How to Build Your Own Halloween Mannequins

Written by alex smith
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How to Build Your Own Halloween Mannequins
Household duct tape can become a Halloween mannequin. (Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)

Many people enjoy having monsters, corpses and other bodies on display for Halloween. Unless you have friends with a lot of free time, you will have to use mannequins to create these characters. Some Halloween stores sell poseable foam mannequins or rigid plastic ones, but these can both be very expensive. Instead, you can make your own low-cost Halloween mannequin with nothing but some old clothes, newspaper and a lot of duct tape.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Old clothes
  • Duct tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Robe
  • Newspaper
  • Styrofoam head
  • Gloves
  • Costume for mannequin
  • Paint or rubber mask

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  1. 1

    Dress a model in a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and socks. The shirt should be tucked into the trousers, and the trousers into the socks. These clothes will be destroyed in the process of making the mannequin, so they should be old ones that you don't care about.

  2. 2

    Have the model stand in a position that is similar to the desired position of the mannequin. The finished duct tape mannequin will have some flexibility, but it will look better if it starts close to its finished shape.

  3. 3

    Tear duct tape into 12- to 24-inch strips.

  4. 4

    Apply strips of duct tape to the model's body, beginning at the legs. The strips should overlap slightly to ensure full coverage, and be tight enough to conform to the shape of the model's body.

  5. 5

    Have the model apply tape to his or her crotch region if you do not feel comfortable doing so yourself.

  6. 6

    Continue adding strips of duct tape, working your way up the model's body, until all of the clothing is covered.

  7. 7

    Apply a second layer of duct tape for added strength, using a different colour than the first to easily differentiate the layers.

  8. 8

    Draw a marker line down the model's back, down the backs of the arms and the backs of the legs. It will look like a stick figure drawn on the duct tape.

  9. 9

    Cut along the marker lines with a sharp pair of scissors to remove the model from the mannequin. Work slowly, making small snips, to avoid cutting the model's skin. You are cutting through both the tape and clothing.

  10. 10

    Remove the duct tape and clothing from the model.

  11. 11

    Close the cut lines on the mannequin's feet and seal them with more duct tape.

  12. 12

    Stuff the feet with wadded newspaper.

  13. 13

    Continue stuffing newspaper into the calves, taping the cut seams closed as you go. Use this procedure to stuff and tape the entire mannequin.

  14. 14

    Tape a styrofoam head onto the mannequin's shoulders and gloves stuffed with newspaper onto its arms.

  15. 15

    Dress the mannequin in appropriate clothing for your Halloween display. You can paint the styrofoam head or pull a rubber mask over it.

Tips and warnings

  • Work in an air-conditioned room for your model's comfort.

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