Project Show and Tell: How I Repaired My Broken Mannequin with Paper, Burlap, and Hot Glue

burlap to repair my mannequin

How to Repair a Broken Mannequin

This project was basically a three step process and only used a few materials:

  • paper (I used paper that came from packages, but reclaimed newspaper would also work)
  • hot glue
  • burlap

Here are the three steps to repairing an adjustable mannequin with burlap:

  1. The first problem that needed addressing was the collapsing. To fix that, I adjusted the mannequin to my measurements, then stuffed the inside with paper. It’s no longer adjustable, but really it wasn’t adjustable before, because it was so broken.
  2. Now that things were more stable, I used hot glue to mend the cracked plastic. Hot glue isn’t going to hold forever, but the next step provides the sturdiness I need. The hot glue really only needed to hold long enough for me to re-cover the mannequin.
  3. Covering the mannequin in burlap was the trickiest, most time-consuming part. First, I cut my burlap into rectangles that were about 6″ X 5″, and I basically just collaged the whole thing. When you get to the curves of the mannequin, glue your burlap on like usual, and don’t worry about the big wrinkle that forms right at the curve. Once the hot glue dries, use your sewing scissors to snip that curve open right at the peak, then smooth those pieces down flat and use hot glue to secure them.

A couple of tips for this project, plus a question!


  1. Hot glue is hot. Until I found a method to avoid touching the glue, I burned myself many times. DO NOT BE LIKE ME! Burlap is porous, but with hot glue you need to work fast. Don’t use your fingers to smooth your burlap down. Instead, use the back of the glue gun. You’re welcome. πŸ™‚
  2. Take your time with the burlap. Like I said, you have to act fast once you lay that glue down, so take the time to plan before you start gluing each piece.


Now that the mannequin is covered, I’m torn about whether I should coat the whole thing with Mod Podge for fabric. The project used so much glue already, and part of me would rather just treat fraying with fabric glue as I notice it and not coat the whole thing in glue, which is basically just plastic.

What do you guys think? To Mod Podge or not to Mod Podge?

4 thoughts on “Project Show and Tell: How I Repaired My Broken Mannequin with Paper, Burlap, and Hot Glue”

  1. If you want to save money, don’t use Mod Podge – I use the white wood glue from the hardware shop, add some water to thin it out a little and a way you go.Sooooo much cheaper than Mod Podge!

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