Introduction: Foamed Gelatin Prosthetics

Picture of Foamed Gelatin Prosthetics

There are many different materials today that can be used to make prosthetics, but most of them can be hard to find and complicated to use, but gelatin is available anywhere, and with a little practice, is very easy to work with.


Parts:

Unflavored, unsweetened gelatin powder.
Hand mixer (with only one beater)
plastic cups
plasticine clay
skin colored acrylic paint
fake blood
flesh tone makeup
plaster

Step 1: Sculpting

Picture of Sculpting

To begin, use some plasticine clay to sculpt your prosthetic on a paper plate, in my case I'm making a puzzle piece shaped wound, from the 'SAW' films, but this can be used for just about anything (burn scars, bullet wounds, gashes whatever). Make sure to smooth out the edges of the sculpt as best as you can, the smoother you blend it into the plate, the easier the piece will be to apply later. cut the bottom out from a plastic container, and place around your sculpt, seal edges with more clay.

Step 2: Casting

Picture of Casting

Spray some release agent (i.e. cooking spray, PAM will do) on your clay prosthetic and the walls of the container, just enough to very lightly coat everything. Mix up your plaster, pour in just enough to cover the sculpt, then tilt and shake your plate so that the plaster gets into all the nooks and crannies, then pour in enough plaster to fill the container about half way.

Allow your plaster to dry thoroughly, when the surface is cool to the touch, you'll know it's done. Carefully remove the plaster from the clay, you might destroy your clay original in the process, but were done with that now any way. If any bits of clay are stuck in the mold, run a little bit of warm water in it to soften it up, and use a metal pick (paper clip would suffice) to get the bits of clay out.

Step 3: Prepare Gelatin

(note: I was so focused on this part that I neglected to take pictures, sorry)

The amount of gelatin you will need to use is relative to how many prosthetics you will be making, If your only making one, a single packet should be plenty. The amount of water used should be half as much as your gelatin powder. Pour your packet into a plastic cup, add a tiny bit of your paint and your hot water. Start your mixer on low and work up to high speed. The gelatin will expand to about two times it's original size, and lighten in color.

Once you have finished mixing, spray some more release agent into your plaster mold, and pour in some of the hot foamed gelatin, just enough to cover the surface. stretch some saran wrap over top to thin out the edges.

Allow your piece to cool for a few minutes, then very very carefully, remove your finished gelatin piece from the plaster.

Step 4: Applying to Actor

Picture of Applying to Actor

Start by having your actor clean the skin where the prosthetic will be applied. The cool thing about gelatin is that it can be partially melted with warm water. Wet down your actors skin with some warm water and stick the appliance on. By dabbing your fingers in more warm water, you can smooth down the edges of the appliance and blend them into the skin.



Step 5: Finish Piece

Picture of Finish Piece

Using some flesh toned makeup, match the tone of the appliance to that of your actors skin.

Take a small brush, and paint some of your fake blood into the wound, add some blood dripping down as well.

Your done! Pretty good eh?

Step 6: Removal

The appliance and blood should remove easily under some warm water and soap.

Comments

rmagnificent (author)2014-10-17

By adding glycerin to the formula (can be purchased at most pharmacies, even Walmart) it really ups the strength and durability of the gelatin. A few drops of dish soap introduced before whipping also guarantees more inducement of air which makes for more end product which is nice and light for larger pieces. Another tip is to use witchazel to thin out the edges. Thanks for the tutorial, and keep crafting!

polysterene (author)2009-06-16

What kind of Gelatin did you use to create this?

diggerdave (author)polysterene2013-09-12

Knox works well

lvegetables (author)2012-03-20

this looks pretty nasty :)
my only suggestions would be to blend the color and edges a bit better, and try adding the effect of swelling and busing around the wound. Maybe add some black on the inside. Looks good though!! I'm sure many will find help in your instructions.

strmrnnr (author)2009-05-08

These would be good with some edible paint. You could eat your scabs, and gross some people out even more.

ItsTheHobbs (author)2009-01-16

OH MY GOD!!!!!! someone stabbed you with a puzzle piece!

slicendice (author)ItsTheHobbs2009-01-16

Yeah, those senior citizens can get violent when you interrupt game time!

ItsTheHobbs (author)slicendice2009-01-17

Lulz...........

PKM (author)2009-01-16

Wow... it's a bit more effort but that looks so much nicer to actually use than the liquid latex/toilet paper concoction I've used in the past. (After a moderately stressful week-long shoot I have shell-shock from the smell of liquid latex and a certain brand of hair wax...) How resilient is the finished prosthesis? I guess if it's for a party costume it's not going to take much abuse, but could you fight a crazed axe murderer or the ravening hordes of the living dead and keep it intact? Also, will it start to dissolve if you use water-based colours or fake blood on it?

slicendice (author)PKM2009-01-16

it's very flexible stuff, moves very realistically with skin, but if you need it to stay on the skin longer, you might consider tacking it on with spirit gum instead.

Robotrix (author)PKM2009-01-16

I've used water based fake blood on this with good success. I think it only degrades with heat (although this does mean sweat can affect the prosthetics) They are sturdier if you add glycerin with the water when you're mixing the gelatin. It gives them a little more resiliancy and smooth texture. Small palm sized sheets are about as sturdy as rubber, and can be cut and shaped in similar ways.

Robotrix (author)2009-01-16

Nice job! Great to see this on instructables. I only found out about this technique in October. We used it to make some food safe organs for a zombie flick. You could mention as well that by pouring the un-foamed gelatin on a cool plate, you can make some thin sheets that are a great substitute for skin. I used some to cover one eye and to make some damagable skin patches.