appropriate.

I ended up only using the EP on the dress forms, here’s a look at them after heat embossing.   Now at this stage I was considering using that pink alcohol background in my display box but you’ll see below that I changed my mind (although that hot pink and black look pretty awesome together!)

Much as I love the bright pink with the black embossed pieces, I decided to use one of these other backgrounds from my stash and so my project was definitely heading in a vintage direction!  You can see more of these backgrounds here and here.

Time to construct the box!  I am using regular white glue to glue everything together.  I made sure to measure my paper pieces first – much easier to do before the box is constructed.

Since my project is basically a display “window” I thought it could use a sign, so I die cut these letters from some old cat food boxes, and since the cardboard was quite thin, stacked them on top of each other to make them more robust. But where to put my sign?

To construct my sign I am using this old piece of acetate from a cake box which I will wrap around the top of the display box and glue into place.  I laid everything out to make sure it would fit across the front of the box… and then I cut it in the wrong place – twice!  This meant I had to glue two of the pieces back together but at least the glue is transparent!

Now it was time to cover all of these elements with black gesso, ready for painting.  I don’t have a painting photo but they were painted with black and various metallic paints.

Leave all of those elements to dry and start gluing the background papers into the box and paint the outside of the box – I used Little Black Dress of course! I was able to cut the paper so that the pattern continued from the bottom back piece out along the bottom front piece which is where it would be most noticeable if it wasn’t lined up.

Next, adhere the acetate to the top of the display box, and then begin to arrange the painted gears and cogs, gluing them on to the acetate, and then add the STEAMPUNK letters on top. All the gears and cogs are painted in metal colours and the letters in black to help them stand out.

Now to add the dress forms / mannequins to the display window.  I am using black foam tape,  3-4 layers of it, to attach to the back of each dress form (in a place where it won’t show preferably) and then affix them to the back wall of the display box with their mannequin feet on the floor.

Here’s how the ladies look once they are in place:

At this point I was “finished” but I felt that it needed something else, and that something else was little feet.  I used a couple of plastic bottle caps, gessoed them and painted them in black acrylic paint.  Once the paint was dry, I glued them in place on the bottom of the box.

And then, just when I thought I was finished, I found this little label that was leftover from another project and I thought it would be perfect as additional signage.  It was already gessoed so I gave it a coat of pewter metallic and added these word stickers from Prima.

Turns out I wasn’t happy with how it looked, so I ended up repainting it in black acrylic.

I then glued it to the centre of the display box at the bottom.  The addition of this little plaque really finishes it off perfectly!

And that’s my project for today.


I really enjoyed making this one, it was a little bit like playing with dolls or dress up haha.  Plus it’s put me in the mood to watch The Time Machine again and that can’t be a bad thing. And of course, you can’t think about that iconic Time Machine without thinking about the Big Bang Theory episode. I can see some Netflix in my future lol.  Thanks for getting this far and I really hope that you enjoyed following the process and seeing the finished project.  Let me know in the comments below!


Simon Says Stamp Wednesday ChallengeSomething Metallic – lots and lots of metallic here, dress forms, cogs, letters
SanDee & Amelie’s Steampunk ChallengeAnything Steampunk/Industrial – steampunk
More Mixed Media ChallengeAG with Optional Purple – not playing the purple this time though I do love purple!

Project Recipe:

Specimen Box C12Q
Steampunk Shape Set D33A *coming soon*
Gears Shape Set BB13
Steampunk Lightbulb Set D20D (one element used, can be substituted)
Stackable Labels Shape Set D35H (one label used, can be substituted)
Emerald Creek Embossing ink and embossing powder
Jacquard Silver, copper, pewter metallic paints
Black and white gesso
PVA glue
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk Paint – Little Black Dress
Prima Word stickers
Double sided foam tape (black)
From stash: background paper, acetate, cardboard letters, bottle caps,

I started something new for April during lockdown and decided to continue:

Since we are all stuck inside and can’t leave the house, I thought I would try and do two things:
1. use this time to finish any unfinished projects
2. use as much recycled materials as possible (I do this a lot anyway) but also not to buy new stuff!
So, with that in mind, I will note the above on any posts, if applicable.
RECYCLED MATERIALS – YES – acetate, cat food boxes, bottle caps.  Also no new materials, no new purchases!

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5 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Susan Janicula
Susan Janicula
June 24, 2020 12:41 pm

Thank you for sharing with us at SanDee&amelie’s Steampunk Challenges. Amazing vintage boutique. Love your dress forms. Hugs, Susan

June 16, 2020 1:05 pm

Well, I’m always a sucker for rust, so this really appeals. Fabulous vintage styling – a really cool project.
Alison x

jo nevill
June 11, 2020 1:17 pm

Thank you for joining at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Design Team Call ! Good luck ?

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