This project could also be titled "How to spend two weeks covered in plaster and clay, being completely frustrated, and having your family and friends think you are nuts." But...the aliens came out fantastic and as we count down the days until Halloween, I become more and more excited to show them off in our Area 51 display.
* 18" plastic skeletons
* Foam alien heads (purchased online)
* Expanding foam
* Plaster of Paris
* Plaster material (sold in a roll at Michael's)
* Modeling clay
* Spray Paint
Step 1: Alien Anatomy Lesson
Purchase 18” plastic skeletons. Remove head. Remove arms and legs. Remove hands from the arms and feet from the legs. Reattach the hands to the leg bones and the feet to the arm bones. Reattach the legs where the arms were and the arms where the legs were.
Step 2: Expanding the Body
Please be sure to wear gloves when using the expandable foam. Protect any surfaces with cardboard or plastic. It does not wash off your body or other surfaces easily!
Fill chest cavity with expanding foam. Unless you want little fat aliens, do not use too much expanding foam in the “belly area.” It will continue to expand for several hours. In this case, less is better! Build up neck, arms, and legs with expanding foam.
Step 3: Creating the Body
Cover entire body with plaster material, cut into strips and dipped in water (available at Michael’s). Allow one side to dry completely before completing other side. Dry overnight.
Step 4: Smooth It Out!
Mix Plaster of Paris with a small bit of water to create a paste (so that the Plaster does not crumble). This step is to create a smooth skin surface on the alien. Using a foam paint or craft brush, cover the entire surface of the alien. I would recommend doing the backside first. Allow one side to dry completely (overnight) before attempting the other side.
Step 5: Attach the Head
Attach the purchased foam head by placing the hollow head onto the neck of your alien and spraying expanding foam into the head/neck cavity. Do a small bit at a time. Continue to add the expanding foam around the neck and shoulder area so that the head doesn’t look too big and to provide support to the head.
Step 6: Try Your Hand (and Feet!) at Modeling Clay
Using modeling clay, create hands and feet. I stood the alien up in a box when creating the feet so that I could pack the clay around the skeleton feet and ensure a flat bottom surface of the feet. I lined the bottom of the box with wax paper (so that the feet would not stick to the cardboard), stood them up, and then ran a ribbon around his neck and through two holes on the back side of the box so that he would stay upright. Do not try to let your alien stand up by itself until the clay has dried for at least two days. You may have to add some clay to parts of the feet and do a couple trial runs before you get it to stand up on its own.
Step 7: Finally....time to Paint
Spray paint the aliens gray. Be sure to have some black paint available to touch up the eyes as necessary. The foam head came in grey with the eyes already painted black. When you are painting the body, you will need to paint the head as well to make sure that it matches. Do not use the cheap grey primer paint. If you do, your aliens will come out much too dark and you will end up repainting them a lighter color (like I did!).