Saturday, January 25, 2014

a quick tutorial on how to alter a paper mache mannequin...


Dressing these mannequin dolls is so very fun and can be done in any style you choose, but, how do you find a mannequin with a head and a cute little niche to add elements to? Let me show you with a quick tutorial...
I started with a paper mache mannequin, a pencil, a sharp craft knife and a piece of scrap postcard. Using the scrap of postcard I traced around the object I wanted to use as my niche, for this tutorial I used a mini masonite theatre shrine that was assembled, gessoed and decorated a bit to save me a headache latter. I have also used house shaped boxes, square paper mache boxes, a birdcage and just about any other niche like thing I can find to add to my mannequins... the possibilities are only limited by the imagination. Now where was I... oh yeah, take your postcard scrap with the newly traced line on it and cut it out leaving about an 1/8 of an inch excess past your line so you can be sure your niche with fit in the hole you cut. Now place the postcard scrap on your mannequin where you want your niche to live...
trace around this pattern with your pencil so you have a complete line for cutting.
Being super careful with your sharp craft knife cut along the pencil line and remove the cut out piece of paper mache. Your mannequin should now have a nice hole in it shaped like your niche object.
Now to cut the neck of your mannequin... oh that sounds so violent, but it is necessary if you want to add a head to her.
I've cut her neck at an angle so her egg shaped head has a place to rest.
At this point I usually add some clean sand or uncooked rice to the inside of my mannequin to give her some weight. I tend to decorate my mannequins heavily and need some weight on the bottom to balance this out and keep them standing upright on their own.

Next push your niche object into the niche hole and check to see if you will need to put a little something inside to keep the niche from falling into the hole. My theatre is quite thin in depth so I used a matchbox to keep it from falling in... simply hot glue it inside your mannequin like this:
Then check to see if your niche sits where it should...
Don't be alarmed by the gaping hole left around your niche. Once you have hot glued your niche to the matchbox you can use masking tape to cover up the holes and further stabilize your niche. See, you can't see the hole at all...
The final decorating will further cover up any imperfections...

Now take your paper mache egg and some E6000 and give the girl... er um... mannequin, her head.

Once again you can use masking tape to help cover up any holes or cracks... but wait until the glue has dried completely or the head will keep popping off.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick little tutorial! I will be posting another tutorial with tips on creating hair and a few tips on creating a dress for your mannequin next month so click on the "join this site" button in the right hand navigation so you don't miss it.

Thanks for reading my post and enjoy making your very own mannequin girl. Now I leave you with a photo of some of my girls in various stages of completion...









1 comment:

Linda Knox said...

OMG, how cool is that! Just love what you did. I'm going to give it a whirl