How to make your own mannequin and decorate it

with 4 Comments

As I now own 4 different sewing machines, all about 100 years old, I decided last autumn that I wanted to do some more sewing with them. A friend came up with the idea of making mannequins, which would be a perfect match of ourselves.
We decided to go with the Gum Tape method. Basically you put on an old t-shirt. Then the other person puts gum tape all over you. You cut it up the back and gum tape it back together again. There are loads of tutorials out there which will give you more detailed instructions (Google: gum tape mannequin). It is also perfectly possible to make it out of Duct Tape.
I decided to stick a hanger up my mannequin so that it would be easier to varnish it (basic furniture varnish). I then decided to close the bottom of the mannequin. I then realised after having done this that I could not get the hanger out. So now my mannequin comes with inbuilt hanger, which is actually quite a nice feature.
I wanted to make my mannequin look pleasing as well as being practical. I used the pages from an old Heidi book to decoupage with. I then added the illustrations on top of the writing. I think it looks quite neat!


4 Responses

  1. Eddie

    The gum tape dries and makes the form very strong. I then used furniture varnish to stick the pages on and this just makes it stronger.

    It works fine as a dress form. Only downside is that you can't put pins in it.

  2. Jess

    Hi! This looks fantastic! Great idea to cover it with book pages, imagine it with music sheets! Can i just ask a question…how does it hold up? Do you think it is strong enough to actually use as a dress form?

  3. Eddie

    Thank you Erica Louise,

    you should definitely try it out. It's so much fun making it and it's quite a conversation starter to have in your living room.

  4. Erica Louise

    This is asolutely brilliant, I have seen duct tape DIY mannequins before, but using book pages or similar is an excellent attractive alternative! At some point in the future, I am going to try this, blog about it, and link back to your post. Thank you for the inspiration!