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How to Create a Dress Form Christmas Tree

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This year I created a Dress Form Christmas Tree.  My inspiration came from my little sister who sent me a photo of one and said, “You must make one of these!”  I agreed.  It was right up my alley.  I did a little research to see how they were made but couldn’t find anything, but I knew it couldn’t be that difficult.  And now you will know too.

How to Create a Dress Form Christmas Tree all lit upYou will need a dress form on a stand.  I found mine through a private Facebook group that is a virtual garage sale for the area that I live in.  It is an antique one which is what I have been looking for for quite some time.  It was just meant to be.

You can purchase them on eBay and Amazon for good prices.  I did a bit of research and narrowed it down to these two listed below (one is white, and the other is cream). I was ready to order, but then I came across the antique one which I liked even more. The one I got can be a tabletop or a 6′ tall dress form.  In the end, you will want one that is or gets tall.

To create a “rigid” skirt form, I used chicken wire.  The key is to purchase a heavier gauge wire that has smaller mesh openings.  The one that I bought at ACE Hardware has like two-inch openings.  It worked, but I can see that if you use a smaller opening, like one inch, it will make the skirt even that much more sturdy.

If you decide to go shopping at your local hardware store, you will need a minimum of 10 feet to wrap around her. Not for the waist but for it to flare out and create a hoop style skirt at the bottom.   To cut the wire, you will need some sort of cutting pliers.  Go raid the toolbox; they are pretty common.  I will list a link to what one looks like below. That is all that you will need for “tools.”  The rest is a decoration that matches your creativity!  Oh, I did put a skirt on her that I had in my closet… just to protect the form from getting poked by the chicken wire.

For the pine-tree skirt, I used 6 (9 foot) garlands.  Last year when all the Christmas decor went on sale after the holidays, I bought 10 of them for $2.00 apiece (normally $9.99).  I had no idea how I was going to use them the following year, but I knew I would. Garland comes in different lengths, fullness, and quality.  Check out the local craft stores for a selection to pick from. Just keep in mind that you will need approximately 45 feet in the end.  You can use fresh pine garland if you so desire.  I prefer the fake stuff… less mess, no fire hazard and is reusable, year after year.

For lighting and decoration, I went simple yet elegant.  The possibilities are endless.  I used 300 white lights on a green wire (important!  Don’t use lights that are on white wires, it won’t look good).  I then used some Christmas picks and some fake Christmas flowers, literally just poking them into the greenery.  Very easy. I will post some links to a few that appeal to me, but use what you wish.

For the bodice of the dress form, I laced her up in one of my corsets.  No need to purchase anything for this part, just go to your closet.  You can use dress shirts, dresses, lacy tops, etc. To bring the top and bottom together, I used a deep red burlap ribbon to create a belt.  To balance the color and texture of the ribbon, I tied a piece loosely around the dress form neck and tucked it into the corset top.  Have fun with it!  Trust me; I tried about four corsets on her before I made my final decision.  You can use scarves, necklaces, or whatever sticks your fancy. My goal was to use whatever I had on hand. I hope you enjoy this posting and have a wonderful holiday! amie sue

Items required & needed:

a close up of How to Create a Dress Form Christmas Tree all lit up - How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

Dress form:

Wire skirt:


Garland skit:


Regarding the decorations… I have a feeling you will already have some on hand to use, but if you need some ideas click (here).

This is the dress form that I used.  I extended her to a full height

of 6 feet tall. A short one would be beautiful too; you will just

need fewer materials.

an antique dress form - How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

I slid a skirt over her just to protect the form from the chicken

wire.  This is optional.

adding a skirt to the antique dress form - How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

When dealing with the wire, wear gloves, so you don’t poke and

scratch yourself. Wrap the wire around the base of the waist,

making it tight around her center.  This will cause the base

of the skirt to flare out some. That is what we want.  Twist the

cut wire ends around the mesh opening to secure it into place.

add chicken wire over the skirt to the antique dress form

Put the top clothing piece on once the mesh shirt is in place.

adding a corset to the antique dress form - How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

You are going to wrap the garland around and around the mesh

skirt.  As you start with the first wrap around, every few inches,

twist the garland sprigs into the top of the wire mesh skirt. This

is your foundation in holding it into place, so be detailed here.

