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How to Make a Costume Beard

By Alex Smith
Costume beards don't have to look ridiculous.

Beards are often needed for costumes, but the choice of commercial beards can be limited. They are often cheap and fake-looking, or realistic but expensive. There is a middle ground between cost and quality, however. A beard can be constructed on a model's face, using a base made of latex to provide durability. Once made, this beard can be removed and reapplied over and over again.

Pull the crepe wool off of the strings it is braided on. Pass a hot, dry iron over it to smooth it out. You should prepare three colors: a base tone that is close to the model's hair, plus a shade lighter and a shade darker.

Mix the three colors of crepe wool to gather to create hair that is a natural blend of colors.

Apply three layers of liquid latex onto the model's beard area, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next.

Pull a tuft of crepe wool from the bunch and round one edge with a pair of scissors.

Apply a bit of liquid latex under your model's chin, then press the cut edge of the crepe wool into the latex. Hold it in place until the latex dries, holding the wool in place.

Apply more latex to the front of the model's chin and press another rounded tuft of crepe wool into it. Allow the latex to dry.

Gradually layer tufts of wool up the sides of the face to the sideburns.

Apply latex on the upper lip, then press the edges of the wool into it to form the mustache.

Cut and style the beard as needed, then set it with hairspray. Have the model close his eyes and hold his breath while spraying.

Carefully peel the latex off of the model's face. To reapply the beard, glue it in place with latex or spirit gum, or attach a string to the two sideburns that can stretch over the top of the head.

About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.