Hot Props & SFX Posts

How To: Build your own prop shotgun

In this tutorial, we learn how to build your own prop shotgun. To make this, you will need: one 2x6 that is 2 feet long, one 1x3 eight inches long, two 8" diameter PVC piping 2 feet long, two one inch PVC end caps, picture hangers, assorted nuts, bolts, and crews. First, draw on the shape of your gun on the pieces of wood, then cut them up with a saw. Then, cut out a prong shape in the front and stain the gun to your desired color. Next, connect all the pieces together and attach the wall han...

How To: Make a military-style night vision goggles prop

Night vision goggles are one of the iconic pieces of equipment of the modern military. Getting a real pair is prohibitively expensive, especially if you just want to use it as a prop in your film instead of actually seeing at night. This video features instructions for making your own set of prop night vision goggles for cheap, giving any action or spy movie that you are making a much more modern, authentic feel. Also, now your characters can see at night, opening up all sorts of potential sc...

How To: Make fake prop plague boils on the skin

Boils are the most visible symptoms of many nasty plagues. They make a person look pretty monestrous and will pretty reliably keep other people at arm's reach. This video will show you how to make a latex appliance of a skin boil, paint it to make it even more boilish, then apply it to the skin of a fried or actor. It looks so real, you might get sent to a plague colony.

How To: Build your own Iron Man Repulsor Arm

If you love Iron Man 2 and wish you could have his gadgets or want to have a cool costume for Halloween, you too, can be Iron Man once you're done watching this video. This tutorial will walk you through the steps needed to convert household materials and inexpensive items you can find at virtually any store into an Iron Man suit repulsor arm.

How To: Make a cardboard replica prop of any gun

Cardboard is not the most sturdy of building materials, but it is cheap, abundant, and somewhat rigid. That's all you need to make this awesome prop. This video will show you how to make cardboard replica or prop of just about any gun, in this case a Glock handgun. It looks surprisingly real and is very cheap to make, so if you need a gun for your film or costume and don't have money or carpentry skills, this gun should fulfill your needs.

How To: Build a fake sword prop

It's medieval mayhem and you need a sword prop. Maybe you're larping, or maybe you just need a fake, dull movie prop blade for your action epic. Either way, this is a great weapons build project for a cool replica wooden sword. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a fake sword prop.

How To: Build a fake cardboard security camera

Home security is as important as having a job. You have to protect your family and your valuables. If you can't afford a high tech security system, then maybe a fake security camera will do the trick. This security camera dud is also a cheap alternative for a film prop. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a fake cardboard security camera.

How To: Make a fake movie prop brick

A fake brick is a great movie prop for any action film. You can break through brick walls, smash a brick in two, or throw a brick at someone without being charged with murder. The majority of this fake brick is made of foam. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a fake movie prop brick.

How To: Make an DIY Aliens power loader prop for cheap

The Alien movies, most notably Alien and Aliens, are icons of sci-fi horror, and one of their most well-known elements is the awesome power loader that Sigourney Weaver's character Ellen Ripley used to tear the aliens apart. This video will show you how to make your own prop replica of the power loader at home for cheap, so that you can destroy aliens in your own films or maybe pretend to maul some party guests.

How To: Make a latex skin over carved foam

Are you in need of some kind of mold or cast for your next feature film, but need to save a few bucks? As an alternative to casting (making a shape from a mold) one can carve foam into a desired shape and then coat the foam with liquid latex. This will not create a perfectly smooth surface, but is much less expensive than casting as it requires fewer steps and less resources. So, with this video tutorial, you can learn what you need to know about making a latex skin over carved form.

Becoming the Dark Knight: 8 DIYers Show Us How to Build Batman's Belongings

The final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is here, The Dark Knight Rises, and if you're anything like me, it made you want to immediately don a cowl of your own and run around punching criminals. Don't forget though, one of the most awesome aspects of Batman is his never-ending supply of crazy gadgets. Unfortunately for most of us, we don't have a billion dollars, nor Morgan Freeman, so we'll just have to make do with some good old-fashioned DIY tricks. Read on for a rundown of ...

How To: Make a cheap squib

This is an informational video for people that want to have some action in their movies but have a small budget. Each squib ended up costing us about $0.78. These are for fake gunshots.

How To: Make realistic looking prop swords

So you want to make a film, and in that film you want to have a sword, but you can't buy one, not to mention real ones are pretty dangerous. Your insurance costs will go through the roof! Well, here's you solution. Check out this helpful two-part video tutorial on how to make your own prop swords, which means less dangerous swords. Actually, they're made out of metal, so you still might just somebody with them yet.

