When I began planning Jessica’s baby shower, I came across this idea on Pinterest (source) but I had no idea how I would get the dresses to stand up. While picking Cory’s brain about what I could use, he mentioned that he thought he could build a stand for the dresses out of some material he had at work. I’m so blessed to have a super smart husband who designed and built the dress stands for me. Since I’ve had such a huge response on my Sweet Beginnings Baby Shower on how I was able to get the dresses stand up, I thought I would share the baby dress centerpiece tutorial.
- 9 gauge wire
- Heavy duty side cutting pliers
- Quart paint can (or something similar)
- Metal file
- Tape measure
- Spray paint (I used Rust-Oleum Semi-Gloss Protective Enamel)
At any point during this tutorial, if you mess up just straighten the wire back out with pliers, hammer or your hands and start the step over.
1. Using pliers, cut the wire to desired length. The length will vary depending on the length of the dress you are using and in this tutorial, the dress I am using measured 11 inches long. For our stand, we used 16 inches to form the base plus 9 inches for the rod plus 4 inches for the “U” shaped hook bring the total length of the wire to 30 inches.
2. Make sure that the wire is a straight and as kink free as possible. You can do this with pliers and a hammer or your hands if it is easier.
3. Once cut to length, sand the wire with Scotch Brite and clean with soapy water. This is prepping the wire for paint so you don’t have to do it after it is bent.
4. Using a file, round off the cut edges. This is done so that no one is cut or the dress doesn’t get picked by the rough edges.
1. Use your paint can (or something similar) to shape the base of the stand with. On one end of the wire, bend it around the paint can, as closely as possible, to make a circle.
2. Once you’ve gone all the way around the can and you meet the end of the wire, bend the remaining wire in a 90 degree angle perpendicular to the circle. At this point, the stand should be able to stand on its own.
3. With the dress on the hanger, hold it up to the stand at the height where you want the dress to hang. Mark on the wire where the bottom of the hanger should fall.
4. Measure approximately 4 inches above the mark and cut. Discard remaining wire. Using a file, round off the edge you just cut. This is the part that will contact the dress so make sure it is very smooth before continuing.
5. Approximately 1 1/4″ from the mark, bend the wire all the way to the right until it touches itself. Pinch the bend shut.
6. Using the pliers, bend the end of the wire away from the front of the stand in a “U” shape so that the bottom of the “U” is at the mark that you placed. This may take some trial and error.
Testing and Painting:
1. Center the bottom of the hanger onto the “U” and make sure that the stand is the appropriate length for the dress.
2. Paint the stand desired color. I painted mine white because I didn’t want to draw any attention away from the dresses themselves.
3. In this tutorial, I used a plastic hanger but at the shower I used satin hangers similar to these. The plastic hangers don’t sit as well in the hook but it was all I had. I suggest using the satin hangers because I think they look prettier but you could use the plastic hanger, if you want.
The whole process is really easy but I wanted to make sure I listed every step in pictures because it gets kind of hard to explain when you’re bending wire. If you have any questions, just let me know and I’ll let Cory answer them!
This post is linked with Kayla from Home Coming.