Mysterious Mannequin – Mata Hari Challenge

For our September Challenge “Mata Hari”, crew member Mandy Leever-Koel has created a small version of a costume Mata Hari could have worn herself.

Mandy says: ‘When searching for gypsy images, somehow the images of Mata Hari always popped up. I thought it would be nice to do a challenge on her, inspired by her costumes, jewelry, the beautifully colored fabrics and story surrounding her life and death. My friend Google surprisingly informed me, that October 15, 2017, will be the 100th ‘anniversary’ of her execution! This couldn’t be a coincidence, I thought to myself. This woman of Dutch origin has always fascinated me. (I’m Dutch too.) My mother and I used to host jewelry parties some years back. (Like the Tupperware parties, only with jewelry instead of bowls and lids.) Guess what we called ourselves? “Mata Hari”. So this is like a tribute to my mom and those good times, too.

In all honesty I haven’t done the research I had wanted to, before writing this post. Life got in the way, as usual. But I’m hoping that this year being 100 years after her execution, we will finally find out the truth about this woman, whose real name was Margaretha Zelle. Was she a SPY indeed? What else would have driven her to lead the life of an exotic dancer, leaving behind her husband and daughter? Was it really just the glitter and glamour, the excitement? Was she not cut out to be a mother? Or was she really a spy and wanted to help make the world a better place – at cost of her own family -and even life? What do YOU think?

I hope the mystery will inspire you even more to join our challenge. Seeing what the other crew members created for this challenge was such a joy. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you will come up with!

To recreate this mannequin, you don’t need that much. I had fun digging through my moms and my old jewelry stash. (My creativity and tendency to hoard comes from both her and my dad. She made jewelry from clay, taught doll making classes -therefor, not much was thrown away, everything might have been useful some day!)”

Canvas Corp Brands products used:
7gypsies Architextures Short Base- Doilies
Tattered Angels High Impact Metallic Paint – SilverRose Gold
Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam – Pitch BlackGolden Goddess
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist – PomegranateGold

Other products: (Styrofoam) mannequin shape, cheesecloth, (old) jewelry charms and chains, ribbons, spool

Tools: hot glue gun, heat tool (optional), paint brush or foam brush, scissors


Paint the Styrofoam shape with Tattered Angels High Impact Metallic Paint – Rose Gold.
I chose this color because it sort of resembles skin color, at the same time adding the metallic shine that would have suited her appearance.
(I probably should have given her a coat of gesso first, to smoothen the scale-like structure of the Styrofoam…)

Cut 4 separate doilies from the 7gypsies Architextures Short Base- Doilies. 2 to cover up those boobies and serve as brassiere, and 2 more for the shoulder ‘pads’.
Their color wasn’t glittery enough, so I painted them using Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam ‘Pitch Black’ first to darken the doilies, then added some Glimmer Glam ‘Golden Goddess’.  These paints work well on plastic-like surfaces!
Because I had picked out some silvery jewelry chains and items, I painted a little Tattered angels High Impact Metallic Paint ‘Silver’ over the surface.
Just play until you like the result!

Using tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, color some cheesecloth in the desired color. I went for ‘Pomegranate’, because of its richness.
If you spray some water onto the cloth first, the mist will spread out better and more even – and you will waste less.
Dry the fabric naturally or by using a heat tool, depending on the time you have.
Glue a fabric spool underneath the mannequin to give her more length.
Drape the fabric around your doll’s waist, adding pleats here and there, checking the desired length. Fold the seems inside and simply glue them.
No sewing needed, use a hot glue gun for this.STEP 5
Add trim around her waist. Glue the doilies onto the boobies and onto the shoulders.
You may need to cut some here and there to be able to follow the circular shapes -or straight lines.
Dress up Mata Hari from here. Add chains, add charms, add a necklace, add more chains. Make it abundant, make it exotic, go all the way!

Hoping to have inspired you, I look forward to YOUR interpretation of our Mata Hari challenge!

If you wish to see more of Mandy’s work, visit her Facebook, Instagram or blog ‘Less is Bore’.

We hope this fantastic project from Mandy will inspire you to create something for our September Challenge. Last day to enter is October 5 and you will find the details here.


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Mysterious Mannequin – Mata Hari Challenge' have 2 comments

  1. September 18, 2017 @ 9:24 am Linda Simpson

    WOW this is amazing!
    Linda xxx


  2. September 25, 2017 @ 10:18 am DIANA L.

    Lovely images


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.