Introduction: Realistic Wound FX

Picture of Realistic Wound FX

In this following instructable I will be showing you how to make a simple, yet realistic and reusable, latex wound effect on a tight budget.

Step 1: Getting the Supplies

Picture of Getting the Supplies
For this project you are going to need the following supplies:

  • Liquid Latex - $11 for a 8oz bottle.
  • Stage Blood - $2 for a 1oz bottle.
  • Basic Make-Up Kit - Should include foundation, basic creme pallet of at least 4 colors, setting powder and applicators.
  • Toilet Paper
The most common place to find these out of the Halloween season is at a costume shop or online, especially for the liquid latex and stage blood. The make-up can be purchased at any retailer that carries make-up... usually for under $10. As for the toilet paper, that's practically free... and if don't have any at home, pocket a square next time you use the public restroom.

Step 2: Building the Prosthetic

Picture of Building the Prosthetic

Begin by cleansing the desired application area, in this case my left wrist. Once the area is dry and clean, begin applying the first thin layer of Liquid Latex. You can use a brush, a wood applicator or a clean finger for applying the Liquid Latex. I find that the best results come from using your finger. Let the latex dry until it is tacky. (Quick Tip: Use a blow-dryer set on cold to quicken the drying process.) Allow the latex to dry completely if you wish to add another coat to thicken the base.

After the base coat of Liquid Latex has begun to dry, remove one square of toilet paper from a roll. Try to obtain a two ply kind with no texture or designs. Separate the plies and roll each side into a snake like structure. This will create the raised skin that forms the wound. Take one of the rolls and apply it to the latex base.

Using your finger apply Liquid Latex to the toilet paper now positioned on your application area. Be generous, blending the outside of the wound structure with your skin. The inside should be left at an abrupt edge.

Add the second piece of tissue to complete the wound. I prefer to join the top and bottom edges as to create a pool that will catch the stage blood when it is applied.

As you did with the first side of the wound, coat in a generous amount of latex, blending the paper into your skin.

Step 3: Drying and Setting

Picture of Drying and Setting

Now let the latex dry completely. I recommend using the blow dryer to speed up the process for about 10 minutes and then taking a 15 min break to let the latex cure even more or until you have a dry application.

Once the latex has dried you will need to set it with some Neutral Set Powder to take away the tackiness and to make sure the make-up does not gelatinize the application. Shake off access powder.

Setting will often dull the colors and leave a powdery residue on your application. Dabbing the piece with a piece of damp toilet paper will fix these problems.

The piece is now dry, set and ready for the next step of production, make-up application.

Step 4: Applying the Make-Up: the Base

Picture of Applying the Make-Up: the Base

Make-Up application is an art and can be very frustrating at times. The following is just a guideline based on how I applied my make-up, but should be adapted to each individual situation. I begin my application with some liquid foundation to give a base color to the application.

I coat the application evenly with foundation using a flat brush. Use a foundation that closely resembles your skin color. (Quick Tip: To save on expenses, purchase brushes and applicators from art supply stores as the selection and price is better then the applicators found at normal super-markets.)

Blend the foundation into your skin using a blending sponge. I used one of those cheap little foam triangles. (Quick Tip: Make your sponges last, rinse them off after every use to keep make-up from building up on them and rendering them un-usable.)

Once the blending is complete. I prefer to add a darker foundation around the wound with a pad to create some depth.

The darker foundation will highlight the wound and draw attention to it and away from imperfect blending. It will also give the appearance of bruising which is common with large wounds.

Step 5: Applying the Make-Up: Highlights and Meat

Picture of Applying the Make-Up: Highlights and Meat

Now it's time to highlight parts of the wound using a lighter colored make-up. I apply the highlights using a small flat brush only covering the higher sections of the application.

Followed by some texture using a texture sponge. You can use any textured sponge for this, I used a plastic hive like one I had on hand.

Now that the wounds has been blended into the application area, it is time to start working on the inside of the wound. I begin by applying some darker make-up to the inner edges of the wound to simulate stronger shading and add depth. In this example I used black.

After which I apply a dark red make-up to the inside of the wound.

Set the make-up using Neutral Set Powder and the same process as setting the latex at the beginning of the tutorial. Blotting the piece with moist toilet paper will bring back the color and remove extra powder. (Quick Tip: Setting make-up is the most often forgotten crucial steps in make-up application and results in running and ruined make-up at the first sign of moisture such as sweat or water.)

