Repurpose Old Mannequin Heads for Halloween

As a beauty student, you might have a few hair salon mannequins to practice styling and cutting hair. Turn your spare cosmetology mannequin heads into head-turning Halloween decorations with minimal supplies and lots of creativity. But first, check out some spooky inspiration to get your creative juices flowing!

Vintage mannequin heads and busts have theatrical characteristics. French mannequin heads were originally made of paper-mâché, lending the look an artistic flair. Adding antique dolls to your menagerie of Halloween decorations will make the entire look spookier.

Other old mannequin materials include foam, plastic, and synthetics. These vintage treasures are easily transformed into fun Halloween-inspired mannequin props. From macabre to artistic, here are DIY ideas to incorporate the mannequin heads into your Halloween decor.

Getting Crafty

Ideally, you’ll want to use what you have at home and save your pennies. Here are some supplies that may come in handy when creating your ghoulish work of art:

  • You’ll need a foam mannequin head, a wooden display head with a wood base, or a plastic bust head.
  • If you have a collection of mannequin heads, invest in a bunch of masks to use as masquerade embellishments.
  • Check out thrift stores or eBay for retro mannequins.
  • Costume wigs are essential for bringing your mannequin to life.
  • If you’re crafty, you can use kid’s magic mold and acrylic paint or cheap face paint for sculpting and painting a character on the heads of mannequins.

Once you have your supplies, you can create a fall theme or scary mannequin that harmoniously coalesces with your Halloween decor. Make a head planter for your entryway tables, display wigs, or create a life-size zombie doll. Let your imagination go wild.

Mannequin transformed into zombie


Light It Up

This project would work best with a hollow plastic mannequin head that you’re willing to repurpose. You can illuminate your mannequin from the inside with basic tools, like a drill and LED lights. Light up the entire mannequin head with neon green, red, or orange lights, or get creative and light up the eyes and create a character with your mannequin head. Choose any of your favorite monsters, like Medusa or Frankenstein, or even a generic zombie head for inspiration. Additional craft supplies are optional!

Encase It

Presentation is key! Take your lit-up, newly repurposed Halloween-themed mannequin and encase it in a glass dome. A glass dome will take it up a notch and make your scary mannequins look extra spooky!

Make It Sweet Candy Bowl

Enhance the experience for trick-or-treaters by using your tricked-out, hollow mannequin head to serve candy at the door. Or, place it on a platter or in a large bowl and surround it with candy for a silly and sinister touch.

Make a Bust

Turn your deathly-looking mannequin head into a zombie-inspired bust or whatever suits your Halloween needs. By propping a mannequin, you can drape a garment around it to give it an illusion of a bust. Use any decorating technique to complete the look! A bust would make a convincing graveyard zombie.

Turn It Into a Yard Ornament

Have multiple doll heads? Give the outside of your home a graveyard feel. Add homemade headstones made from foam and hand-paint character names and narratives to add a fun finishing touch.

If you’re opting out of zombifying your yard, here’s another idea to spark your imagination––create a colorful, friendly scarecrow complete with a small pumpkin patch for beautiful fall decor. This aesthetic is more cutesy than creepy, so if you’re striving for the visually grim, turn your autumnal scarecrows into creepy scarecrows with craft paint. You can do a lot with what you have at home already. Create a vision board, gather your tools, and start crafting!

Are you ready to repurpose your old mannequin heads? Share your ideas and photos with us in the comments below. We love seeing your ideas and hearing from each of you! Have ideas you’re willing to share? Drop us a line in the comments. 

To learn more about what makes Evergreen Beauty College unique from other schools, read about the family and owners who created a family-oriented atmosphere that fosters the growth of each individual. Their passion is to help every student succeed. 

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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Urist Cosmetics Inc
Urist Cosmetics Inc
7 months ago

Hi, thanks for sharing this awesome post.