The Junk Parlor

Mannequin Makeover

Have you ever thought that some people just really have good thrift shops around them, or how people are always finding great junk?

Some of that is not necessarily what they find, but how they can transform a piece. A little bit of paint can change the look so much, that it goes from a piece of furniture like any other to a statement piece you have to have in your home.

The same thing happens with small and medium-sized items. Sometimes things just need a makeover. Magically the piece of “junk” now looks modern, and fits your style and home décor.

Secret Weapon: Decoupage

To give you an example: I tend to decoupage quite often. I have a lot of sheet music that I like to use, I come across a lot of sewing patterns, which are excellent for decoupage because they’re lightweight and easy to work with. I’ve also thought about using tissue paper on projects, and I’ve also seen that you can take the multi-ply napkins and use the top layer that is printed with a pattern, and use it to decoupage also.

Mannequin covered with decorative tissue paper. Thejunkparlor.com

I’ve had this mannequin on my to do list for a long time. I decided that it was one of those pieces that I just wanted to finish and get done. So on one of our gazillion trips to the orthodontist in a neighboring town, I made sure to stop at Hobby Lobby. I wrote myself a note to get tissue paper or look at the napkins. I had a vision of the print in my mind – a floral girly pattern that I wanted to use. So after I purchased the tissue paper, then I was ready to show you how I go about covering a mannequin.

Tutorial DIY

I’ve done a lot of smaller mannequins and jewelry display forms with music sheets or pattern paper, and I’ve even ripped up a paper bag to decoupage. But of course, I was out of Mod Podge. You can you make your own homemade Modge Podge with Elmer’s Glue, but I didn’t want to do that. On a recent window project, I used spray adhesive. So I decided to try the spray adhesive, and see how that would work with the tissue paper. I was not really concerned about trying to do a smooth finish on the mannequin, because I knew that that probably wasn’t possible. And, with my luck, I would have 95% of it nice and smooth, and then I would get a big wrinkle in a spot that I didn’t like, and I would be very frustrated with the results. So because of that, I decided to just let it be wrinkled and not worry about it, and make the wrinkles more intentional.

All you do is spray the piece with the spray adhesive, and then secure the tissue paper by applying pressure. You do have a little bit of leeway – you can pull it up a couple of times without damaging the paper.  See how I did it here:


The spray adhesive is very sticky, so you want to make sure that you don’t spray the top. I did talk about possibly using a clear coat sealer, but I didn’t feel it needed the finishing coat. If you decide to add a finish, remember it will change the look, it can darken, and have a hard finish.  

Get the supplies:

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So just remember, finding good junk is simply being able to envision what you could do to adapt to your style. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. I am not paid to promote these products. If you purchase using my affiliate links, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.

2 thoughts on “Mannequin Makeover”

  1. So great! I am doing my ‘styrofoam’ girl with an old french book. These are so fun and you don’t have to break the wallet

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