How to Make Latex Body Parts

By Melissa J. Bell

Body part props come with the territory of any type of Halloween, fright house or horror movie project. Most professional-grade props are made by body casting real body parts, then creating latex or rubber copies from the body cast. However, body casting can be fairly difficult and a little dangerous, particularly for an unsupervised beginner. A simpler method of creating latex body parts involves creating dummy parts out of spare clothes, then directly covering the dummies with latex.

Determine what body parts you are making out of latex, and choose the appropriate clothing for that part. For example, choose a glove for a hand, the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt for an arm, pants for a leg and socks for a foot. If you wish to make a head, you will need a Styrofoam prop head.

Stuff the clothing with cotton batting and duct tape it closed. If you are working with a long body part like an arm or a leg, you may want to run a length of PVC pipe down the inside of the clothing to better hold the shape. Lay the body part on a tabletop that is covered in plastic.

Paint a layer of liquid latex over the fabric, using either a sponge, a roller or a paintbrush to apply the latex, then let it dry completely. Over this dry layer, glue pieces of craft foam to add any texture for extra detailing. If you are making a head, glue the craft foam directly to the Styrofoam without first adding a layer of latex. Be sure to build up enough craft foam to have the bone structure of a face.

Paint at least four layers of liquid latex over the craft foam, adding more details between the layers if you like. If necessary, drizzle extra latex onto the "torn" end of each limb to create a ragged look. Let the latex dry completely. Clip away any excess latex at the ends with a pair of scissors.

Airbrush latex paint over the latex, building up layers of color to create a realistic look. If you are using dark colors, you will need to make several coats to hide the natural color of the latex.

Tip

You can use different latex applicators to create different textured looks. For a reptilian skin look, use a sponge to stipple the latex onto the fabric. For a smoother look, use a roller or a paintbrush.

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.