Introduction: Sew a Mannequin Head/ Mask Stand

After creating a Quilted Plague Doctor Mask I really wanted to give it a proper place to be displayed, instead of leaving it in a cupboard or laying on a desk.

This instructable will show you how to sew a Mannequin Head so that you too can display your favourite head pieces. This project can certainly be accomplished over a weekend, and can even be a One Day Make.

It was a little hard to show in the photos, but there is a definite curve to the head- the front protrudes whereas and the back of the head sits a little taller and straighter.

I filled my mannequin head with tiny chopped up pieces of fabric scraps, and this project actually used up the entire amount of scraps that I had, but you could also use old pillows, poly-fill, or sawdust.

(This pattern has been designed and made available for free by Lynn Mcmasters and is available in a downloadable PDF format.)


  • Fabric
  • LOTS of fabric scraps
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Metal weights
  • Sewing Machine
  • Needle and Thread
  • Fabric Markers
  • Pins/ Clips
  • Scissors or
  • Cutting Mat Rotary Cutter,
  • Iron and Ironing Board

Step 1: Cutting Out Your Pattern and Pattern Pieces

Print and cut out your paper pattern pieces. The two longer strips will need to be joined at the thick line as indicated on the pattern. You will also need to cut out the circle from the middle of the head shape as this will be used to cut out the base pieces. The circle can be cut out of the existing pattern, or traced onto another sheet of paper to keep your original pattern whole.

From your fabric you will need to cut out two of the round head shape as well as two of the longer strips, and one base. Leave an extra wide seam allowance for the fabric base, as it may be easier to stitch on later if you leave extra allowance.

The small triangle markings from the paper pattern will need to be transferred onto the fabric as this will help you to match the pieces together before sewing.

Cut four of the base pieces out of cardboard and thoroughly coat one side with glue. Glue each piece on top of each other, making sure to alternate the direction of the grain line with each piece- this will give the cardboard disk more strength.

This was the time that I also glued the pattern weights to the cardboard disk. I roughly sewed a few metal brackets together-luckily this is all hidden on the inside of the piece and does not have to look pretty. The weights will make the final mannequin head less likely to topple over, as without them there is nothing to balance out the weight of a face mask or head piece.

Step 2: Constructing the Head

Sew the two long pieces together along the centre seam- this is the edge that does not have any small triangles on it.

Pin one side of the long piece to one side head piece- ensure that you are matching the small triangles together as they will indicate which sides needs to be joined. The first image will show the best way to pin the pieces. Sew down the first side panel, and then add the second side piece in the same way. Turn the head the right side out.

After trimming and mostly stuffing the head I decided that I wanted a longer "Neck" and hand sewed an extension to the head. Ideally, if you need an extension, assess your piece and sew it on by machine before stuffing.

To stuff the piece gather your fabric scraps and cut them into very small pieces. The smaller the pieces are the less lumpy the final head will be. You will need way more stuffing than you think you do. I refilled a 15 litre container two or three times with tiny scraps as I was stuffing the head. Luckily, as the head is stuffed with fabric you will be able to use fabric pins to secure your head pieces or masks in place if they do not have ties or elastics.

Smooth the fabric as you go, ensuring that you don't have any hard spots, or over stuffing in either side of the head.

Step 3: Adding the Base

Once the head has been stuffed and the cardboard base with the weights closer to the back of the head. Place the fabric base right side up, and press down firmly to condense the stuffing as much as possible. Pinch the edges of the neck and base fabric, so that the edges are right sides together and tucked inside the head. Use a ladder stitch to joint the two layers.

If you find it easier, you can also remove a little of the stuffing, sew half of the base on and then reinsert the rest of the stuffing and sew the gap to close.

Once the base has been sewn stand the head up, and smooth and manipulate to remove any bulging, or to straighten the head if it is leaning to one side.


You now have a great place to store and display your favourite hats, head pieces or Plague Doctor Masks.

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