Here is another Guest Blog Post, this time from Becci Gott from Bumblebee Lane Crafts on Etsy. She’s written a great post on how to decoupage a mannequin head – I think this would be a great craft to do with old books or vintage comics!
This tutorial has been a long time in the planning – I took the photos over a year ago with every intention of writing this up over the following weeks. Life always takes over though and it wasn’t until Denise asked about guest bloggers that it gave me a proper kick up the bum to get it all written.
First, I feel like I should introduce myself. I am Becci from Bumblebee Lane bumblebeelanecrafts.etsy.com) and I often feel like crafting is in my blood. In my first memory of my best friend, we were about 3 years old and sitting underneath a table together at a craft show that my Mum was hosting in our family home.
From that day forward, a lot of my childhood memories revolve around hanging out at craft shows, meeting my Mum at her craft shop, digging through her buttons and from a very young age, developing my own vocabulary about how certain fabrics feel. I learnt almost everything that I know through watching my Mum, despite not really sitting down with her and learning in any formal way.
I am, however, an anomaly. I am also a massive geek. For 14 years, I worked on a career in data analysis – writing code every day and presenting data in a way that made it easy to understand. In 2014, I made the decision to step away from the 9-5 in order to focus on my creativity and my family.
When I walked away from the structure of the 9-5, I knew that my business would be textile based. I love exploring other crafts but my love of fabric runs deep – at least I now have a great excuse for the fabric stash that I have accumulated over the years.
Although I have now moved to selling entirely through the internet, to start with I was exhibiting at any craft fair that I could fit into my schedule. The thing that you don’t think about when you first start at craft fairs though is that you can’t just lie everything on the table and hope for the best. Your stall needs height and different elements to show you wares off to their best.
Luckily, I have always been a bit of a hoarder, so I was able to add shelving, crates and boxes to give my stall a nice eclectic feel.
Over the various shows, I have also added more and more items, but one of my favourites is my mannequin head. I use it to display eye masks, but it could just as easily be used for displaying hats and hairbands – or even just as a feature in a bedroom. So, without further ado.. here is the tutorial for sprucing up your own polystyrene head!
DECOUPAGE HEAD TUTORIAL
Polystyrene head (I bought mine from eBay for around the £6 mark)
2 x Patterned napkins (again, I bought mine from eBay)
Old pot / jar
1) Cut your napkins into 1 inch squares (approximate is absolutely fine). I used 2 different designs on the napkins that I used, but made sure that they were similar styles. Using 1 design would also work absolutely fine. You can also buy decoupage paper in craft shops, but I personally like the way that the napkins are pliable around a curved shape.
2) Add some glue to the bottom of your old pot/jar – as I said, I am a hoarder, so have always got jars lying around for this sort of project. Add some water to the glue (about a 1:1 ratio) to thin it up a little and mix. I like to use a foam glue brush for this sort of project, but any soft brush would work just as well.
3) Working with a small area at a time, spread some of the glue mixture over the polystyrene. Start adding your squares of tissue, making sure that the edges overlap.
4) The messy bit is when you get to the details like the eyes, nose and mouth. You’ll find that you need to get some of the glue mixer onto your fingers to encourage the tissue into the hollows. It is worth taking your time over these bits to make sure that they are perfect!
5) When you get near to the bottom of the neck, leave to dry for 30 mins – 1 hour.
6) Once dry, add an extra layer of tissue to overlap the bottom. You can completely cover the bottom if you like, but I opted for just the one layer so that it looked great when stood up.
7) Allow to completely dry, then apply a coat of PVA glue over the whole head to seal the tissue paper and give it a more hard wearing finish. If you prefer a more matte finish, you could apply a matte varnish at this stage instead of the PVA.
8) Enjoy your pretty mannequin head!
You can find Becci’s products here: