Horror Masks & Scary Costume Ideas

How to make a Gelatine Base

How to make up a base batch of gelatine for the purposes of zombie makeup and prosthetics.

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Gelatine, when hot, is extremely capaple of burning you, taking off skin, or blinding if you get in your eyes. Wear eye and hand protection and be very careful of hot gelatine.
Photo of Gelatine Ingredients
Base Ingredients

Gelatine is made from bones. So it's sort of appropriate for Zombie costumes, but not suitable for vegans.
The glycerin used in this is as a stabilizer. It helps the gelatine to be 'rubbery' without falling apart like standard edible jelly. It can be obtained from drug stores.

I tend to prepare my gelatine in bulk in advance. Once made, the block of gelatine may be stored in the freezer, or the fridge for short periods of time. This base can be used for gelatine skin effects, as well as foaming it (see foamed gelatine basics

Photo of Gelatine Ingredients
When heated it will be liquid

How to make the base

Combine the gelatine powder (not Jello - you want unsweetened unflavored powdered gelatine), glycerin and water in a microwave safe bowl and stir thoroughly to mix. You can add color at this stage if you are certain that you are happy with the skin tone, but I would recommend adding it at the 'usage' stage, and certainly after testing it on small amounts first. The images on this page have had the acrylic added. Plain gelatine will be transparent.

Microwave for 20 seconds (for approx. half a cup of mixture). If you are not sure how long to do it, do it less than you think and do multiple shorter bursts until the gelatine is molten. Gelatine is not unlike melted plastic when hot, and will burn horrifically without coming off your skin. Also when it gets too hot it will degrade and become useless.

Photo of Gelatine Ingredients
When cooled, the gelatine is somewhat like rubber

When it is melted stir the mixture with a plastic implement (metal will cool and degrade it) until there are no lumps. Pour into tupperware / some suitable container (if your mixing bowl is not suitable).
Place the container on a bowl of ice to cool it quicker.

Once it is cool, you are ready to use it for gelatin skin or for foaming gelatine prosthetics