How To: Make a fake cut with theatrical makeup

Finally, the professionals are weighing in on how to create fake wounds! This video features a makeup artist from the BBC demonstrating how to make a really realistic fake cut on the hand of an actor using theatrical makeup. The plastic pieces from a CD jewel case that resemble broken glass really set this cut apart from the other fake cuts on the site, along with the professionalism of the presenter.

How To: Make a blood spurting knife wound

It's time for Halloween, maybe it's time for your ultimate independent horror movie you've been dying to make, whatever the case may be, you're going to need some blood, you're going to need some weapons... you're going to need a bloody knife wound.

How To: Simulate a gun shot wound special effect

Watch this short tutorial on how to make a realistic bullet hit to simulate an actor getting shot by a gun. Materials needed include a pressure sprayer, clear tubing that will fit on to the hose of the pressure sprayer, a small Translucent PVC elbow, fake blood, duct tape, a funnel, a shirt you don't mind damaging.

How To: Make DIY fog fluid for a fog machine

If you are an avid party-thrower, moviemaker, or are involved in some other activity that involved you frequently using fog machines, you're probably sick of paying for the fluid to make them work. No more! Watch this video for a guide to making your own cheap DIY fog machine juice / fluid at home.

How To: Make a double-barrel sawed-off shotgun prop

Using guns in low-budget films is tough. You probably can't afford a real gun or a replica can you? Especially for more specialized guns. Fortunately, this video has the solution. It will show you how to make a really realistic sawed-off shotgun prop for cheap. You will need some carpentry skills and tools, but the gun looks so cool that even if you don't have those things now, you should probably invest in them. You'll be able to use them to make more props later anyway.

How To: Make unzipped eyes with makeup

Apply the zipper eye makeup Halloween costume look by gluing real zippers below your eye. This gives a really creepy, skin opening look. Make it more gruesome with fake blood and darker eye makeup. It's originally a MAC makeup look, but many use it for scary costuming or an industrial zombie look.

How To: Make a level three foam boffer sword for LARPing

If you're a LARP maniac, or just a fan of LSD-themed (Latter-day Saint) games and activities, then you can't miss out on this. Check this video out to learn how to make a foam-padded sword that is easy and inexpensive. This level three boffer sword will take care of your LARPing opponents like Chuck Norris. If you're a fan of live action role-playing, then this boffer sword is the best of the best for kicking serious ass.

How To: Make Your Very Own Hobbit Pipe—The Only Way to Smoke Pipe-Weed

A new trailer for Peter Jackson's Hobbit movie arrived recently, and it continues to look pretty awesome. If you're gearing up for the midnight premiere on December 14th, why not get into the spirit early by making your very own Hobbit pipe? In the film, the Hobbits smoke from signature rustic, wooden pipes with a very homemade look to them. Instructables user handcraftsup makes his own versions out of tree branches of what he believes real Hobbit pipes would like like. The tools he uses incl...

How To: Make a cardboard sword for Cosplay

Check out this step by step instructional video to learn how to make a Cosplay Sword from cardboard and wood! Make sure you have all of the following materials to start making your Cosplay sword: spray paint, hard cardboard, wooden dowel, bendable metal wire, silver colored tape, embellishment, super glue, hand saw, paper clay, masking tape, scrap papers, pen knife, and a PVC pipe. Watch this Cosplay video and enhance your role playing with this tutorial!

How To: Create the Indiana Jones face melt effect

Welcome to our Indiana Jones special. This week, we've been challenged by Eric Zala, the director of "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" to create an awesome face melt effect for cheap! This is probably Indy Mogul's grossest effect yet, so you better not get nauseous or anything, because you might just want to use this for your film!

Make edible prop bodily fluids: poop, vomit, snot, and blood

The human body is full of different kinds of fluids, most of which are either gross or dangerous to remove from a person for use in one of your films. Fortunately, most of them are pretty easy to replicate using household materials. This video will show you how to make edible prop fake blood, feces, vomit, and snot. They all look great, are safe, and will make you movie much more realistic.

How To: Make a Tommy Gun out of cardboard

This video begins by showing the necessary tools needed to make a prop tommy gun out of a cardboard base. The first step is to trace a simple handle shape on the cardboard and repeat eight more times until you have eight exact copies of the handle. Then using an image of a tommy gun make an outline on the gun to cut in another piece of cardboard. You must cut and make eight more copies of the entire gun body to have the appropriate thickness for realism. The handle must be glued to the gun bo...