How To Make a Realistic Horror Skull Prop

Time for another prop-making tutorial with effects artist Frank Ippolito! This week, we stop by Frank’s shop to learn how to transform a cheap plastic skull into a gory horror prop using simple materials. By layering and sculpting cotton and latex, we can simulate gross charred flesh on the skull or any other body part. It’s very effective! (This video was brought to you by Premium memberships on Tested. Learn more about how you can support us by joining the Tested Premium community!)

Video shot and edited by Joey Fameli
Music Library provided by Jingle Punks

Comments (10)

10 thoughts on “How To Make a Realistic Horror Skull Prop

  1. great job Frank!!! I’ve never tried anything like this but this video makes me think I can at least attempt it. On a side note, Is it me or does this look exactly like the skull from The Mummy?

  2. Awesome! I’d love to some of this stuff with Norm doing it side-by-side with Frank to get a sense of how difficult it is to get good results from an amateur. Watching guys like Frank or Adam make everything they do look real easy because of their experience!

  3. cool stuff! seeing how the cotton reacts with the sticky latex to pull into this random strand-y, string-y texture is a treat. i can see how that comes in useful for several applications.

    good job frank!

    as for how much can beginners expect: i guess a lot of what makes frank’s skull so convincing is that he gets the large anatomical shapes right – within reason, since it’s about recreating anatomy that has been exposed to a history of destructive effects. correct me if i’m wrong, but i’d say if you read up on the big muscle groups beforehand, you should be well armed.

    i find that in drawing, what i really use more than “actual” anatomical knowledge is the big mental library of shapes you build up over time. i can’t imagine it’s much different for frank, who must have in the back of his head a whole slew of images of all kinds of horror props that inform the choices of each project as a kind of background or aesthetic context.

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