Mannequin Makeover Part One

I love mannequins as you know from my previous

For The Love of Mannequins post where I showed you mannequins from the

Country Living Fair. 

I promised to share how I turned my mannequin dress form

from this…

Mannequin DIY

To this…

Mannequin Art

It was an easy process, but a little time consuming. 

Yet, so worth it.

I think she has a personality now, don’t you?


***Most of these photos were taken with my phone. 

The quality is not the best, but hopefully you will

get the idea.***

The mannequin started with natural wood for the neck/head,

Mannequin Head

and black for the base.

Mannequin DIY

I took the picture after I started painting, but you get the idea, right?

You can also see the metal bar, where the top of the mannequin body fits to the base.

I found this mannequin at a warehouse many years ago that sold mannequin parts – this is a great way to keep the costs down.  The top was a Talbots retired mannequin.  Probably because of the hole in the fabric.  The base was from another mannequin.  

Okay… Let’s get started…

1. Paint/Distress/Wax the Mannequin Body

Annie Sloan came to the rescue again.

I used Old White (ASCP) for the mannequin base, metal bar, and head piece.

Frog Tape

worked great for this project, you can see where it was used around the neck. (above)

After two coats of paint, I distressed the wood base and head/neck.

Mannequin neck

Annie Sloan Dark Wax was then applied.  The dark wax gives that worn out, vintage look. 

It also creates texture and dimension.

2. Create the Mannequin Dress Top

To create the top of the dress,  I used burlap ribbon purchased at Michaels and

wrapped it around the mannequin body.

This is demonstrated for you on a different mannequin, but I hope you get the idea.

On the back side of the mannequin pin burlap to form.

(Position burlap as though you are creating  a halter top). 

I used T-pins for my mannequin, but here

demonstrated with a colored pin for visibility.


Wrap around to the front.

Mannequin Dress

and back with an angle.


Wrap again forming the second layer below the top layer.

Burlap Dress Top

After wrapping to the center of the back, bring the burlap over the left shoulder.

Mannequin Dress

Over the front, wrapping to the back again.

DIY Mannequin Dress

You may need to pin here and there to keep the burlap in place.

Just make sure the pins are hidden.

Then wrap over the right shoulder and down the front wrapping to the back again.

Here is a view of the front.


Pin in place and finesse to your liking.

Here is what I did…


Wrap burlap around waist and create a big bow at one end, this will give a nice clean finish.

Here you can see the bow and the starting of the chicken wire for the skirt.

Mannequin Body

In the next post, I will share with you how I made the skirt.

Until then…



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