With both Zombie Day and Halloween drawing closer, you’re going to need some gruesome wounds, stat! I hinted at my own wound-making recipes in a past post, but now all shall be revealed!
My favorite way to make nasty-looking wounds is with unflavored gelatin. It doesn’t necessarily have to be unflavored; if you want your wound to have different colors from flavored gelatin that’s up to you! (You should bear in mind though, that colored gelatin will probably stain your skin.) The great thing about this method is that you can use various additional media to create many different textures, and you don’t need any special glue to attach the wound to your skin. Just glob it onto you while it’s still wet and let it dry on you; it will stick by itself.
Take some cotton balls and get them wet with hot water. Stir it around to sort of break them up. Add the gelatin. How much you add isn’t that important, it will just make the texture a little different, so you can experiment. It’s better to add too much than too little, because without enough gelatin, the cosmetic won’t solidify or stick to you.
Once you have the gelatin stirred in and it’s cooled down enough to handle, glob it onto your skin and sculpt it with your fingers so that it looks how you want it to. The cotton balls give it kind of a fibrous, lumpy texture. Once the wound has dried and solidified, you can add makeup to it. Paint it to match your skin tone, then add blood, bruise colors, or whatever other colors you need. You can stick in things like pins, bolts, or other hardware, fake eyeballs like in the awesome droopy-eye wound shown above, fake knives or other costume props, or sew big uneven stitches into it.
When you’ve finished with your creepy shenanigans, the wound will peel off with a little effort, or you can try dissolving it off with water.
You don’t have to use just cotton balls, either. Try using corn flakes, tissues or toilet paper, shredded paper, or anything else you want to experiment with! All of these media will give you different textures, so think about how you want your wound to look before you make it. You can even try mixing different media together.
Similar types of wounds can be made with latex glue, or liquid latex that’s safe for use on skin, instead of gelatin. That might not be as cheap, but it depends on what’s available to you. Here’s an Instructable for using latex and toilet paper. It will also give you some good ideas about shaping wounds and creating additional, realistic textures.
You can also make great wounds using marshmallows. Just mash up some marshmallows with your fingers, and shape them to the size you want. These ones are cool because they remain soft and gushy while still maintaining basically the same shape. You should mostly paint them and decorate them before you put them on, and you have to glue them on with latex glue or spirit gum. Once they are glued on to your skin you can add some of the messier effects like blood.
Speaking of blood, I’ve given this recipe before, but it bears reiteration. It’s simple! Just mix together corn syrup with enough red food coloring to get the shade of red you desire. Common additional ingredients are cocoa powder to make it darker and to give it a realistic brownish color when it dries, peanut butter to make it thicker, or liquid soap to make it slimier.
What I have yet to figure out or find is a recipe for realistic-looking fake pus. On the other hand, maybe that’s just a bit too gross.
As a bonus, here’s some instructions from Indy Mogul on how to make a fake brain!