How to Make a Homemade Dummy

Updated: Sep 12, 2019



Wowie we have a good one this week, look at the state of our new dummy Frank! Isn’t he terrifying?! You could make a dummy just as creepy as him for yourself. It’s pretty cheap but keep in mind, it takes a bit of time. He is mostly held together with safety pins but there was a little bit of sewing involved. He’s perfect for throwing off buildings or ladders or balconies. Here’s how we did it.



We started with a pair of workers overalls, we found ours in the workshop but you can find similar worker’s wear at most op shops or thrift shops. It makes things a lot easier if you can find overalls instead of say a sweater and pants. We also found some old gumboots, and a pair of cotton gloves. We searched the op shop for materials to use for stuffing, we managed to find two huge toys (a caterpillar and a purple dragon) as well as an unopened packet of brand new stuffing. We also got a blanket that was an extremely pale, barely flesh colour, as we knew we would need to make a head/face for him. We also got some rice to use as a weight in his butt, head, hands and feet but we gave up on that idea pretty quick as it seemed a bit difficult. All up we spend $21NZD on materials.



We decided to start with the easiest part, his legs. We had found a huge, long caterpillar at the op shop and just popped half on him in each of the overall legs, keeping the caterpillar attached in the middle to kind of act as the pelvis. With a bit of rearranging we got the seams in the toy to match up to where his knees would be. Unfortunately, the toy was a bit too thick, so we opened up both ends and pulled about half of the stuffing out of each leg which thinned them down and looked a lot better.



We then stuffed some into the gumboot and safety pinned the gumboots to the toy so they wouldn’t fly off.



With the middle part of the caterpillar filling in for Frank's pelvis, we moved up to his chest. We filled a pillowcase with the leftover stuffing from the caterpillar and sort of mushed it around inside the overalls until it looked good. We added some stuffing into his hips as well to pad him out a bit, and gave him a bit of a belly. We safety pinned the pillowcase to the caterpillar and zipped up the overalls.



For his arms, I measured the arm-span of the overalls and ended up cutting a 34x127cm rectangle from our flesh coloured material - with no help from Finn who immediately decided the material on the floor was his and would hiss if we tried to move him out of the way. I sewed it long ways to create a tube then filled the tube with stuffing, this time from the insides of the purple dinosaur.



We threaded the filled tube through the arm holes then pit a safety pin through the middle of the arm, where we wanted the elbow join to be. We stuffed and safety pinned the gloves and the arms were done!




His head was by far the hardest step. I started with cutting out what I thought was a general head shape in the flesh coloured material. Two pieces for the back of the head and two pieces for the face. I added a nose and chin to the face pieces, and a (very thin, could have been thicker) neck to all the pieces. I sewed them all together and stuffed it to see how I went.



Generally not too bad, the back of the head was a bit big so we safety pinned it down and in and just sort of played with it and moulded it until it looked good (and by good I mean creepy af). Book cut out a little pink mouth and I sewed it on, it looked great (and by great I mean creepy af) so we added on some weird looking eyes and some top eyelids.



With the face added we were done, we brought him into work and gave him a hat. We can’t wait to add in a falling dummy to probably every single script from here on out. Frank is now an integral part of our filmmaking and we can’t wait to see how he holds up. In the future we may make him some undergarments, just to hold everything together a bit better but for now he’s perfect.



Even Meg thinks so!


How do you think we did? Too creepy or not creepy enough? Should we add eyebrows?!


Eve


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