How to make a life-size mannequin from scratch

Mannequins could be used for a variety of purposes. If you’re a fashion student, mannequins could help with providing a body for your designs. Or for all you cosplay enthusiasts, building a mannequin for all your cosplay creations could be really cool! Buying a life-size mannequin from the market could be very expensive so why don’t you make one by yourself at home? Don’t worry we’ll be there with you every step of the way. If you’re interested, read more to find out how it is made.


Products needed for this DIY project:

1.      Tape

2.      PVC pipes

3.      Angled iron

4.      Heavy wood base

5.      3D printer

6.      Clothes/ costume

7.      Miter saw

8.      Welding iron


Let’s get started with our DIY project!


Step 1:

For the first step, you will need the help of a friend or a family member. You need to lay flat on the ground and ask the person helping you to put tape all around your body to get the measurements to make the mannequin. Once the tape has been set on the floor, measure each piece and start cutting the PVC pipes down to their necessary lengths using a miter saw. Using a combination of the PVC pipes and the PVC pipe connectors, make the rough structure of your mannequin by connecting the pieces on the tape you laid down on the floor. To make the structure more secure, glue the parts that will be permanently fixed in place.

Step 2:

To define the joints and make them movable, you can 3D print some parts and fit them in place between the PVC pipes. For this, we suggest that you make a 3D model in Fusion 360 first so that you know exactly where and how all the parts need to be fit. The 3D printing process could take a while so in the meantime you could think about ways to dress up your mannequin!

Step 3:

Take a long piece of angled iron and cut it to length in such a way that it reaches the middle of your spine when it is placed on the ground. Now weld two smaller pieces of angled iron at the top section of the longer angled iron piece. This will help to keep the mannequin upright. Now take a heavy piece of wood that will act as a base. Cut a slot in the middle of this base that will be big enough to fit the bottom of the angled iron. Once cut, secure the bottom of the longer angled iron in place by using some epoxy. Now simply use some hose clamps to attach the PVC mannequin to the angled iron base structure.

Step 4:

To add more structure to the PVC mannequin, we will be using pieces of foam or packing material. Using this we will be building the hips, waist, biceps, waist, and thighs among other parts. You could either measure yourself and make it according to your measurements to make it more realistic or you could just wing it. Cut the pieces of foam using a cutting knife and keep putting them on the mannequin to see if they’re of the appropriate size. Once you’re happy with the pieces, use some spray adhesive to stick them together.

Step 5:

Now it’s time for the most interesting part of this DIY project: dressing up the mannequin. You could either put on your regular clothes on the mannequin or if you’re really into cosplay you could build the parts of a costume using a combination of 3D printing and other materials and put it onto the mannequin. You’ll find other blogs related to making the various parts of a costume like a helmet and the fake gun on this website itself! During this step, it would really help if you have some removable parts as it would be easier to dress up the mannequin in this way.

Your life-size mannequin from scratch is now complete! This could be a great addition to your cosplay collection or it could be useful for any purpose you need it for! This is a very basic mannequin that was very easy to make. What is so unique about DIY projects is that you can customize them in any way, shape, or form that you want so let your imagination run wild. Enjoy your latest creation!

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