Hot Props & SFX How-Tos

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: Create fake blood effects

In this tutorial, we learn how to create fake blood effects. The easiest blood formula is to use soap and red food coloring, nothing else. It's the easiest blood to make and looks more realistic than anything else. You can also make blood out of different things if you want to make a more expensive version. Make sure you always add in red food coloring and make it dark to match the color of real blood. The liquid should flow so it looks like real blood. To create blood splatter, you will take...

How To: Create fake squeezable zits & robots for film or tv

In this episode of Indy Mogul's "YourFX", two great tutorials are gone over on how to make fake zits and fake robots. Indy Mogul's Backyard FX features cheap, DIY filmmaking tips and tutorials including special effects, props, and camera equipment. Be sure to search WonderHowTo for more videos from Indy Mogul and for more tutorials on building stage props as well as creating realistic film effects!

How To: Recreate Freddy Krueger's burnt skin makeup

Okay you saw the super-detailed reproduction of Freddy Krueger's clawed glove, now complete the Freddy costume with this "burning" makeup tutorial. In celebration of the return of "A Nightmare On Elm Street", starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger, Indy Mogul's BFX brought out the pain with burnt skin, but they won't burn a hole in your wallet. This burned up skin makeup recreation is the perfect companion for the knived glove. Complete the horrific Freddy look.

How To: Make a flying crank ghost on Halloween

Check out this Halloween tutorial video to learn how to make a flying crank ghost. This is essentially like making a big Marionette ghost puppet. All you need is the following easy to find materials: a styrofoam skull, 7 wire coat hangers, black spary paint, pliers, cheese cloth, tacky glue, and laundry detergent. This flying crank ghost promises to be a delightful scare on Halloween trick or treaters!

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.

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 a latex prosthesis chest wound effect

There is no such thing as a sucking chest wound. All chest wounds suck. Except perhaps for fake ones, which are essential to making a really gritty, gory film in most cases. This video features detailed instructions on how to make a fake chest wound out of latex and other special effects materials. Since it is a prosthesis, it can even be reused! It is a little complicated, but the end result looks great, so try this out in your next movie!

How To: Make a breakable 2x4 wood board prop

Yes, a smashable board of wood. Just what the propmaster called for. A long 2x4 piece of wood prop is perfect for smashing overtop somebody's head during an action scene. The smashable board is easy to make, too. But not as easy as breaking it. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a breakable 2x4 wood plank prop.

How To: Create an impaled chest effect for your Halloween costume or indie film

For the director on the cheap looking to make a good ol' fashioned zombie horror flick, or any other sort of flick that involves showcasing your characters with large pipes and more impaled through their chests, you may be scratching your head how to create the effect. It's actually easier than you think! All you will need is some pipes, basic tools and some time! In this awesome video you will get a full walkthrough on how to create the effect on a $40 budget!

How To: Make Realistic Fluffy Cloud Props from Things Around the House

If you need a cloudy background for a photo or video, you can always turn an old aquarium into a DIY cloud tank. But, if you want something more fun and less creepy, these fluffy cloud props by Serena Thompson might be more what you're looking for. It'd even make a good Halloween costume if you tweak it a little. All you need is some balloons, tape, flour, newspaper, and a bunch of pillow stuffing. Serena made them by taping balloons together and applying a mixture of water and flour, then co...

How To: Make a fake cast

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a fake cast. You will need: thin cardboard, old sock, duct tape, white toilet paper, and paint. First, place the sock over your arm and then cut two holes on the front of the hand and the thumb. Then duct tape the cardboard around your hand and arm and fold the bottom of the sock on. Now make paste on the cardboard and start to layer on the toilet paper to the paste and cardboard. Next, use scissors to make a cut in the cast. Then make paste on the edges...

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: Apply a wolfman werewolf prosthetic

In this how to video, you will learn how to apply werewolf makeup. You will need the gelatin werewolf prosthetic grease paint. First, apply adhesive to the face. Next, place the prosthetic on. Push firmly on to the face to make sure it sticks properly. The lip area has to be applied tightly. The brow area and ride will also move a lot, so make sure there is a lot of adhesive. Use the gelatin blender on the sides. Work away from the edge on to the face. Use the sealer to make a uniform surface...

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: Build a DIY reverse flow coffin fog chiller for Halloween or a film

Spooky fog-emitting items like coffins and cauldrons are iconic parts of many haunted houses, but are terribly expensive to buy premade. If you're got some DIY know-how, watch this video for a guide to building a coffin fog chiller for your fog machine yourself for a Halloween display, horror film effect, or just because you like foggy coffins. This thing is a BEAST, it will cover your whole lawn if fog by itself.

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 breakable baseball bat movie prop

There are plenty of films out there with baseball bats, but if you want your bat to explode on impact, you'll have to make it yourself. A smashable baseball bat is perfect for any gangster flick or sports movie. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a breakable baseball bat movie prop.

How To: Make a movie prop grenade

A grenade is the best way to make your indie action war flick more realistic, but anyway you try it, it's not going to be completely "realistic". You need a prop grenade, and you can eerily make it yourself out of cheap household materials. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a movie prop grenade.

How To: Build a flamethrower movie prop

Make monster flames with this homemade flamethrower. With some materials from your local hardware store, you can make this PVC flamethrower in no time. It's perfect for your big blockbuster movie (or to just scare your friends to death). Just make sure you don't leave a fire trail behind you as you set fire to the sky. Actually, this flame maker doesn't shoot real flames, it's just a prop. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a flamethrower movie prop.

How To: Make a Spartan 300 shield

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a Spartan 300 shield. You will need: paper mache, durable cloth, gold spray paint, newspapers, cardboard, nuts and bolts, and the cap to a trash can. After you have these, cut out a large piece of cardboard and place it over the trash can cap in a circle shape. Then, dip newspaper strips into the paper mache mixture and apply it to your shield, taking your time to make it smooth. Let this dry, then cut two strips of cardboard and place it in a 'v' shape ...

How To: Make 300 Spartan arm braces/arm guards

In this tutorial, we learn how to make 300 Spartan arm braces/arm guards. You will need: a cereal box, paper, newspaper, scissors, super glue, flour, water, spray paint in gold, and masking tape. To start, you will need to first draw the shape onto the cereal box and then cut it out. From here, mix up a cup of flour with a cup of water until it's well combined. Then, dip strips of newspaper into it and place them over your cereal cut out. Then, let this dry and place wire and masking tape ove...

How To: Make a cheap realistic blood splatter

In this video, we learn how to make a cheap and realistic blood splatter. After you have made your blood, you will need to make sure it's the right color you need for blood. Now, take Kleenex and rip it into five different parts. Then, stick these into a tube and grab a pesticide sprayer. After this, stick the blood into the bucket for the sprayer. Now, when you shoot the blood splatter the Kleenex tissue will turn the color of the blood and look like brains or parts of the body that have bee...

How To: Make a home made battle axe and pole axe out of cardboard for your cosplay

Looking to hit up DragonCon, GenCon, ComicCon, or any other sort of con and want to dress up? Well, if you're going as your favorite Dungeons and Dragons character (there's others, but this one was first to mind) and that character happens to use an axe, there's a cheap way to make your own with a broom handle, some cardboard, spray paint and time! In this video you will learn how to construct a battle axe, a pole axe AND a war axe, pretty cool right?

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