Steampunk Corset: Fashioning a Dress with Paper

“Dress forms come in all shapes and sizes, and can be adorned with cloth, paper, and myriad other fantastic materials. I enjoy embellishing forms using paper, vintage book spines, burlap and other textiles. My passion, though, is for the process of manipulating old papers so they look vintage. Essentially, I am a dressmaker without bolts of fabric. I love the texture and the many ways paper can be manipulated into so many forms. You can wet it and curl it, or cut it into any shape, and you can’t always do that with fabric. Once you embrace the idea of decorating a dress form using items you already have, you have endless possibilities for creativity.” – Candy Rosenberg

Project Details

Artist: Candy Rosenberg

Instructions: The instructions for this project can be found in the Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.

Techniques included in this project: Papier-mâché, creating rust patina on paper, shaping paper, repurposing vintage books, curling paper.


  • Display mannequin, 23″ (I used a Darice® Paper Mache Display Mannequin.)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Americana® DecoArt® Decou-page
  • Foam brushes, several
  • Scissors
  • Shaped paper punch (I used Fiskars® Thick Materials Banner punch (Large).)
  • Decorative paper, 12” x 12” (I used 7gypsies American Vintage Gypsy Mixed Media Pad, 12” x 12” printed sheets.)
  • Inkpad (I used a Ranger Tim Holtz® Distress® Ink in Vintage Photo.)
  • Adhesive (I used Beacon Adhesives™ Zip Dry paper glue and Fabri-Tac™.)
  • Prima Marketing, Inc. Finnabair Art Extravagance Rust Effect Paste (I used Brown Rust, Red Rust, and Yellow Rust.)
  • 7gypsies Burlap Fringe (I used approximately 14” of the burlap fringe.)
    • NOTE: Cut a burlap strip, approximately 3” x 14”, if you prefer.)
  • Pencil
  • Paper punch or awl
  • Paper brads (I used eighteen ¼” silver brads.)
  • Canvas sheet (I used Canvas Corp French Script Printed 12″ x 12″ Canvas Sheet.)
  • Vintage book spines, small and narrow (I used 14.)
  • Craft knife
  • 3L Scrapbook Adhesive® Thin 3D Foam Squares
  • Crochet hook
  • Cord and ribbon (I used May Arts 1/8” Faux Suede Cord and ½” Red Jute.)
  • Embellishments (I used a variety of handmade paper flowers, along with Junkyard Findings, Say It in Pearls, a Candy Gem cabochon, and Nuts and Bolts by Ingvild Bolme, all from Prima Marketing, Inc.)

Design your own fashion-forward dress form when you purchase the digital or print Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.


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