Introduction: Easy / Affordable Duct Tape Mannequin

Here are some quick and easy steps for making your very own personal life size mannequin.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

Hello my name is Ken, recently just graduated college and now I am itching to get my hands down and dirty in the world of prop making. So in a future tutorial I will put up instructions on how to make my first prop 'armor' using Pepakura, but before I do that I need a model or a mannequin. Mannequins however don't come cheap but if college has taught me anything, its that you need to use what you have as well as wise spending. So in this tutorial I will list instructions on how to make a duct tape mannequin without breaking bank and locations to get the material. This process will take you no more than 2 to 3 hours done correctly. Also grab a close friend to help you out because it can get difficult at times and an extra pair of hands doesn't hurt.


Duct Tape Mannequin (Most of these materials were obtained at the Dollar Store)

- Duct tape (7x) 10yd - (3x) 50yd ( I went for the 10yd because I got them from the Dollar Store or Dollar General, it cost me $7.19)

- Old clothes that you don't mind getting cut up
- 1 Long sleeved shirt

- 1 short sleeved shirt

- 1 Long sweat pants

- 1 short gym/basketball/workout shorts

- 1 pair of tube socks (trust me if you have legs like mine you want them so that the duct tape doesn't remove any hairs)

* 1 pair of Cotton gloves ( I got these from the Dollar Store/General, $1.00)

- Medical Scissors

- Shower rod (using going to use it as a spine to hold it up)

- Polystyrene head ($7.99 at Micheal, I used a coupon so i got it for $5.49)

- Material to stuff it, I used old college notes from my freshmen year as well as old clothes that already had paint on them.

- recyclable cardboard

- Hot glue/ Hot glue gun

Mannequin Stand (All the supplies were obtained at Home Depot)

- (1x) 1x2 8ft Strip ($0.90)

- (4x) 2x4 96in Prime KD Whitewood Stud ($2.87)

-(2x) 8 screw 3/4'' wood screws ($2.36)

- Screw driver / power drill ( I used a screw driver, it was laborious but it works)

In total you will be spending an estimate of $30.78 - $42.18

Step 2: Blueprint

With this next step I put up a diagram of how I wanted to go about setting up and wrapping my mannequin. I may have forgotten to mention this before but you will need another person help in making this mannequin for it will be hard to get out of it. Basically once your wrapped up like a pig in a blanket all that is left is to cut yourself out or have someone you trust get you out. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be careful when you are tapping yourself up because it will be tight. So i suggest that you do it in the safety of your home, drink plenty of water before the process begin, for Safety is our #1 concern.

  • In my diagram above I drew segmented sections to tell which areas to cut so that way when it comes to stuffing it will be easier to get the stuffing in and to reseal back together. I also drew a 'Back' plan for when one is getting themselves out of the Mannequin.
  • So once ready you will need to begin dressing in layers where you will wear your short sleeved shirt and pants and over on top your long clothing.

Below is a link on how one should go about wrapping themselves up to get the most coverage and to make sure it is nice and tight.

- Mannequin Wrap Tutorial

Step 3: Wrapping

After you take a look at the video and have dawned the proper attire its time to get wrapping.

  • The first part that was wrapped was my LEGS to my WAIST. Once that was wrapped I had my assistant cut a sliver into the OUTER LAYER of the 2 pair of pants that I was already wearing and cut me out based off of the "Back" diagram as shown above using the MEDICAL SCISSORS.This process should take about 2-3 rolls of Duct tape.

*Medical scissors are recommended because it safe to use on clothes and tape as well as they have a guard against the blade when cutting so that way it doesn't damage or hurt skin.

  • From there I segmented the areas as posted in the diagram about and began to start stuffing them.

Also note that while stuffing the lower part of the mannequin (and you will do this to the top as well) I made cardboard caps for the opening of the legs and arms so that way the stuffing doesn't fall through.

Once that was done I then proceeded to the top where I was wrapped and cut out accordingly. Again when cutting out I was cut from the Outer layer of the long sleeved shirt so that way I and the inner shirt were protected.

Also where the neck is don't forget the make a cardboard covering for it so that way the head can rest on something while you tape or glue the head down.

Step 4: And TADA Its Done

So once you have your "skin" ready and have stuffed it then all that is left is to TAPE the shower rod to its back so that it has some support to stand up.

Now at first this didn't have the best stability in the world so in the next step I built a stand for it so that way it can be held together.

Also this would be a good time to use the last of your Duct tape to wrap up any loose or tears in the mannequin.

*The hockey equipped that I clothed him with is just to show how study it is

Step 5: Mannequin Stand

For this Next part I went to Home Deport and go wood from there framing department of building materials

So I got....

  • (1x) 1x2 8ft Strip ($0.90)

  • (4x) 2x4 96in Prime KD Whitewood Stud ($2.87)

  • (2x) 8 screw 3/4'' wood screws ($2.36)

So when you get your wood have your 1x2 8ft strip have it cut into (2x) 14in strips and (3x) 18in strips
(your going to use them from the handles and the backing)

For the Prime White wood I had mine cut at 58in for the height (I ranged between 54 - 56 inches for height because I didn't put feet into my mannequin)

From there I took the wood home and just screwed in the screws at major junction points so that way it would stay together, In my diagram above I used arrows and circles to indicate the screws.

Step 6: Finish

And just like that were done. In the future I will show case my Pepakura project using this mannequin that I made. Hope to see yall in the future and feel free to message me about any questions in making the mannequin.

Anyone can reach me through Instructables or by email

Summer Fun Contest 2016

Participated in the
Summer Fun Contest 2016