New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 243302)

Building a Gladys from Friends [Completed]

By TheHueManatee

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by TheHueManatee
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 33 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


    #1 1 year ago

    So my wife is a big fan of the TV show Friends. There's a particular episode where the Phoebe character builds a creepy looking "painting" with a dummy built into the canvas and calls it "Gladys". My wife really enjoyed that episode and has mentioned a few times over the last year how cool it would be if we could have a Gladys of our very own for the gameroom. So I decided to build one for her as a gift.

    This is a screenshot of Gladys from the sitcom.


    So these past 2 months I've been buying the parts needed to build it.

    - picture frame (26x38) from Michael's
    - piece of plywood from home depot.
    - mannequin head was purchased from a creepy guy on kijiji (Canadian Craigslist)
    - black wig, broach and right hand from eBay.
    - reflecting stickers from Michael's
    - blue, grey and purplish fabrics purchased from fabricland

    In terms of the torso, I bought some large stuffed animals from kijiji and brought them to a seamstress/tailor. (They are currently sizing the torso and dressing it in the fabric I purchased.)

    #2 1 year ago

    First step was to size the fabric to the plywood and then glue it to back. I used a mod podge glue and the fabric stuck nicely to the sanded plywood.


    The next step was making some cheesey draping where the purple and grey fabrics meet. I used hot glue to glue the purple fabric to the back of the plywood. I then drilled six holes to insert zip ties to hold the draping into three places. And then used some cut purple fabric to cover those zip ties and tied them off in the back.

    Now just waiting for the tailor to call me about the torso before I can continue.

    #3 1 year ago

    As the manager of a 7-11 you have too much time on your hands

    #4 1 year ago

    So the stuffed animal torso approach isn't going to pan out with the tailor/seamstress. I instead purchased a half female mannequin used to display clothing in stores off of kijiji for 10$.


    I cut out the upper neck plastic that was protruding and under the armpits in order to allow the arms to be installed or tucked underneath.

    I then measured the yellow felt fabric on the mannequin and began hot gluing the outlines of the fabric to the plastic on the back....slightly stretching it to form the body. (I chose yellow felt fabric as it's apparently used by ventriloquist or prop makers to simulate skin tone)

    I cut out whatever extra yellow fabric I had and then began the hot glue process again to fit the blue fabric onto the mannequin to make the dress.


    I think it turned out pretty well. Next step will be assembling the arms


    #5 1 year ago

    So the next step was to place some wood around the inner shell of the torso so it could be secured against the plywood from the back.


    I then cut the plastic arm in half to replicate Gladys' left arm.


    I drilled holes through it in order to have zip ties put through so it can be secured in the back through holes in the plywood (Just like I did with the cheesy draping). I then dressed up the arm in the blue dress fabric and hot glued it in place....leaving the zip ties protruding.


    #6 1 year ago

    When I placed everything onto the canvas to see how it looked....I realized that the dummy head was too round and was lifting the torso off the canvas/plywood. This would also make it difficult to properly secure the head to the canvas.

    I had to make the dummy head flat so it would be flush against the canvas and could be secured through the back. I drew a one inch line from the back of the head and then sliced through it.


    I then chiseled away the foam in the back of the head and glued in some wood. This would allow me to properly secure the head to the canvas by drilling through the back.

    #7 1 year ago

    I'm just Gladys you doing this (and not me).

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    I'm just Gladys you doing this (and not me).

    The things we do for our wives.

    1 week later
    #9 1 year ago

    I bought some pvc and a fitting to fabricate the right arm. I sawed the pvc to make the arms the appropriate length and rounded the fitting to simulate the curvature of the elbow. The right hand stub was also sawed off so it could fit into the pipe. Next step will be to dress the entire arm in blue fabric.


    **also here's a YouTube video compilation of Gladys for those who may be interested**

    #10 1 year ago

    Fabric has been added. I made sure that the fabrics didn't overlap at the elbow. That will allow for the forearm to be moveable/rotatable away from the canvas if desired.

    I also added leftover plush to the shoulder arm length so it appeared bulkier than the forearm.


    The hair has also been glued to the scalp of the dummy. I ordered a brooch and costume necklace from eBay as well....just waiting for those to arrive from China.

    Now all that's left to do is assemble all the parts and secure it to the canvas.

    #11 1 year ago

    I love this, lol

    And I don’t even know why!

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chosen_S:

    I love this, lol
    And I don’t even know why!

    Thanks. It sure feels weird building it. But it seems to be coming along.

    #13 1 year ago

    I thought I had seen every friends. Wow that's too funny. Thanks

    #14 1 year ago

    Aw man those clips had me laughing out loud. After you’re done with Gladys youll have to make a “Glynnis” too!

    1 week later
    #15 1 year ago

    I reworked the right arm and added a piece of slanted wood to help lift it off the canvas. I hot glued it in place and then added some duct tape for good measure.

