You may have gathered by now, I have a bit of a skull thing going on.
Hello, my name is Sue and I’m addicted to skulls.
My addiction really went into overdrive last Halloween, when TK Maxx and Homesense opened their doors and said: “come in Sue, browse our skull-laden shelves and spend all your money with us”.
Which I duly did.
Even Beloved caught the bug, bringing home a 5ft resin skull from Homesense that we affectionately named Grim. That’s him, standing proud and green in the OneandSeventy window on Samhain night.
Another skullalicious lovely waiting to greet our hoards of Trick or Treaters was this bony old witch.
In the absence of a full sized skeleton (on the bucket list), I propped a skull on a mannequin and wrapped her in a velvet cloak.
She sure did form an eerie sight at the top of the stairs.
She also gave me an idea for a more permanent, if slightly unusual home accessory!
Never one to leave things be, I took said skull, jewelled her up, and went about attaching her to the mannequin, so I could display her all year round.
Being without experience in such matters, I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about executing my idea, so I sought the guidance of the lovely Tasha at Haus of Skulls, who was very generous with her advice.
How to make a DIY Skull Mannequin
What you’ll need:
- Wooden clothes mannequin
- Life-size skull
- Wood saw
- Threaded metal rod
- Drill with a drill bit slightly smaller than the metal rod
- Strong glue (optional)
Making your skull mannequin:
- First you’ll need a mannequin – I bought mine from The Range.
- Naturally, you’ll also need a skull, preferably life-size, or you’ll end up with something straight out of Beetlejuice. I used one from my stash that I use for the jewelled skulls, but soon discovered these aren’t ideal (see below). If you’re going to attempt this project, I strongly recommend sourcing a solid skull!
- Saw off the round knobbly bit on the mannequin neck, to create a flat surface.
- Using a drill bit slightly smaller than your rod, drill a hole into the centre of the newly created flat surface of the mannequin.
- Drill a hole into the bottom of the skull, where you want it to sit.
And THIS, my friends, is where I hit all sorts of problems!
After spending hours jewelling my skull, then adapting the mannequin, it was only when I went to drill the hole that I discovered these skulls are bloody hollow. FML!
After some head-scratching, I decided the easiest thing would be to make the hole big enough to entirely fit over the neck of the mannequin. This involved VERY carefully breaking off small bits around the hole to make it bigger. This in turn left jagged edges that then had to be creatively covered.
In hindsight, I could have tried expanding foam to fill the inside of the skull, but that stuff goes EVERYWHERE and I’d already done the jewels, so I didn’t want to risk it.
I would save you this pain; Use a solid skull!
Anyway… moving on.
- Once you have your holes drilled, take a hacksaw and cut your threaded rod. Beloved cut roughly 30cm or a ruler’s length but it’s a bit of a guessing game. You want it to be long enough to screw tightly into the mannequin, whilst allowing enough to screw a good third of the way into the skull if not more. You don’t want it wobbling or worse, falling off!
- Screw your rod into the mannequin. Take it slowly. It should screw in easily and create a nice, snug fit. If you’ve been over-zealous with the drilling and the hole’s a bit big, squirt in some glue before screwing in the rod. You could do this anyway for added protection, if you wish. I didn’t use any glue and that rod ain’t moving, but it’s your call.
- Take your skull and screw it onto the rod. Again, you might want to use some glue to ensure a permanent bond.
And that’s it!
OK, so it wasn’t quite that easy for me, but I do believe this is a sound method. We all get projects we have to improvise, but I think you’ll agree it turned out OK in the end.
Whilst she doesn’t wobble or move, I must confess Lady Skull isn’t as secure as the “connecting rod” method would have made her. Still, she’s good enough for OneandSeventy, as she lives in spaces protected from clumsy hands.
Until now, she’s been staking out the landing but I recently moved her to a corner of the dining room where, once the makeover in there is finished, I think she might stay.
So what do you reckon? Do you fancy a mannequin skull in your home? I know, it’s not for everyone, but I absolutely adore her and she makes a great talking point!
A hui hou,