As you go around, you will be twisting the garland sprigs

together roughly every 6-10 inches.  Don’t twist the garland to

the wire, otherwise, the skirt will form into an A-line skirt.

adding Christmas garland to the the antique dress form to create a skirt - How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

As you go around the skirt form, creating length to the skirt,

let the garland wrap around loosely to keep the flared shape.

Anytime you see a “hole” and can spot the mesh skirt, twist some

garland sprigs together to fill in the hole.  It’s very easy and forgiving.

adding Christmas garland all the way to the floor to the the antique dress form to create a skirt

Create the desired length. It can be shorter or all the way to the

floor.  Stand back every once in a while and access how things

are looking.  I fluffed out the garland as I was putting it on her.

fluff all the pine garland to fill in any holes - How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

Now for the lighting.  Start from the top, making sure that you

start with the female end of the string, so the male, plugin ends

up at the bottom of the dress.  Since my dress form has sections

that can contract or expand, I have a stand of lights inside of her

to illuminate her bodice as well.  I literally just walked around and

around her, placing the lights in amongst the garland. I didn’t

intertwine them, they just naturally nestled right in.

How to make a Christmas Tree Dress

Decorate and enjoy!  I recommend using timers for your

Christmas trees to conserve electricity.

adding burgundy burlap to the dress form christmas tree

64 thoughts on “How to Create a Dress Form Christmas Tree

  1. Penelope says:

    This is really gorgeous! So creative:) Thank you for sharing…I love your newsletters.

    • amie-sue says:

      You are welcome Penelope and thank you. :) I appreciate that you are here and enjoying my site. Have a glorious day! amie sue

  2. Joanie Stuart says:

    Amie Sue,

    You never cease to amaze and impress me. This is seriously creative and very well executed.
    Thank you for your inspiration!!
    Keep em coming!!


    • amie-sue says:

      Oh thank you so much Joanie. I never think of sharing my non-food creations but perhaps I will start or at least work towards it. hehe Have a blessed holiday season. amie sue :)

  3. Lyn says:

    Wow Amie Sue, I just thought you put the maniquin top on the top of the tree. What was I thinking!!! LOL , of course you made it all from scratchj!! :] Now I appreciate even more the beauty of your tree!! Kudos again, you are simply the most amazingly, creative person I have ever met !!! Thank you for sharing with us how you did it !!! :] Lyn

    • amie-sue says:

      Well there’s an idea Lyn. lol The funny thing is that occasionally I spot her out of the corner of eye and jump, thinking someone else is in the house. haha I spook easily. :P Have a glorious day my friend and stay warm! amie sue

  4. Ana says:

    You know what, Amie…you are just an angel of alchemy…this Woman Christmas tree just makes me feel how all the planet is sharing one same soul of so many aspects..I can hardly express it but it is so full of life and the same time so still …real fusion, baby…this creations of yours make me feel exactly like having convesations with God… keep it high:)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Ana,

      You have such a beautiful way with words. You have no idea how much I appreciate your heart. I love it when things evoke such emotion and it is so different for each person, all depending on their own journey. Many blessings and hugs, amie sue

  5. Radonna says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I love the idea of using fake garland instead of fresh greenery. Please add me to your newsletter distribution list.

    • amie-sue says:

      So nice to hear from you Radonna. I will add you to the mailing list. Watch for emails from me in your inbox. Enjoy the holiday season. Blessings, amie sue

  6. Kenya says:

    Simply beautiful! Great job and thanks for sharing. I will definetely be trying this m.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Kenya and you are welcome! I would love to see a picture of it if you do make one. Have a blessed and happy holiday. amie sue

  7. Judy says:

    I would like to know how many sets (50 count/set?) of lights this took. Thanks! Your work looks beautiful! I’m going to be decorating 2 of these to donate for a leukemia fundraiser.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Judy,

      I used 300 white lights on a green wire. I had two strands of 150 lights, so that would be 6 strands for you. But don’t get locked into that, you can more or less. I love that you are making them for a great cause. They are fun to make. Enjoy and many blessings, amie sue

  8. J baldwin says:

    Thank you so much for posting step by step instructions! I’ve been wanting to make one, but had a heck of a time finding any instructions. No one wanted to share the “secret”. And if they did they wanted to be paid! Thank you again, and your tree gown looks beautiful!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you J,

      It’s getting close to that time of year again! I can’t wait to do it again and see what different look I come up with. Have fun with it! Blessings, amie sue

  9. ione says:

    This is gorgeous. How can you position the wire form to be wider as it goes down. I would like a wider dress all the way to the floor.?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Ione,

      You could need to brace it from underneath with some thing… if it were me, I would be searching my house on what I could use. lol Small boxes, old sleeping bag… No need to get industrial unless of course that is your desire… then a trip to the hardware store would be needed and some brain storming. :) Let me know how it goes. Blessings, amie sue

  10. MsPrissy says:

    Thank you! This is by far the BEST instructions. I already have the mannequin, purchasing other supplies tomorrow…Wish me luck!!