Step 6: Touching Up and Enhancing the Wound

Picture of Touching Up and Enhancing the Wound

Now that the brunt of the work is complete comes the fun part of applying blood. I prefer to use store bought stage blood and apply it with a fine tip brush. Although any common home-made blood recipe should do the job just as well.

The reservoir we created earlier does a great job of catching the blood.

To give it a more traumatic feeling I prefer to dab the wound and area surrounding it with a paper towel to spread and splatter the blood. After, I reapply blood to the interior of the wound.

If you wish, you can stop here since you've achieved a convincing wound. But I wanted to have little pieces of meat and matter inside my wound for a more nauseating look. I did this by saturating an end of a q-tip in stage blood, then pulling loose strands of the cotton from the stick with a push pin and applying it to the wound. The results are quite good.

Step 7: Removing the Prosthetic

Picture of Removing the Prosthetic

Before removing the prosthetic I gently rinse off the blood. Since the make-up has been set it shouldn't wash off. It might fade slightly but that can be retouched when it's applied again at a later time.

After rinsing I remove the prosthetic by rolling the edges towards the center of the wound. Latex tends to stick to itself after curing, so powdering it with talc or baby powder will prevent this. Removing the latex should be relatively easy and painless unless it has been caught in some hair. Do not use any oil based products to remove the latex piece as the oil will break down its structure. You can purchase silicon oil that will remove latex and leave it intact, although shiny. The silicon oil is often expensive and not worth the trouble.

And there you go... you know have a re-usable prosthetic application of a wound that can easily be used at a later time. Although you will need to purchase some spirit gum (and spirit gum remover) to attach the piece to your skin. With a little Liquid Latex to blend the edges and some touch ups on the make-up, the wound can be ready to go again in no time.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and have learned some valuable information from it. Have fun creating horrendous wounds and scars.

Don't forget to leave comments and show off what you've accomplished using the Instructable.


Karinemakeup (author)2012-02-23

I loved the post and the makeup. This is one of my works, hope you enjoy.

Makkvizzy (author)Karinemakeup2016-09-19

How did you do the eye ? I really like that

Coolwolf14780issocol Aj (author)2016-07-09

I use modpog it's like latex a bit

S0i00d000 (author)2014-10-28

is there an alternative to liquid latex

IzzyP1 (author)S0i00d0002016-04-10

i used to use school glue and that worked really well!!

idekmae (author)S0i00d0002014-10-31

flour and vasaline, however after a little the mixture begins to crumble

TwerkIt (author)S0i00d0002014-10-28

Yup! Just mix flour or cornstarch with Petroleum Jelly (vasiline)

idekmae (author)2014-10-31

this worked great for me(: the Halloween store only had pints and it was about 17 and the fake boodwas about 3 i had my makeup from theatre so that helped. i did burn wonds and a knife slice on my face, which had little baby hairs and was a pain to get out but nothing too bad i have no idea how to post the pics but it looked so realistic everyone was asking where i bought my wounds!(:

monkey18 (author)2014-05-13

My Zombie look. I did the fleshy look on my neck on myself :)

fingertrap5 (author)2008-10-12

nice's my first try.

This year you gotta get some white makeup in there so that you can "see" the bones... now that'd really freak some ppl out

wambs8 (author)killersquirel112012-07-19

Take a chicken bone and crack/splinter it and inbed it into the latex

gonzoman73 (author)fingertrap52010-10-01

WOW! thats insane :D

berndeijg (author)fingertrap52009-10-28

Yeah right

elyador (author)fingertrap52009-10-17

That is Awesome, man. Especialy for a first try. My first attempt was nowhere near as cool. Congradulations. I think you've found your special talent.

MrAngryPants (author)fingertrap52009-10-09

Lol, I can FEEL the pain of taking that off right now. (Note, the hair)

meyers (author)fingertrap52009-09-24

dude thats really cool

wert456 (author)meyers2009-10-07

dude it is

A.C.E. (author)fingertrap52009-04-20

your is blended way better than mine... may i ask what you used? as in, what does it say on the front of the bottle, im not good with brands of makeup

DrWeird117 (author)fingertrap52008-10-13

AH DANG! Looks real...WOW

collard41 (author)DrWeird1172008-10-27

dats cool

DrWeird117 (author)collard412008-10-27


hojop25 (author)fingertrap52008-10-27

dam thats awesome!

