Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Make a Mannequin

This post completely not sewing related, but is important for me because I am not rich. 

I have gone to a few markets now and would love to have a toddler sized dress form or mannequin to show off a dress or two since they always look better on something than on the hanger.

I looked at a few online and, well, I don't have the money to shell out a hundred or two for a dress form or mannequin.  That being the case, I took matters into my own hands and made my own.  

Well, it's not really a mannequin, more a dress holder stand thing.  But it works the same to display the dresses.  I have five now for the trade show on Saturday at West Edmonton Mall.

Wanna make one?  Here's how.

You need dowels and a flat heavy-ish bottom.  I got mine from the dollar store.  
Cut the dowels to the height you need and the width.  For a size 4T dress my dowel is 26" and the crossing dowel is 12".

Paint them if you want.  
I did because I think it looks more finished than the bare wood.  I suppose you could stain them for an even better look, but the bases I got are not real wood and so I don't think they would stain well.

Make holes in the bases the same size as the dowel.  Mine were 5/16th dowels.

Make a notch in the dowel that will fit in the base.  The notch is for the dowel that will go across the top.  
I tried it with the drill bit, but, yeah, it kinda didn't work so well and I had to touch up the paint.

Add a dab of glue.  I used hot glue, but I think wood glue would work better.

Lay the second dowel across the glue and let it dry.  Then wrap the joint up with twine or a coloured embroidery thread or something just to hold it in place, and you are done!

It's not a full bodied dress form or mannequin, but it works to hold the dress up for display!


  1. Hey are so talented.Such a nifty shifty mannequin.GOOD ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sweet - fab idea. I am going to make one for my next market on the 5th of Feb. Thanks for the idea.