Hot Props & SFX How-Tos

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 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 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 an easy, cheap green screen with no posterboard

In this video you learn how to make your own green screen for less than $15 in under an hour. The material for the screen is a green felt-like fabric that can be easily found at a local fabric store or Wal-Mart. The fabric itself is just over 1 yard in width and you will need to buy 2 sheets 3 yards in length for a total of 6 yards at a price of about $2.00 per yard. You will also need a way to join the sheets together. For this, the video recommends a tube of Heat'n'Bond fabric joiner which ...

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 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 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: Turn an Old Aquarium into a Cloud Tank & Create Creepy Alien Atmosphere Effects

Need some creepy visual effects for your alien flick, but don't want to spend a bunch of money? With some pretty basic materials, you can turn an empty aquarium into a "cloud tank," which can be used to create several different atmospheric effects. Before Hollywood started using CGI, cloud tanks were used for scenes in a lot of famous movies. Remember this one? Besides Raiders of the Lost Ark, cloud tanks also helped make some wonderful non-CGI effects in Independence Day, Close Encounters of...

How To: Make a time bomb prop and

Time bombs are a stimulating and ubiquitous part of action films. This video features a handy tutorial on how to make a realistic-looking time bomb at home out of basic, cheap materials that can be used to add tension and drama to any of your movies. Warning: do not let the authorities see your bomb without knowing what it is first! It is very realistic.

How To: Create a realistic looking cinema style head shot

In this video, we learn how to create a realistic looking cinema style head shot. First, you will need a cheap toy gun, colored wax, and fake blood to create this. Now, you will need to get some footage of the shooter shooting the gun and flinging fake blood in the persons fake as they shoot. Then, take shots of the other person being taken back by the bullet coming at them. After you get several of these shots, apply the makeup to create a fake gun shot and then mesh all of these together to...

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 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: Build a crowbar prop out of foam rubber

Trying to act out a fight scene with real weapons can be dangerous, so this foam rubber crowbar is the perfect prop for theatre or film. This Backyard FX segment by Indy Mogul will guide you through making your foam weapon. So grab some rubber latex, foam, and a few other tools and start constructing your crowbar.

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?

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 Make 2 props: a laser pistol and a gas mask

This video is a 2-for-1 special. It will teach you how to make not one, but TWO cool props for a film or costume. They are, in no particular order, a gas mask / ventilator and a laser pistol. Both look very cool, require some materials and carpentry skills, and are sure to make your next sci-fi film much more realistic and enjoyable to watch.

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: 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.

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