How to Make a Zombie




Introduction: How to Make a Zombie

This was my first attempt at making a zombie. I took little things I saw on the web and my own creativity to make it. I hope you enjoy building this.

Step 1: Material's and Tools

News paper

Toilet paper

Paper towel

Elmer's glue

Duck tape

20 gauge hanging picture wire

Scrap wood

Cheap foam head

Foam ball (pingpong size)

Hot glue


cardboard tube

old wig

plastic garbage bag

Acrylic paint

Spar urethane

Paint brushes

Outdoor paint



Screw driver

Step 2: Start the Frame

Cut wire to the desired rib size and roll newspaper around it. Duct tape it to the cardboard tube. I created most of the body limbs this way using some wood for the arms and wire, newspaper and duct tape for the hands.

Step 3: Build the Body and Mount It

I used scrap wood in my garage for stability. If you have any leaning body parts I suggest you use wood inside so it doesn't fall or brake with temperature changes or kids. I stuffed the inside of the the body with a bag and filled it with crunched up newspaper. This gave me a shape to later apply the paper mache to between and below the ribs.

Step 4: The Head

I used a cheap foam skull and cut the bottom jaw off. I re-positioned it so the mouth is wide open and hot glued it. I then cut a foam ping pong size ball in half and glued it into the eye sockets. Then I used a scrap piece of wood and with a flat head screw driver with a hammer and chiseled gouges out of the wood for the teeth and nails. The gouges were 2 mm deep and 3/4 inch long that I then filled with hot glue and waited for it to dry (20 mins approx.). I then pried them out with a flat head. With the hot glue gun I melted holes in the skull where I wanted the teeth to sit then filled the cavity with hot glue then stuck in the teeth.

Step 5: Put the Head on

I used a lot of hot glue when putting on the head making sure I filled in most of the gaps in the mouth. Then I made a femur the same way I made the ribs but added two rolled up ball shape to the end to make it look like a bone. i stuck it in the tube and taped it. It's not anatomically correct, but it gave it that extra look it needed for the lower half of the body.

Step 6: Paper Mache

Cover the entire thing with paper mache, about 3 layers worth. Make sure to let it dry between each coat. Then add paper towel over top where there is skin. Dip the paper towel in a glue mix( 60% Elmer white glue 40% water) you can pinch the paper towel to make bites or veins. For finer detail use toilet paper. Toilet paper is great for making guts and bite marks look more realistic. After you let it dry for a couple days, paint the entire thing with outdoor paint (pick an unwanted color or mistake color as they are super cheap from the store). Wait another day for the paint to dry.

Step 7: Paint Your Zombie

I used basic acrylic paint and started with a darker color first and then added the highlights. Last, was the blood which I created with dark red food dye mixed with clear Elmer's glue. It makes it look more natural if you just drip it on. After that, cover the entire zombie with 3 coats of spar urethane. Let it dry 24 hours after each coat. Make sure you coat the wood as well, especially if you live in a rainy area. For the hair, take an old wig and rough it up. I used a permanent marker to dull the hair little. Hot glue the head and place the wig on. Wait for it to dry to glue the edges of the hair down to the wood base.



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    23 Discussions

    Thanks for your kind words :) I used acrylic paints and mixed some red food colouring with PVC glue for the blood , lol I originally had the arm attached however I was not happy with the length of it and chopped it off . The bottom of the arm is timber so I plan on reattaching a shorter forearm this time ... I will definitely put the urethane on to get that yellowish green look ... Not to worried about the weather here in aus though.
    I've got a week to finish it before my New Years " z " party

    Having difficulties with the arm atm but overall pleased with how it's coming together

    1 reply

    I like this so far and see your got some great talent. What kind of paint are you using ? I built the entire skeleton first then built on that. i am not sure how your going to get the hand on there but so far your zombie is creepy :) When you add the urethane its going to give it a greenish look. My zombie looks better now then it did when i first did it because the urethane turned more greenish yellow with time. It held up to the rainy seattle weather and is ready for the next years scare :)

    Borrowed some ideas off your awesome zombie thanks for the inspiration ... Still abit left to go with mine though :)

    1 reply

    Looking goood so far :) I would make the eyes red and put veins in her eye.Please send me a pick when your done :) i love to see it :) I am going to start making my new zombie in may-june, I am going to try one of the zombies from the February episode of walking dead :)


    3 years ago

    I made one but in a boy version thank you for the inspiration.

    2 replies

    Thank you !! I rolled triple ply toilet paper in long tubes and soaked them in Paper Mache solution I made. The Green is a Bath & Body candle I dripped over the guts to give it more of a Gore. My neighbors are all very scared to walk their Dogs near my Zombie. LOL Thank you for the inspiration I really liked how your project came out. Very Talented

    bad azz idea. awesome details ( never thought of using papertowels that way ). I will be trying this, possibly adding some internal lighting. thank you for rocking this out!

    1 reply

    Thank you very much :) I love the idea of adding lights !! i think i do that next year to one of my creations!!

    She's so creepy looking! Reminds me of the first episode of the Walking Dead! Thanks for sharing!