Luxury retailers spend lots of money on props for their Xmas holiday displays. They know how valuable a good prop can be attracting customers to look at their window and then come inside the store.

Here are 5 props we saw deployed during the 2012 holidays that retailers on a smaller budget can use year round to create amazing window displays.

burberry’s 2012

1 Musical Instruments – While the backdrop is stunning on this Burberry’s window display, it is the musical instruments that  make these boring dress forms seem more “alive.”

Just for the record, with rare exceptions say a tailoring shop, we think that dress forms are inappropriate for window displays. They are fine INSIDE the store, but for a window display a mannequin with a head is better attention getter.

Here is a very elaborate display incorporating musical instruments from Bergdorf’s. See what a difference a mannequin makes?

bergdorf’s window

The more realistic your display seems, the easier it is for people to imagine how they “feel” when they buy what you are selling. Emotion is what makes people buy more merchandise. This is why you need mannequins  in different positions which we have available at Mannequin Madness.

saks 2012

2 Dining table & chairs – A dining table with chairs is one of our favorite props to use year round. First of all, it allows you to display mannequins in different ways – sitting on a chair, under the table, on top of the table, beside the table, leaning on the table – to make it seem as if people are really at a party.

window display by keith dillion
window display by keith dillion

You can either go all out decorating the table with crystal, china and linen for an elegant New Year’s Eve celebration. Or buy candles, a table runner and napkins from the Dollar Store. Change  change the decorations throughout the year for the appropriate celebration (Valentine’s, Xmas, Easter, Halloween)

saks 2012

3 Trees – whether a Christmas tree, a tree with spring blossoms or a tree with colorful fall leaves, give a window display an organic feeling. You can also use the trees to hang small accessories or trinkets – thereby maximizing your display space. Or decorate the tree with red hearts for Valentine’s day or red flags for July 4th

Lord & Taylor 2012

4 Dogs – Are a man’s best friend and a visual merchandiser’s popular prop. The display above with the trees had a dog mannequin as does the display below We sell a variety of dog mannequins  at Mannequin Madness.



5 Chalkboard – one of the most practical and inexpensive props known to man. You can write on them using different chalk colors and font styles. The message could be words such as “new arrivals” or “sale” or an image like in the display above. You can also paste something directly on top of the chalkboards.

There are a number of ways that you can get expensive props on a budget. Craigslist or Freecycle is my first suggestion, especially in the case of musical instruments. Because the instruments don’t have to work, they just have to look like they work. So an out of tune piano with missing keys might be junk to someone, but a treasure for you.

You can also rent them from a prop house or do a trade/barter with a vendor who sells the props. Perhaps they will loan you the props for free in exchange for some signage in your windows.

Your mannequins can be purchased new or used from Mannequin Madnes.

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