  11. Tracie says:

    What kind of garland did you use? It looks different from the garland I was able to find. Yours looks branchie. Mines is not.

    • amie-sue says:

      Gosh Tracie, I don’t know the brand name of it. I picked it up the year prior to using it at Craft Warehouse. It was normally $19.99 and after Christmas I got for $2.00! There are SO MANY different garlands out there. As long as you like it, it is full, and bends with ease… it will work. Good luck and have fun.

      Blessings, amie sue

  12. Renee Jones says:

    simply beautiful,Iwill be trying this .

  13. Peggy Richards says:

    Thank you very much for the instructions for the dress Christmas tree. I’m going to make this for my granddaughter and so excited. Your tree is awesome and you have made a lot of women happy. Thanks again!

  14. Shon says:

    OMG!!!! This is beautiful. So glad u posted this. I bought my dress form and garland next will be chicken wire. Can’t wait to see my dress. Hopefully it will almost as good as yours

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you so much Shon. I am excited for you! Please come back and let me know how it turns out. I am sure it will be gorgeous. :) blessings…. and wear gloves when working with the wire and garland, it will save your hands. :) amie sue

  15. beth carrillo says:

    Very nice

  16. Sheena says:

    Hello Amie Sue
    Like you I searched endlessly for the method to create the Christmas Tree Dress & I am so very grateful to have found your site. The instructions were perfect, everything was down to a T. I had took a photo to post with my comment of thanks to you but I’m not able to add it lol It turned out perfect, it is in the window of my niece’s new clothing boutique in Ireland.
    Thank you & Happy Christmas

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sheena,

      I am so happy that you enjoyed my posting on how to make these trees. :) That is exactly why I wrote it up! hehe I would love to see a photo. Can you email it to me: [email protected]? We are trying to see if there is a plugin that allows readers to post photos. Thanks for bringing that up. Blessings, amie sue

  17. Ann says:

    I really enjoyed your presentation on how to make and decorate a tree dress. It is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your idea with us. I am tempted to make one for Christmas this year.

    • amie-sue says:

      You’re welcome Ann. I am so happy that I could inspire you. As we grow closer to Christmas next year, be sure to share a picture of your creation. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  18. Addie says:

    Hello and thank you so much for this post! I have a question. What do you mean by when you start twist the garland into the top of chicken wire and as you go around twist the garland together? Do you insert the garland through the holes of net in the beginning? Are you twisting the garland from the layer above to one below together? I’m a visual learner so it’s a little difficult to understand the written instructions. ☺️

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Addie,

      Yes, I am twisting the garland from the layer above to the below one together (as you indicated). Don’t weave it through the chicken wire, not sure that would even fit, but it would be hard and messy. I am sorry that I didn’t have more detailed photos. Thanks for asking and I hope this answers your question. blessings, amie sue

      • Addie says:

        Thank you! The first part of my question was how do you begin applying the sprig? You mentioned twist into top of wire mesh skirt. Is an end of the garland tucked into the waist between the dress form and the wire mesh?

        And final question, promise, If using 9′ garland how do you end one roll of garland and start a second?

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Addie,

          Yes, when I started to add the pine swag to the chicken wire I just wrapped one of the sprigs to the top of the chicken wire, enough to secure it. Use the same concept when adding another swag, just twist the ends of the two swags together with a few of the sprigs. Does that make sense? amie sue

  19. Addie says:

    Yes! Thank you. I’m excited!!!

