Instructables
Picture of Using gelatin for moulds and prosthetics
After my 'ible regarding using alginate as a mould making material, there were lots of questions about materials and obtaining them. Here's another method that uses only items that are readily available.

Gelatin is a much disregarded product when it comes to the home user.
It is safe to use and has some fantastic properties, it can be cast, or used to make moulds, it is re-usable (you just melt it back down) and best of all it's cheap and easy to get hold of.
It's safe (you can obviously eat it), but it's not just for cooking!

There are plenty of on-line tutorials on gelatin preparation for SFX, but they all call for some exotic ingredients. This 'ible uses only off the shelf stuff, but it works perfectly well.

You can store the prepared gelatin in the freezer for months, so make up a few batches and store them for future use.

In this Instructable we will prepare two types of gelatin mix, and look at their uses.


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: The basic mix

Picture of The basic mix
We will need the following materials:

Gelatin, you want the crystal or powder type, not the sheets. This is available in the bakery section of your supermarket. Gelatin is an extract of beef so it's a natural product. It is used to 'set' various foods. Most notably Jelly (Jello), but it is found in lots of recipes. I use 'Dr Oetker', only because it's sold in Tescos.

Glycerine is a pure form of liquid syrup. Found at the drug store or pharmacy. Often used to sweeten kids medicines.

Liquid honey, or 'runny' honey. The stuff in a squeezy bottle will do fine.

Warm water, a plastic jug, some plastic cups, some stirring sticks (from the coffee shop), a small electric whisk. some washing up liquid, and access to a microwave oven

1-40 of 98Next »
Parawax1 year ago
@ rmagnificent:

Not sure if marshon will be responding. If you don't mind, I may be able to help. First off, I want to tell you that I am no expert. I've just been learning as I go. So you may want to confirm any statement I give if it doesn't sound right to you. 1. Honey. I believe he uses the honey because it gives the gelatin a translucent appearance and color that more closely resembles natural skin. 2. I've tried using liquid latex on my masks in the past and I've had problems around my mouth, eyes, and neck, where the most movement occurs. I now use Pro's-Aide or medical adhesive. It works great, but that stuff REALLY sticks to your skin. If you use it, definitely get the remover that goes along with the particular adhesive you're using. Also, these adhesives don't allow much time (if any) to adjust after you apply the prosthetic. When you stick it, it's there. I prefer Pro's-Aide cause I just apply it and pretty much forget it for the rest of the night. Hope this helps.

Sorry it's taken me a year to thank you for the advice. I fell off the face of the planet for a little while there, haha.

I tried Pro's-Aide, and holy moley! What a difference. Thank you so much for the suggestion, I'll never have to deal with Spirit Gum ever again! I see what you mean about getting the remover though, this stuff is no joke.

Thank again for the advice, I really do appreciate it, even if it takes me a year to say so. Happy creating! <3

CementTruck10 days ago

I cand breed lookig at dah pitchuh

ChinaDang7 months ago

I love that you put this up. So let me thank you for that first. I just wanted to know if it were possible to add some flesh colors to any of the mixtures instead of applying it to the prosthetic. If so, how would you go about doing it?

thomas96668 months ago
just made a block there with this recipe. Many thanks, I'd previously tried a recipe from a prosthetic makeup artist's website and it was carp compared to this, well done. Only thing is, I think I made foamed gelatin without a blender since I started with everything in the bowl... Might follow your instructions next time and see what happens ;) Keep up the good work, and I want to see that prosthetic in use!!
agraham1911 months ago
I have seen this recipe before but with a food colour instead of the honey. What's the benefit of using the honey please?
kturnbull311 months ago
When using the plasticine will the plaster pick up more details sculpts as the 'ible uses a pretty simple design?
Cool
Hello! First I'd like to say great instructable, and thank you for showing us this versatile technique. I actually have two questions for you.

1. You mentioned using honey in the gelatin recipe? I've made gelatin before simply using glycerin, water, and raw gelatin. Is honey a super awesome ingredient I've been missing? What does it do in the formula?

2. As far as adhering the gel (for a face prosthetic) is it possible to use liquid latex? Sometimes, for whatever reason my bod doesn't react well to spirit-gum.

Thank you so much, and happy crafting!
This is great, children who want to play various roles can get their moms to make them various masks or body parts and then use face painting techniques to liven them up with face painting tools for Sydney from http://www.serendipi.com.au Thanks for the cool tips.
I will be looking around, but do you happen to have a link to any good instructables on making a custom cast of a face or body part? I am wanting to make MANY different prosthetics, and while I have the knowledge and experience to tweak where I need to I have not yet attempted custom casting.
ldb4772 years ago
Question... if I wanted to use this technique to mold a gelatin hand, could I use the gelatin cast and pour new gelatin in? Or would I have to fill it with something else first (like plaster), then cast that in plaster, then finally use the plaster cast to pour in the gelatin. That probably sounded confusing, but let me know, thanks!
marshon (author)  ldb4772 years ago
I'm not completely sure what it is you are asking me. You cannot make a skin cast using hot liquid gelatin. Essentially it's toffee and would result in third degree burns.

