Making Your Very Own Friend! or at Least a Foam Dummy...

About: Hi everyone! Likely the most vocal member of Manufactured Fear, here. Welcome to our little twisted corner of the universe. We specialize in crafting the things that go bump in the night. And food, because t...

So many great projects start with a need for a body. Since not everyone has unlimited numbers of friends willing to subject themselves to whatever horrors you may have in mind, I decided to share with your the secret to creating your very own friend. Who, if you don't give them a mouth, can't complain about any of the things you put them thru.

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Step 1: Materials Needed

3-D Body Mold (We used a clothing display dummy)
Plastic Wrap
couple cans of Great Stuff spray foam
Something heavy to use as weights

Step 2: Laying the Plastic

This is definitely the most difficult part of this whole project. So patience and practice is needed to get it right. Pick the center of your mold and stretch the plastic till its about 6-8 inches past the front of your mold. You can't go too far past it. Better to have extra than not enough. Start pushing the plastic into the mold and holding it into place with your weights. Try and eliminate the big wrinkles and air pockets. Pick one side and repeat the same step as above, making sure to stagger the plastic to meet the sheet you already laid and to have enough to cover the sides with a little overhang to make it easy to pull out of the mold. Repeat again on the other side. 

Step 3: Foam!

Now that the hard part is over you can have a little fun. Well, fun to the easily entertained(like me). I chose to go to the grass to do this part, but you want to do this in an easy clean-up area, the foam sticks to anything and is almost impossible to get off. Follow the directions on the can for shaking it. From my trials, the longer you shake it the more you can get out of the can. 
When spraying the foam, squeeze the trigger all the way, line the edges of the mold first. Then loosely fill the middle. 

Step 4: Adding Depth

If you just need the rough outline of a body one cane of sprayfoam till be enough to give your body dimension. However if you need a little more solid body I like to use two canes. Letting the first can dry first. This will make the bodies thick enough to carve into.

Step 5: Demolding

Once the foam has set completely, just turn the bodies over and the foam and plastic wrap usually just slips out, if not just pull gently on the plastic till it releases. 

Step 6: Finishing

You can either pull out the plastic wrap from the foam or use a heat gun to melt it to the foam for the start of a corpsed look. If you're just using the foam to stuff clothing for dummies. If you use a heat gun, make sure to use a respirator or be in a well ventilated area as the melting foam can be pretty hazardous to your health. 

This is definitely still a work in progress. We'll be back soon with more ways to finish the foam into zombie bodies, corpses, and dummies. So keep an eye on this one!

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    12 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Use car wax vs plastic wrap so that will release the foam from the torso mold. Just be sure you get the wax on every area of the form where the foam will touch or it will stick


    5 years ago

    Have you tried a light spray adhesive to hold the plastic down? I didnt know it would give it a cleaner look or if the rocks were noticeable when you pull the form out of the mold. Love the Instructable too!

    2 replies

    Wow SORRY! Your comment got ate by the interwebs! I sincerely apologize for missing this! I don't leave the rocks in when I start spraying the foam. All the rocks do is hold the plastic down while you stretch all the pieces across. If you don't have something to hold it down it seems to just want to stick to itself and each other and get all wonky. I think using a spray adhesive might worry me of getting the mold locked to the foam. If you try it let me know cause I'll add a notation so other people can try it.

    All good! I got anxious and tried it anyway! It worked great! Just a quick spray with a light adhesive, plastic wrap and foam! I did this for the Zombie Prop I wrote an Instructable on and I did credit you with the idea (and linked!)! I didn't really have any issue with it "locking up" in the mold, but I did have a few "gooey" spots where it didn't cure right, but still perfect for a rotting corpse. I think next time I will (or would suggest) spraying a bit of water on it so the foam will cure on the bottom as well, but that may have just been me using too much expanding foam to begin with. But thank you VERY much for this instructable! It was my first one to try and now I can't stop making stuff! Lol!


    You can pick them up almost anywhere that sells clothes. Our favorite places are Goodwill, Salvation Army, and discount stores like Gabriel Brothers or Ollies. You can also try places like Kmart and Walmart, they might not be able to give them to you right away, but if you keep showing up and askign as they cycle through their stock sometimes they'll just give them too you. Oh and also try Halloween shops like Spirit or Halloween City, they usually just trash them at the end of the season.


    5 years ago on Step 6

    I plan on using this method to create a gravestone prop. Would you mind if I posted the directions when I do make it? I'll credit you for the idea of course. :)

    1 reply

    Yeah sure, go for it. I'd love to see a picture of your finished work! We did tombstones last year, but we did them out of sheet foam. If you're planning to do very many, that way might be cheaper for you.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This would be good to wrap in that cotton spider webbing stuff and the hang upside down as the husk of a giant spider victim.

    1 reply

    The great thing about the foam is instead of just hiding it under the webbing, you can dig out the middle of the belly, paint some guts and glue spiders pouring out of it. You know, for that extra twisted edge ;)