How to Make Halloween Manikins

Category Decorations
Create unique Halloween mannikins using masks, old clothing, or last year's costumes. They will add a seasonal flair to your yard or garden. This is a page about how to make Halloween manikins.


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I live on an island and unfortunately it is very hard to get decorations for Halloween. Therefore, I found a way around all this and made my own. Each year our markets will sell a few things for the kids to enjoy Halloween. Unfortunately, Halloween was never really celebrated in the islands because people here never really understood the concept of Halloween.

About 10 yeas ago the people here decided to make a carnival and had a big parade down the main street in town. At this time I decided to surprise everyone and make my first Halloween manikin to place in the garden late one night. This was sort of a tradition that I had. You would create a manikin and dress it up and when everyone was sleeping, you put it in the garden so when they woke up in the morning everyone would see it. After this the idea grew in our family and I added to the manikin and made a few more and now create a few other decorations for Halloween.

Total Time: 2 to 8 hours

Yield: 3 to 4 Manikins


  • scissors
  • 10 pieces of old clothes
  • 6 pairs old garden gloves or Halloween gloves
  • 6 pairs old shoes
  • 6 Yards material
  • newspaper
  • sewing machine
  • wood
  • bamboo
  • Halloween masks
  • old Halloween costumes
  • hats
  • sunglasses
  • wire


  1. Make your manikin. I did this by cutting a round piece of material and sewing it together. I left a small hole and stuffed this with newspaper.
  2. Now I cut a large square and sewed this together. Afterward, I stuffed it with newspaper.
  3. I cut 4 long pieces for the legs and arms.
  4. Sew the head on the body and add the legs and arms to the square body.
  5. Now you can stuff the arms and legs with newspaper. This time I am using pieces of bamboo because it is quicker and easier to do.
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  7. Add the bamboo to the legs and attach it with a piece of garden wire to hold it in place so it won't slip out.
  8. Do the same for the arms.
  9. Now take your old clothes and start to dress up the manikin. You'll need to tie the pants on the body so they stay in place. An old piece of string or a piece of material will do just fine.
  10. Add the shirt, you'll need to put the arms in first and then put it over the head and down the back of the body.
  11. To hold the head in place, cut a small incision in the back of the head and use a flat stick or a piece of bamboo that feeds in the head and goes down the back of the body.
  12. Tie this in place with a piece of wire around the neck.
  13. Attach the glove or Halloween hands on the bamboo arms.
  14. Hold them in place with a piece of wire.
  15. The manikin is now ready to place in your yard. You can do this by attaching it to a fence, making a stand, to stand it up in place, or even sit the manikin in a chair.
  16. Take a macrame plant hanger and take one of the round heads that you've made.
  17. Put this in the lower pot and add a mask.
  18. Now decorate the plant hanger with a costume or a cape.
  19. You can also do this with a live plant to give it a different look.
  20. Decorate your yard with spider webs, place spiders around, hang up the plant hangers, and place your manikins in place.
  21. One year I made a graveyard in the river bed. I made a paper mache tombstone and painted it. In the riverbed I used the rocks to make my graves and just used the heads to place on top of the rocks. I took some old dog food cans and painted them black and added candles to the inside of the cans.
  22. I have taken an old string of Christmas lights and added plastic ghosts to the string of lights to hang in the yard.
  23. I made strings with small pumpkins, witches, and skeletons and strung them up in the yard.
  24. Get creative and have fun. This project cost less than $30 to make. I normally collect all the old Halloween costumes the kids throw away and use them the next year. It is easy to build up a big supply of decorations this way and you don't need to invest a lot of money to make a cute Halloween garden for your home.
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2


October 9, 20180 found this helpful

You did a great job withy our Halloween decorations there. :)

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October 10, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you. It isn't so easy living on an island and there is not a lot to choose from here.


So you need to make due with what you can find laying around.

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October 10, 20180 found this helpful

You did a wonderful job with using items you have around at home. :) I would have never guessed you live on an island with all the wonderful manikins you made!

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October 11, 20180 found this helpful

I live in French Polynesia Tahiti. This is a group of 132 islands that make up French Polynesia. When I first made the manikins I was looking for pillow stuffing to stuff the head and body with. I didn't find any on the islands and had to use newspaper. The manikins would last a lot longer if I had stuffed them with pillow stuffing instead of newspaper. Each year I need to open them up and add more newspaper in order to make them stand up and look a little more human form.

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