This was my first attempt at making a zombie. I took little things I saw on the web and my own creativity to make it. I hope you enjoy building this.
Step 1: Material's and Tools
20 gauge hanging picture wire
Cheap foam head
Foam ball (pingpong size)
plastic garbage bag
Step 2: Start the Frame
Cut wire to the desired rib size and roll newspaper around it. Duct tape it to the cardboard tube. I created most of the body limbs this way using some wood for the arms and wire, newspaper and duct tape for the hands.
Step 3: Build the Body and Mount It
I used scrap wood in my garage for stability. If you have any leaning body parts I suggest you use wood inside so it doesn't fall or brake with temperature changes or kids. I stuffed the inside of the the body with a bag and filled it with crunched up newspaper. This gave me a shape to later apply the paper mache to between and below the ribs.
Step 4: The Head
I used a cheap foam skull and cut the bottom jaw off. I re-positioned it so the mouth is wide open and hot glued it. I then cut a foam ping pong size ball in half and glued it into the eye sockets. Then I used a scrap piece of wood and with a flat head screw driver with a hammer and chiseled gouges out of the wood for the teeth and nails. The gouges were 2 mm deep and 3/4 inch long that I then filled with hot glue and waited for it to dry (20 mins approx.). I then pried them out with a flat head. With the hot glue gun I melted holes in the skull where I wanted the teeth to sit then filled the cavity with hot glue then stuck in the teeth.
Step 5: Put the Head on
I used a lot of hot glue when putting on the head making sure I filled in most of the gaps in the mouth. Then I made a femur the same way I made the ribs but added two rolled up ball shape to the end to make it look like a bone. i stuck it in the tube and taped it. It's not anatomically correct, but it gave it that extra look it needed for the lower half of the body.
Step 6: Paper Mache
Cover the entire thing with paper mache, about 3 layers worth. Make sure to let it dry between each coat. Then add paper towel over top where there is skin. Dip the paper towel in a glue mix( 60% Elmer white glue 40% water) you can pinch the paper towel to make bites or veins. For finer detail use toilet paper. Toilet paper is great for making guts and bite marks look more realistic. After you let it dry for a couple days, paint the entire thing with outdoor paint (pick an unwanted color or mistake color as they are super cheap from the store). Wait another day for the paint to dry.
Step 7: Paint Your Zombie
I used basic acrylic paint and started with a darker color first and then added the highlights. Last, was the blood which I created with dark red food dye mixed with clear Elmer's glue. It makes it look more natural if you just drip it on. After that, cover the entire zombie with 3 coats of spar urethane. Let it dry 24 hours after each coat. Make sure you coat the wood as well, especially if you live in a rainy area. For the hair, take an old wig and rough it up. I used a permanent marker to dull the hair little. Hot glue the head and place the wig on. Wait for it to dry to glue the edges of the hair down to the wood base.