  20. Tanya G. Cooper says:

    I’ve been wondering for a few years how to make these. So glad I ran up on your instructions. You make it seem really simple. I found my dress form. My husband picked up my chicken wire today but its only 24 inches and I want it to go to the floor. Do you think I can go around a second time with it and make it wider at the bottom or do I need to exchange it for a 36. I’m
    sooo excited and ready to start. Yours is wayyy to cute!!! Thank you!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      I am happy that you are enjoying the post on how to make they Christmas dress forms. It was so much fun to make. I would use what you have and wrap it around a second time as you said. Use some wire ties or something to hold the two pieces together so it’s nice and stable as you go to add the garland. Have fun! Send me a picture if you want of the end result. I love seeing them. :) [email protected]

      blessings, amie sue

  21. Curious Jorja says:

    Hi Miss Amie-Sue,
    May I please know where you got your garland from? ..and please forgive me if you addressed this and I overlooked it but did you get long needle faux garland? I’m not certain if there is a short needle either but I want to try my best to come as close as possible to the beauty you created. Thank you in advance. Lovely blog/site! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day! Thank you for the warm compliment. So happy to hear that you are enjoying the site. I be honest, I can’t 100% recall where I got the garland. I am always collecting decorations here and there. Any garland will work, just make sure to pick on that you really like and one that is full. Garlands come in so many different styles and quality. The better the quality and the more realistic the needles look… the prettier your tree will be. Please keep me posted how it turns out. enjoy and have fun, amie sue

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day! Thank you for the warm compliment. So happy to hear that you are enjoying the site. I will be honest, I can’t 100% recall where I got the garland. I am always collecting decorations here and there. Any garland will work, just make sure to pick on that you really like and one that is full. Garlands come in so many different styles and quality. The better the quality and the more realistic the needles look… the prettier your tree will be. Please keep me posted how it turns out. enjoy and have fun, amie sue

  22. Addie says:

    So my dress did not turn out as planned but I’m working with it. I did not get a flare skirt. I tighten the chicken wire around the waist. And didn’t come close to using entire roll of wire. Was I suppose to wrap the wire around multiple times? And the skirt didn’t touch the floor. I had the dress form at maybe 5,10/11”. I bought the suggested 3”x25 wire net. What did I miss?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Addie,

      I only went around the dress form one time as shown in the photos. When you go to secure the wire when the two edges come together, don’t attach it together all the way from top to the bottom so it can flare out a bit. Does that make sense? If you want, you can send me a photo to [email protected] of what you created and perhaps I can help troubleshoot it. It’s so hard when I can’t see it. :) blessings, amie sue

  23. Cindy Lowe says:

    Love these adorable trees so with your inspiration I decided to make my own! All the work was so worth the end result. Thanks for your wonderful pics and instruction!

  24. Ms. B BetterLateThanNever says:

    Mas. Amie Sue, First of all let me say that it was just three weeks ago that I saw my first Christmas tree mannequin! This was only my second attempt at finding some instructions. Thanks for being so thorough!!! Planning on trying it for Mother’s Day.

  25. WOw!!!, amazing, this is exactly what i always to do

  26. Shirra T Hunter says:

    I can’t wait to try this tree this year.

  27. LaVet Hicks says:

    I have been wanting to make this tree as well but I am still not sure how to attach the chicken wire to the mannequin form so that it is stable. Please inform me of how it may be attached. Love your tree with the garland. I will probably use the branches of an old tree we were going to dump and I have saved the branches.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning LaVet,

      When attaching the chicken wire around the waist, I just used the wire itself to secure it but if you want you can use zip ties to secure any area that you feel uneasy about. Those would hold it just fine. Using your old tree branches is perfect! You can really use so many different forms of greenery, making it unique and special. I would love to see your tree when done, if you wish, you can email me a picture at [email protected]. :) blessings and happy holidays, amie sue

  28. Theresa says:

    My mannequin is already metal with lots of gaps so I don’t need wires, but my skirt will be less full then yours. First attempt this year so I shall allow for errors and lots of changes in ideas!!

    I saw one on a tv programmed and am hooked in the idea. Your project is outstanding and so totally inspirational and how kind of you to share how you made yours. Thank you so much.

    I will put a black t-shirt for her top and then wrap pearls around her neck for decoration. I might even wait for the new year sales to get the garland and then have the tree for next year.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day, Theresa,

      You could always start overlapping your garland as you make your way down the skirt to help give it some volume (if needed or desired). There are so many unique ways to decorate it. Have fun and enjoy the process. blessings, amie sue

  29. Anna says:

    Is there a video that show exactly how to wrap the garland around the mesh to secure it. I would love this reference

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Anna,

      I am sorry but I don’t have a video on how to wrap the garland around the mesh… just what I shared in wording. Have a great holiday season. amie sue

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