Saturday Project: Before and After Dumpster Find Mannequin

mannequin, dumpster dive, repurpose, DIY, recycling, spray paint
Dumpster dive mannequin find before and after spray paint

I will go on and admit my secret shame: I dumpster dive. Not as much as I did back in the States, but if I see something interesting in the trash I have no shame picking it up. Australians also seem very good at putting their “nice trash” outside the dumpster… Council Clean Up Day, anyone!?

When I lived in downtown Newcastle the back entrance to my place was an alleyway where all the shops would dump their trash and it would sit for weeks before they got it emptied. Awesome for when my partner wanted to make seating for the veranda out of palettes, not so cool when it piled up and you couldn’t open the gate.

But I digress. One day I found this little gem shoved awkwardly in the side of the dumpster, probably by the guys who ran a t-shirt printing business at the end of the alley.

I carried it back up to the apartment much to the shock and horror of my partner.

Something needed to be done with it. I had all of these lofty ideas to paint it, put all sorts of designs on it, decupouge, cover in fabric or duct tape… None of this ever happened. I hauled it from one house to the other, thinking it would eventually go in the bin again.

I got some kick up the ass when I was home for a weekend and figured the very least I could do was spray paint it. One trip to Bunnings and $7 lighter, I had a can of blue spray paint.

I went to town on this thing. The partner tried to give me a few pointers (which I promptly ignored, even though he is amazing at anything DIY), and in about an hour it was done.

One thing I will recommend: clean off any marker before starting! I gave the mannequin a good wash but couldn’t get off the permanent market. I should have dissolved it with something to get it off, because as I was spraying the marker would dissolve from the paint. I wound up just giving it a first coat and letting it dry for a few hours but I could have saved myself some time and some of the nightmarish imagery.


4 thoughts on “Saturday Project: Before and After Dumpster Find Mannequin

    1. It comes and goes! I was lucky to live near some weird shops, so you’d get some interesting things they threw away. I also got a massive canvas and all the wood you could imagine.

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