How to Corpse a Skeleton (The Quick and Dirty Way that DOES NOT Involve Latex)

What you'll need.
A Skeleton
Clear Plastic Tarps
Variable Temperature Heat Gun (I assume it's possible to do this with an embossing heat gun, but don't. Get a proper one.)
Wood Stain
Brushes (I used both sponge and bristle brushes)

Step 1: Mummy up your Skeleton

Picture of Mummy up your Skeleton
Sounds exactly like what it is. Wrap a layer or two of plastic around your skeleton. Then get ready to hit it with that heat gun.

Update: This project was inspired by Allen Hopps who showed us how to make human pelts out of trash bags. I thought, 'I wonder if drop cloths would work on skellies,' and they did! (I did find out later that Allen also had that idea...)
lime3D25 days ago

I'm looking to make a corpse to go into a casket display. The effect I'm going for is natural, long term decay, so I'm thinking I want to go with more gray tones. Do you recommend painted the skeleton first, or would it be better to leave it natural color, and use grays and browns in my stain?

SparkySolar10 months ago

OH MY GOD this is awesome

Spyridoula Nemesis (author)  SparkySolar9 months ago

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

ElDusto11 months ago

Fantastic! I made this for forensics training at work. Great Instructable!

Spyridoula Nemesis (author)  ElDusto11 months ago

Awesome! Thanks so much!

Hello: After you were all done did you have any trouble with the joints

not bending or plastic getting messed up?

Love your skeletons.

Thank you for the compliment. No, the joints still worked after the corpsing. If you have any plastic that comes loose in an area that has a lot of movement, you can use a spray adhesive to reattach it. Personally, I like Super77 by 3M, it's the only propellant adhesive I've found that won't melt styrofoam, and I use styrofoam to make my tombstones.

mbecks1 year ago
wow super great effect with such simple ingredients. where do you get the skeletons?
Spyridoula Nemesis (author)  mbecks1 year ago
Thanks! These are the "Pose and Stay" skeletons that I got at Costco last year. You can find five foot skeletons for ~$50 at Party City, Garden Ridge, Walgreens, and the Halloween stores that pop up each year. Apparently Menards (if there's one close to you) has some on sale for $30 each right now. Also check out Oriental Trading Company, they sometimes have deals.

I'm about to publish an Instructable for the mini skeletons (five inches instead of five feet) to articulate movement. Just in case you can't get your hands on the larger ones in time. :)
just imagine if you took one of those teaching skeletons, removed all the hardware and did this. People might soil themselves.

I would LOVE to corpse a bucky! Unfortunately, they are way out of my budget... Maybe someday. :)