    I didn't like that it was flush against the canvas because it prevented the hand from resting nicely on the stomach. I then reapplied and reglued the blue fabric.

    #16 1 year ago

    Next step was to merge the frame and canvas together. Wooden corners were sized and hot glued into each corner. Then brad nails installed to bulletproof the corners and ensure stability.

    #17 1 year ago

    This is amazing!! Nice progress!

    #18 1 year ago

    With the frame and canvas now intact together it's time to assemble everything and secure it in place. (Torso, head, arms, necklace)

    Here is a before and after from behind.

    #19 1 year ago

    And the end result.

    Theres just three things left to do.

    a) I need to add a layer of yellow fabric to connect the torso and remainder of the head/neck area of the dummy so it appears fluid.
    b) I need to add some puffy blue fabric to the bottom left of the canvas to finish off the dress.
    c) Still waiting for the brooch to arrive from China/eBay.


    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from Boat:

    This is amazing!! Nice progress!


    #21 1 year ago

    Shouldn't the head be pointing to the side and down?

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from lint:

    Shouldn't the head be pointing to the side and down?

    It could be..but it was a personal choice to showcase the entire face.

    I also recently noticed the fingers we're cut off the right hand. I plan on leaving the fingers intact for now.

    #23 1 year ago

    You did an awesome job!
    You mentioned this was as a gift for your wife, are you giving her it for a specific/special occasion? Or just going to surprise her out of the blue with it?
    Make sure you let us know what she thinks of it! (I'm sure she will love it)

    #24 1 year ago

    This is awesome..... well done sir!

    #25 1 year ago

    Without context (never watched the TV show) this was one of the more perplexing thread titles I've seen on Pinside.

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    This is awesome..... well done sir!

    Thank you Cosmo!

    Quoted from sixtyfourbits:

    You did an awesome job!
    You mentioned this was as a gift for your wife, are you giving her it for a specific/special occasion? Or just going to surprise her out of the blue with it?
    Make sure you let us know what she thinks of it! (I'm sure she will love it)

    I appreciate it! This will be a Christmas gift for her so it'll be a while before I can give an update on how she received it. I also think that she'll give it a different name other than Gladys.

    Quoted from JeffZee:

    Without context (never watched the TV show) this was one of the more perplexing thread titles I've seen on Pinside.

    I can't argue with that! It was perplexing an odd building this thing.

    I snapped a couple pics of it in our gameroom and it fits right in.

    #27 1 year ago

    The skin extension between the neck/head and torso is complete. As well as the dress extension at the bottom left of the canvas. I added some knotted fabric inside the dress extension to add some bulk to it. (I'm not super pleased with how the dress extension came out but it's not a big deal)

    So basically it's 99% complete. The last thing to do is apply the brooch when it arrives in the mail.



    #28 1 year ago

    Things to do in Edmonton when it snows...

    Also you must really really love your wife lol

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from extraballingtmc:

    Things to do in Edmonton when it snows... l

    For a minute yesterday I thought the rain was going to turn into snow. I Heard Banff got a nice blanketing yesterday...

    Quoted from extraballingtmc:

    Also you must really really love your wife lol

    Yea she's pretty cool. She loves pinball and enjoys our game room. Figured making this would make the game room a little more alluring.

    #30 1 year ago

    Pretty good trade off actually. Make her a mannequin and she might let you buy a new game lol

    1 month later
    #31 1 year ago

    The brooch finally arrived! (It must have been sent via shipping container)

    Project is now officially done! Thanks for checking out my build. Happy August everybody!

    8 months later
    #32 6 months ago

    How did the wife react when you gifted this masterpiece to her?

    #33 6 months ago

    She absolutely loved it!

    I put it up on the wall right next to the pinball machine. At first she didn't even notice it and started to play a game...and then half way through her second ball she looked up and pointed at it and said "what the fuck is that?"

    I told her what it was and she clued in immediately and started laughing. She then took pictures of it and posted them online for her friends to see, lol

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 14.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    $ 7,599.00
    Pinball Machine
    Operation Pinball
    $ 20.00
    Various Novelties
    GC Pinball
    From: $ 25.00
    Cabinet - Other
    Filament Printing
    $ 35.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Pinball Pimp
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 69.99
    Lighting - Led
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 64.00
    $ 159.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 159.00
    $ 139.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Sparky Pinball
    $ 4.49
    Yorktown Arcade Supply
    $ 54.99
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 39.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Concealed Art
    From: $ 1.50
    Playfield - Other
    Rocket City Pinball
    € 40.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Creo Pinball
    $ 19.95
    Playfield - Protection
    SilverBall Designs
    $ 12.95
    $ 19.99
    $ 99.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Loop Combo Pinball
    $ 9,500.00
    $ 79.99
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 40.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Arcade Arts
    $ 65.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Pinball Photos
    $ 334.95
    $ 159.00
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 5,899.00
    Pinball Machine
    Operation Pinball
    $ 16.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside