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.



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    23 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 5

    how about painting the inside of the mould with the latex first? then add the gel...

    3 replies
    miss janelskaar

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    if you were to paint the two halves of the mold before you poured the ballistics gel there would be a seam that would be fairly unattractive, though painting it on isnt very smooth either, theres always the option of buying a larger ammount of latex and dipping the gel hand into that but ive not much experience.

    skaarmiss janel

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 5

    i was thinking that it could be poured into the mould, and the latex rotated around it, then pour out.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    wow you know your brain epsiode got me thinking the mould and silcone could mean a prop thats is usable over and over


    7 years ago on Introduction

    how about alginate, it cures fast, pour it on the hand, wrap some plaster soaked gauze around that, when it cures, slit it up the side...


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the instructable. It was the only good instructable to take the mold of my hand usuing plaster. I must admit at first I didnt take your measurements seariously. I mean that much of plaster, then I was struck by the reality, I didnt have enough plaster for the top, so it broke. So everyone, you really need that much, not less. In addition, there are three details I would like to point out about molding: One is to be careful while choosing the plaster of paris. There are too many types, the fast drying one is the one for repair. The other thing is the hint of mixing the plaster. Always put water in to the container first, then cup by cup add the plaster. So you wont have lumps. The mixture will be saturated eventually.It has to get a yogurt type of feel. Since it dries really fast you have to be quick. The last thing is, that you mix the plaster always in the same direction. For ex. clocwise. If you mix it with towards both directions, your plasters quality will be poor. So it can crack or break easily. I hope these hints are helpfull. Thanks again.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i'd think so, as long as you put plastic wrap or tinfoil inside the mold first.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I could use this to make an edible fake hand! this year's halloween costume: Jelloman


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Lol Awesome im gonna use this to beat people lol


    hey, do you put your hand in cardboard box full of plaster and then let it sit till dry then pull out your hand?dont get mold making.can somebuddy help please?! S.O.S LOL! but really can someone break it down for me soon please?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Is that wire inside the fingers? Is that to make it stiffer? What is the shelf life of the limb? It looks like you are using knox gel, isnt that a food product?

    1 reply

    I'm in the process of creating ears for a bi-naural sound project. I have the plaster molds of my ears (which hurts a lot, btw) but I'm also curious about how long knox gel will last. Heck, maybe I'll use latex caulking to fill them in and use that as the mold...

    can you save on plaster(and make the mold lighter) by pre-filling the dead areas of the mold with scrap styrafoam? or would this increase the likelyhood of the mold cracking?


    11 years ago on Step 4

    I never bothered to use anything like caulk on a plaster mold. A big rubber band will hold it well enough, or you can just tie it, or tape it, or whatever. Also, adding the caulk will create extra space between the halves of the mold, which you don't really want. So is there a particular reason you use this? Does your ballistics gel tend to leak out a lot?

    Robot Boy

    11 years ago on Introduction

    If you're going to make two halves of a mold, maybe you could poke some finger holes around the outside of the hand to line up the two halves when they're done.