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DIY Decoupaging a Styrofoam Head

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I’ve been home on vacation from college for a little over a week now, & I’ve been spending a lot of that time doing all sorts of crafty projects. The first one I decided to undertake was decoupaging my ugly styrofoam head. I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize I could solve the problem of it’s ugliness with a little Mod Podge & paper, but once I got the idea in my head I immediately did a little shopping for scrapbook paper. I got 3 different patterns in similar colors – a plaid, a polkadot, & one with various letters all over it. I chose to cut the pieces up using scissors [because I wanted to cut out the letters individually], but you could just as well rip up the pieces for a less perfect look.



Decoupaging is fairly simple, which is why I love it so much. I actually can’t believe I haven’t done more of it in the past – it’s that easy & gives such great results! I poured my mod podge into a small container & used the foam brush to spread a little of it onto the foam head. I did one piece of paper at a time, layering it alternately between the three designs, & then spreading a little more mod podge on top of it. I used my finger to smooth it out & keep it from getting gloppy. Because of my perfectionism though, this project was slow moving & took me a few days, but if you’re determined [& not as picky] you could absolutely complete it in a matter of hours.

The face is the hardest part because you need to have smaller pieces since the larger ones wrinkle & get ugly easily, so I started there, working my way from the seam on top of the head down the front. After completing that, the back of the head is a piece of cake. It gets difficult again around the neck & the base. You want to continue decoupaging around the bottom a little  so that it looks smooth & finished. I also tried to make sure my letters were going the same direction throughout.

I thought I had more pictures of the process but I guess not. It’s pretty straight forward though, & if you have questions just leave a comment & I’ll do my best to help. You can also do a Google search if you’re impatient, as there are lots of similar tutorials around the web.


My dad ended up cutting & painting a base for me with part of a broomstick handle that fits inside the head, but if I hadn’t had his help I would have simply purchased a round piece of wood from Michaels [about $4 or $5] & found a way to glue my head onto it. They come unfinished, so you can paint it, varnish it, or leave it as is. A nice base really finishes your styrofoam head & can help it double as a piece of artwork as much as a model for your work.

I hope this helped anyone looking for instructions on decoupaging a mannequin head [or anything else, for that matter]. This is my first semi-tutorial post, so feedback is welcomed.

Thanks for reading & happy crafting!


About Dani

23. Graduate student. Knitting, crocheting, sewing, coffee drinking, makeup & fashion loving, dream following, traveling, working, living, laughing, loving.

20 responses »

  1. Just came across your blog after looking for an interesting way to display some vintage hats that I just inherited from my grandmother. I had thought about doing something like this since they had several of these styrofoam heads that they were going to throw out since they were stained and old looking, I am very excited to give this a try and wasnt sure if scrapbook paper would work or if i needed something thinner like tissue paper. I have never modge podged anything before, so thank you for posting this. I think yours looks great and I am so excited to know that I can use scrapbook paper which will give a lot more options and cover all the stains nicely! I look forward to reading your other posts too! Thanks,

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad this post was useful to you! I just jumped right in with the scrapbook paper, not knowing if it would work or not – but luckily, it did work, & I still use my display head. Once you decorate them, they also make great decor pieces, or make them less of an eyesore if you have no place to store them when they’re not in use! Good luck with yours, I’d love to see how it turns out for you!

  2. I came looking for better ideas, because my only attempt had been to decoupage one with just silver tissue paper. It looked … Scary. Like a lady head in a bag *shudder*
    NOW I have a better idea of what to do, and can make a second attempt. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Great instructions! A friend of mine does these with cupcake papers she irons out as they cover well and are not as heavy as scrapbook paper. She makes a hole up into the head and fills it with fishing sinkers and closes the hole. It weights it down so it won’t tip over. Have also seen old book pages used and lace around the bottom. I love the way you mixed up your papers and used letters. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Can I use sewing patterns or lace and how does that work

    • Sewing patterns would be really cool! I’m sure it would work just as well. I’m not sure I’ve ever worked with lace or fabric, but I know Mod Podge has a formula for fabric, and a quick Google & Pinterest search tell me others have used lace and to decoupage & it has worked great! So I would definitely try it if I were you!

    • Great idea. I’d like to try that on my styrofoam mannequin. Thanks!

  5. I totally love this! I’m going to put your pictures on my blog directing all credit to you …linking it ok?

  6. Hi Dani,
    I love what you did with the styrofoam head.I am doing something similar and I was wondering if magazine paper will work using the Mod Podge and styrofoam head.Thank you!

    • Hi there! I don’t see why magazine paper wouldn’t work – I would just use a lighter hand with the mod podge since magazine paper is thinner & might be more likely to tear! Good luck, I bet the finished product will be great! :]

  7. I belatedly found your idea. Thanks for the clear instructions and pics! I’ve just finished decooing a wig head and it turned out great! I used crumpled pages of an old songbook which I aged using strong tea. Since the head lacks features, I used air drying clay to form some, then I used white glue and water to apply the music sheets. Found an old urn and removed the flowers from it, weighted it with rocks and glued the head to it. She’s beautiful!

  8. Loved the final result. Inspiring. And thanks for the tip on getting a wooden base finial. Zesty it is.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you liked it and that it was inspiring! It was super easy and really spruced up what was originally a pretty boring foam head!

    • Yes, it definitely gives it that finished look. And a very polished professional look. My head rolls around if I don’t have anything on it so I would look into getting a base. I painted mine a while back but now has a crackly icky skin condition due to the styrofoam so I’ll try this technique. Thank you to all, I’ve read most of the comments I think. Time to whip out the brush, mod podge and courage.

  9. victorene brooks

    This is excellent I decorate my heads with free hand colorful drawings with permanent markers and paint pens then cover them with modge podge. I may try mixing media with this technique. Thanks for the information wish me luck.

  10. That’s cool. Wondering if I should decoupage a styrofoam mannequin brought me here. I was worried about mold. If that was a possibility. If that would occur after decoupaging. Thanks.


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