Quick PVC Halloween Mannequin

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Learn to make an easy and imposing Halloween mannequin from PVC for about $6. It packs flat (doesn't add to your clutter), and holds costumes in ways sure to get a lot of attention from your halloween audience.

Once materials are gathered you can make this in about ten minutes, and kids can help!

See www.creatrope.com
for contributed photos, more detailed instructions, variations on this theme, PVC resources, and links to other PVC mannequins.

Some of my Halloween work is also in other instructables:
Godzilla / T-Rex
General Grievous with Mechanical Arms

Step 1: Gather PVC Materials

# three six foot tubes of 1/2" PVC (~$1.50 each)
# one bag of 1/2" slip elbows (not threaded) (~$3 for ten)
# one bag of 1/2" slip t-joints (not threaded) (~$2 for ten)
# a PVC tube cutter if you don't have one (~$8)
# PVC cement (~$4)
# optional: roll of black plastic contractors plastic to cover frame ($13)
# optional: polyester fiber fill (from a craft store) ($5)

Lots of costume components! Masks, capes, clothing, etc.

Step 2: Assemble

The photos themselves show the assembly I used.

The base splays out in both directions to allow it to be weighted. I just used exercise weights or plates on the base.

The chest is made from three t-joints (joined with <2" pieces near the neck) and four elbows. If you don't glue the shoulders you can pose the arms.

Finally there's a view of the whole thing. By adjusting the body lengths you can make anything from a dwarf to a giant.

Step 3: Glue Key Joints, Add Bulk/Volume, Dress

Cement (gluing) is optional. The mannequin will stay together well if you take the time to push and lightly tap them into the joints with a hammer. If you want to take it apart, don't glue it, but be warned that the parts near the base have a tendency to rotate forward and backward once weighted so gluing these bits may be advantageous. Even with the base glued you'll still be able to take it apart for easy storage.

Use wadded up newspapers, light pillows, or polyester filter floss to add bulk and volume around body and inside mask and shoulders to give it some volume.

Dress with your favorite costume components and you're done!

See www.creatrope.com
for contributed photos, more detailed instructions, variations on this theme, PVC resources, and links to other PVC mannequins. Thanks for reading!

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    10 Discussions

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    jlucv

    6 months ago

    Did a half one. Added foam noodle to make shoulders.

    83B1AA7A-C221-4176-B7FA-449085B1C3F8.jpeg13C3E707-1B73-4687-A993-476EAEC61BAE.jpeg081C92FD-2BA7-4B6A-BDDD-80249458F30A.jpeg
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    Gareee

    7 years ago on Introduction

    While the design is nice, the result is VERY flimsy. Ours falls over if you sneeze at it, and can't even support the fabric costume with the arms posed foreward.

    I'm going to try to duplicate this with 1" pvc pipe, and see if that is stable enough for practical use.

    I think the design is sound, its just that 1/2" pvc pip flexes far too much.

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    nave

    10 years ago on Introduction

    the first one looks, flat but the 2nd one looks awesome

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    joeG65

    10 years ago on Step 2

    Nice idea, but the cutting measurements would have come in handy. JoeG65

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    orksecurity

    10 years ago on Step 2

    Nice concept, and I may borrow it to make my usual costume a display piece when not being worn... ... but dimensions (even approximate -- toss a ruler next to the base when taking the photo) would be appreciated. I can guess, but...

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    socrateez

    11 years ago on Introduction

    You could also replace the "Elbows" with 45 degree ones instead of 90 degrees for different posing.

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    John Smith

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I never thought of using PVC, come to think of it, it is like perfect for this!
    I just found this, and thought someone might find it of use.