To make a gelatin hand, you would need to make the master mould from Alginate and plaster, then cast your gelatin in that.
kinshi2 years ago
NICE POST!!
Question: do the blending edges curl up like foam latex? does the gelatin require powdering to prevent curling?
marshon (author)  kinshi2 years ago
Glue right up to and past the edges then powder the join. I've not had my gelatin (or foam) cast curl excessively.
venefica2 years ago
Hi there again!

Do you apply something special on the piece before of after colouring it? Everything I tried on gelatin prosthetics (powder, RMGP, foundation, etc.) tends to smear.

Thanks a lot for this wonderful instructables!
marshon (author)  venefica2 years ago
I always talc my casts first. This helps to reduce tack and helps the make up 'stick' a bit better.
THISISSOAWSOME!!!!!
venefica2 years ago
Hi Marshon!

I tried both stuff and had excellent results with the basic mix, but I can't make thin edges with the foamed stuff even after having warmed the molds up, which helped a lot with the basic mixture. Have any clue for me?
moca le2 years ago

woooooooooooooooow !!
lvegetables2 years ago
i have had some issues with this step.
at first i was using a plaster life cast, with a clay prosthetic, and cooking spray as the release agent. unfortunately the plaster (having not been sealed) absorbed the release agent and all was lost..

did another life cast and tried again, this time sealing the plaster and applying a release agent... and the plaster came off but it was cracked and un-usable. i was able to save the clay prosthetic..

so i realized that i haven't been making the clay fence or making the plaster thick enough.. and i shall try again!!!
mccathryn2 years ago
excellent work
Heeeey Marshon =)
Greetings from Uruguay.
I cannot beleave i found that page yet.
Your 'able is amazing, thanks for share.
Im excited with this, i've bought today
Sorbitol (5L), distilled water (5L), Pure Glycerine (5L)
and 500 grs of Gelatina Oro (Gelatin Gold) :\
But the package dont say nothing about bloom.
Can you tell me in what places can i buy 300 bloom Gelatin?
Thanks =)
...
Hello :)
Well, i can´t wait ... i had bought gelatina food grade ...
I got the basic mix ready, but im having problems to find
places to buy "spirit gum" or similar, but i have "teeth glue"
this work fine i hope.
And problems to find fiberglass head :(
But have another question.
I have mustach and beard what about melt the mix and
put it directly on my face and other body parts?
Its hard to remove later?
Thx Marshon!
...
Aaaaafffff sorry Marshon
If put the basic mix direct on my skin what type of non-toxic paint
can i use to try to change the colour of this to matches with my skin colour
(when the basic mix is liquid yet)
Thx !!!
marshon (author)  sickmushroom2 years ago
You cannot put the liquid straight onto your skin, it must be cast first. Use ordinary make up, or face / body paint to colour it. This is all in the 'ible. You need to read it first.
...
Yep, i did it (read the 'able).
Just something hard to understand (for the language).
Thx for all =)
marshon (author)  sickmushroom2 years ago
NEVER EVER put the liquid mix on your skin!! READ the 'ible. It's red hot toffee and you WILL GET SEVERE BURNS!!!
marshon (author)  sickmushroom2 years ago
I don't know any suppliers in Uraguay. Try ebay in the US who may ship to you.
Most theatrical supply agents would stock 300 bloom gelatin.
vcarter32 years ago
I can not find glycerin anywhere! (I live is a small mountain town) Is there anything else that can be used?
marshon (author)  vcarter32 years ago
Any of the 5 drug stores in Los Alamos should be able to order some for you. It's one of the main ingredients along with the gelatin so I don't know of an alternative.
Thanks for answering me so promptly. I really appreciate it. Your 'able is awesome! I think I'll have to go to Santa Fe. Tried all the places here, they don't have it and it will take too long to order. Wish me luck.
After you create the prosthetic, is it like a one use piece? do you have to refrigerate it?
marshon (author)  metallica4242 years ago
They can be used more than once with care. Just freeze them after use and de-frost for the next time. After a few uses they tend to begine to breakdown, so melt them and re-cast.
Thanks for the info!
Eirinn3 years ago
The problem with this is that it decays right? Which is why proffesionals use other materials to produce SFX items?
marshon (author)  Eirinn2 years ago
Yes it does decay, but it IS used by professionals. It's cheap and quick, but it isn't designed for long lasting jobs. However since it can be melted down and re-used it is often a good candidate for one off jobs.
minerug3 years ago
Great work!

How would I go about making a plaster cast of my forearm? I've heard of some people getting burns when they try to make casts of large(ish) body parts..
marshon (author)  minerug2 years ago
Never apply plaster or any gypsum based product driectly to the skin. It containes lime and that is caustic. Use alginate which is designed for casting directly from the skin.
lmckay12 years ago
Why can't you use the sheets of gelatin? I ask only because I can't find powdered gelatin anywhere (I live in Switzerland).
1-40 of 98Next »