I

I *collage* costume jewelry onto a vintage dress form

collaging with costume jewelry onto a dressmaker dummyArtsy fartsy day. Here is story that combines no fewer than five things I am currently interested in: (1) Going to estate sales where I must buy something. (2) Buying costume jewelry — preferably pins, because they usually very pretty, they usually are very  inexpensive ($1 or less) and they take up much less room, as a collection, than wagon wheel lights. (3) Collage. (4) Making clothing out of recycled wool sweaters — hence, the purchase last year of the vintage dressmaker dummy. (5) My office design update. 

So, earlier this week, as I contemplated my latest project — my office redesign to add more crafting space — I took the pammy wammy director chair that I received at the Shaw HGTV Home Floors event out of my office. I love it because it has my name on it, and yes, it’s all about me me me. But I only stashed it here because it fit. It is a parking space for Astro-stuff of other stuff. So up it went to the attic hoard, where it awaits potential future use or the Goodwill when I get around to cleaning out the attic hoard.

“In” went the costume jewelry collage I started creating onto the vintage dressmaker dummy about… 3 months ago.

Dress form — “before” collaging

Waltzing Matilda was parked in the living room for a while, where I first began working on her, in lovely light. More recently, I stashed her in my bedroom. But — voila! — in she goes to my office and future-crafting center, where I can add a pin now and again at my leisure.

What are those things that strippers put on their tatas and make go round in circles? The kitties with their dangling tails won’t stay, but I do amuse myself as I go along.

I am going to need a lot more pins. I hook them right into the fabric that covers the cardboard form that comprises the dummy. Have no fear, they are not hot-glued or anything like that. Conceivably, this would be a way to display them so that you could easily see your collection and pluck one off whenever, for use. However, sometimes when I take one out, three oth

ers come off (the pins are pinned), so that could be a hassle. In other cases, I kind of have them jammed in tight. Did I ever mention that I started making a quilt when I was 35. I worked piecing it together on the sewing machine for about six months. Then I put it away. That was 18 years ago.I fussed around with the exposure, the blacks, the saturation, contrast and recovery on most of these photos. Any way your eye slices it, though, this one will be fun.Don’t just stash your costume jewelry in a drawer! I use costume jewelry to bring 3D effects to my collages… and remember how we used it to bling up my mom’s bathroom (above)? Use your imagination — there are lots of potential ways to make gorgeous home decorations with vintage costume jewelry.

  1. Jacki Anderson says:

    I love this idea and shared it with my niece who has a similar dress form. Also love the shower curtain idea. But I’m commenting because I absolutely am crazy for city painting in the photo of your dog. So lovin’ the colors and the whole feel of it!!

  2. Stacey says:

    Collecting vintage pins is SUCH A GREAT IDEA!! I’m going to do that.

    Eighteen years ago when you were 35?!? Was that a typo? Do you mean when you were 15? Because I want to know where you found that fountain of youth!

    Astro is so adorable. I might have to start the Astro Fan Club.

  3. chris says:

    I thought the same thing!!!! Pam, you’d have that dress form covered in no time!

    Have any of you ever tried to bid on rhinestone pins on e-bay? It is just insaaaaaaane what they go for! Crazy!

    I love absolutely anything sparkly and gaudy. It’s a good thing I married my husband – without him reining me in, I’d get all sorts of citations for excessive glitter, sparkles, sequins, Christmas lights — you name it.

  4. RetroGal says:

    Such a great project! I have a small French bulletin board that I have on a wall in my walk in closet with one vintage daisy pin stuck in (and numerous photos/cards, etc.)… it never dawned on me to perhaps stick MORE of the few vintage pins I have on there… or perhaps get another board and have it just for that!

    I love that you showcase big projects as well as small, easy-to-do achieveable projects too!

  5. Michelle says:

    I love your dress form. I did something similar when wanting to be able to display my grandmothers’ pins. I collaged them on a cross for my wall. I love to look at that and be reminded of them everyday. Would send a photo but cant figure out how to do that. Anyway, love your idea.

  6. Nancy says:

    Too cool for school!! I am trying to talk my daughter in to having a broach bouquet for her wedding bouquet?! I love them!

  7. Amanda says:

    I’ve seen some sellers on etsy who use vintage brooches and pins to make bridal bouquets. I wish I had done something like that at my wedding. But making some sort of floral display made with the brooches and putting it in a fun vase or some sort, would be another awesome way of displaying the pins.

  8. tammyCA says:

    I have a small collection of the enamel flower pins from the 60s and I have them stuck in my milk glass flower vases. They make me happy & remind me of my childhood. I sure don’t find them for $1 ‘tho, they are a lot more than that out here.

  9. marta says:

    A term often confused in the U.S. with the Cornish pasty, which itself can be spelled both ways over here. 🙂

  10. marta says:

    I’ve really been in love with vintage pins and clip-on earrings the last few years, but don’t often buy them except for seasonal ones. You’ve really convinced me to start collecting them in earnest.

    I wouldn’t be violating my on-going 2008 New Year’s resoluton of not buying anything unless it’s on my ‘list’ (to make the list, an item/category has to be of immediate use to a specific purpose) as long as I decide exactly how I’m going to use them. Of course, that may take a while; everyone has such good ideas on that!

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