Introduction: How to Make a Fake Hand

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Previously on Indy Mogul, we showed you how to make a fake head for your indie filmmaking needs. This week we have the recipe for a fake hand! We are always looking for new projects like these at Indy Mogul, so send in your ideas! And don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes!

Shopping List

1. 16 lbs. plaster of paris.
(8 lbs for the top half, 8 for the bottom. )

2. BFX ballistics gel.
(Check out this Weekend Extra for more details.)

3. Liquid latex.
(In a flesh tone.)

4. Caulk.
(Does not need to be adhesive.)

5. Petroleum Jelly.
(As a de-molding agent. You could also use cooking spray.)

6. Duct tape.
(I'm going to stop listing this because you should always have some ready.)

7. A cardboard box.
(To add some "fleshyness" to the face.)

Step 1: The Mold (Part 1)

This process takes several stages, but is fairly simple. First cut a notch in one end of the box. Then tape up the bottom and sides.

Next mix up half your plaster, which should be about 8 lbs for a hand mold. As mentioned by Jared, use a little more water then recommended. Cover your subjects entire hand and arm (anything going into the plaster) with petroleum jelly. Now pour your plaster into the bo. It should be about 3-4 inches deep. Place the bottom half of your hand into the plaster and rock it back and forth to get it to sink in. Don't put your hand too deep into the plaster.

Step 2: The Mold (Part 2)

After about 15-20 minutes you should be able to remove your hand. Shortly after this the mold will start to get very warm. This is normal.

Once the bottom half is dry, you can move to the top half. Apply more petroleum jelly to the bottom mold and your actors hand. Mix up some more plaster and place hand back into mold. Pour the new plaster over your hand and the bottom mold. Wait the some amount of time for this layer to dry.

Step 3: The Mold (Part 3)

Now very carefully lift the top half mold. The top half of the mold can very easily crack when being separated. Once your actors hand is free you should leave both halves of your new hand mold to dry for another hour.

Step 4: The Hand (Part 1)

Now that you have a bad ass hand mold, making a hand is pretty simple. You could use this mold to make a fake hand out of anything you want, but I recommend using some DIY ballistics gel. Before you add anything you need to prep the mold. Clean out any debris that is inside you mold. Aplly cooking spray or more petroleum jelly to the inside of the hand mold. Now apply some caulk to the outside of the one half of the mold.

Now seal the mold and, using the some cardboard box, and duct tape close both halves of the mold together tightly. Allow for the caulk to dry. Now you're ready for the fleshy filling.

Step 5: The Hand (Part 2)

Pour ballistics gel into mold and refrigerate. If you used enough de-molding agent, after the gel has set you should be able to pull the hand out of the mold in one piece. The final step is to paint on a few layers of liquid latex "skin".


This process may take some trial and error. The good news though, is that the whole thing doesn't cost much money. Also, once you have a really good mold, you can make many hands from the some mold. Another cool thing is that you can use this same process to mold other objects or body parts.