Zombie fanatic 110011 (author)2011-11-08

first try.

agerick (author)2011-10-27

this was my attempt but i used toilet paper mixed with corn flour and water and lots of fake blood (home made) and makeup...

rld612 (author)2011-10-19

My first attempt at any kind of Halloween makeup or fx. The inside moves as I flex my forearm, giving it a really gruesome appearance.

pdubs (author)2008-11-12

very useful tut... was a zombie for halloween so this was really helpful... everyone was pretty well grossed out... GOOD TIMES!

That will give a 3 year old nightmares. It makes me think, "gosh, I really need to practice now that i have liquid latex, fake blood, and spirit gum."

cwilliamson7 (author)pdubs2011-08-17

man is that real sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo grooooooooooos and also those bones look real to ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww goooooooodddddddddddddddddddddd how did you even do that ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww groooooooooooooooooooooooooosssssssssssss gooooooooooooooooooooooodddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.!

pdubs (author)cwilliamson72011-08-17

haha thanks! i used the bones from chicken wings btw

killersquirel11 (author)pdubs2009-10-30

Aww man... now I'm hungry...

klingonprins (author)pdubs2009-06-20

how the hell did you get the bones to not stick out like a bump?

pdubs (author)klingonprins2009-06-21

well i made the basic circular wound shape on my hand and then took chicken wing bones (boiled the meat off), cut the ends off, and added a little more liquid latex to the ends to connect the bones the to wound edge and a little on the underside to hold them into place then did the basic paint application and added the fake blood :D

**and a little tip** dont cover the ends of the bones evenly and also try to apply thick areas of liquid latex over the central area of the bones... that way it will look like its less connected solely around the edge of the wound and it will look less uniform and more like the top of your hand was ripped off (which is the effect i was goin for here)


k2thec8738 (author)pdubs2009-06-02

wow, yeah, NICE. but im glad i didnt meet you trick-or-treating, i probly wouldve screamed my head :)

A.C.E. (author)2008-10-21

i had to slather on the fake blood to cover up my experimentation with makeup..

cwilliamson7 (author)A.C.E.2011-08-17

what part of your body is that god well whatever it is you did a great job

crafty_crayons (author)A.C.E.2008-10-22

eww ah looooks so real ughh.............

A.C.E. (author)crafty_crayons2008-10-22

you really think so or are you being sarcastic?

NJB (author)A.C.E.2008-10-23

It is actually nauseatingly realistic!

technodude92 (author)NJB2008-10-23

next up... compound fractures! I'd love to see an 'ible on making fake compound fractures.

me too

collard41 (author)technodude922008-10-27

not nice

A.C.E. (author)collard412008-11-02

well on halloween i made my face white with makeup, then stuck this on the side of my face. it, along with all the weird noises i would make when walking by people, made me look like a zombie. After wards we went to welcome south resturant to eat and i took it off in the bathroom. it was on the table wrapped in some napkins so it would dry, but it still had some blood on it. when the waiter came, i wasnt paying attention and she picked it up, looked at it kind of funny, then threw it in the trash : ( oh well, ill just make another.. lol

crafty_crayons (author)A.C.E.2008-10-31

no im seriouse dude llol


Lftndbt (author)2008-10-30

You inspired me, to attempt something similar this year. I only had PVA wood glue and toilet paper on hand. Turned out alright though.

cwilliamson7 (author)Lftndbt2011-08-17

what part of your body is that god well whatever it is you did a great job

NJB (author)Lftndbt2008-11-03

I thought about doing that, but I dismissed the idea remembering how hard PVA dries, but after seeing this, I can see how wrong I was! That is Brilliant!

Lftndbt (author)NJB2008-11-03

LoL. I was in a rush and only had bold red and black craft poster paint also. I didn't want to use a container of the GF's foundation to blend the whole thing in either. So no make-up what so ever just black and red paint. I think it took around 35 mins all up to apply. The PVA released easily when removed (not hair loss) and the entire piece came off intact. The PVA seems to remain rather flexible in these sort of thing layers. It only three step too. Paint area desired in PVA. Apply a layer of TP to area. Lay out edges of woung with rolled up length. Apply one top sheet over to mould the wound and to taper the edges out.. Then saturate with PVA. Blow dry. Nice a quick.

joewelke25 (author)2009-10-22

Thanks for the tutorial, worked for me.

About This Instructable




More by Pull and Twist:Realistic Vampire BiteRealistic Wound FX
Add instructable to: