How to Make Fast Gelatin Horn Prosthetics by PTBarpun

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Hi friends! My unhealthy gelatin obsession continues (because it's a dream come true for us super broke artists who live in the middle of nowhere with no SFX stores but PLENTY of grocery stores nearby!) and here I'll show you how I quickly whip up gelatin horns! Total time was around 3 hours between sculpting, making the mold, filling it, letting it set and doing a basic paint job! Here we go!

Step 1: Make donuts with some clay! My clay of choice for this was Chavant NSP medium modeling clay, but when I first got into FX I actually used clay from Dollar Tree! So any modeling clay you can get your hands on! MAKE THOSE DONUTS!

Step 2: Roughly smooth down the sides of your donut and blend down the outside edges. Doesn't need to look pretty you just need your donut to be headed in the right direction!

Step 3: Further smooth down the edges of your donut and make them look prettier! Blend that edge!

Step 4: I used a spoolie (mascara wand) with some mineral spirits (you can use alcohol though!) to begin to really smooth out the outside of our donuts, the spoolie will leave some rough streaks so then you can go in with a silicone clay tool to help get rid of the spoolie streaks :D 

Step 5: Use a sharp edged tool to add cracks to the top of your donut...which I guess looks more like a volcano now... add cracks to your volcano!

Step 6: More mineral spirits (or alcohol!) on a brush to soften those cracks on your donu-on your volcano.

Step 7: Take some more clay and shape them into horns with your fingers, while forming them hold them over your donut-volcanoes to make sure the bottoms are small enough to fit in!

Step 8: Place your horns inside your donut-volcanoes and gently push the edges against your horn. If you're using chavant clay like I did, you can quickly use a heat gun (or blow dryer!) to make the edges a little softer so they bend inward better.

Step 9: make a clay snake and press that little dude down to make a border for your donut-volcanoes.

Step 10: Take a piece of thin cardboard and push it into your clay snake, take a clay tool and secure it around the outside of the cardboard.

Step 11: Make more snakes, add more cardboard. Put smaller clay snakes along the corners and anywhere there might be holes.

AStep 12: Fill that jazz with alginate (optional: lube up your horns with vaseline first to make removal easier! This clay is really hard/not sticky so I wasn't worried about anything getting stuck.)

Step 13: How quickly your alginate sets will depend on how warm your water is (I always use cold water to make sure I have plenty of time, since this stuff can set scary fast) but generally after 15 minutes it should be totally set. Carefully remove your cardboard borders and then lift the alginate very very carefully. You may need to use a butter knife or something else flat and as you lift the alginate use the knife to help guide the clay out. Be very patient with this step as alginate can tear very easily if you're not gentle, and then you'll need to start from the beginning!

Step 14: I had spare gelatin  I could reheat but the recipe is super simple - if you're nearby a Walmart or another grocery store and pharmacy, you're within reach of gelatin supplies! Take equal parts gelatin powder (in the baking aisle of your grocery store), glycerin (you can usually find this near bandages/treatments for dry skin in Walmart and near first aid items in pharmacies. It's typically used for extremely dry skin.) and water, some folks pop this mixture in the microwave for 7 seconds at a time until totally melted together, I prefer to slowly heat it on the stove until the gelatin crystals melt.

At which point mix in any powder pigment, acrylic paint or foundation to color your gelatin and it's ready for your mold! Once poured in, put this baby in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Step 15: Carefully remove the gelatin from the alginate. Admire your excellent handiwork.

Step 16: Take whatever paints you want and paint those gelatin boiz! Ta daaa!!

I apply these to my face with prosaide cream because I can also use the cream to blend the edge into my skin. If your edges are as thick as these you can help blend them into your skin by creating freckles/spatter/some kind of texture into your design where the horns meet your skin. Especially if you're just taking photos for a portfolio and a little from a distance no one will spot the edge.

Another possible solution for a thick edge include the somewhat delicate procedure of using very warm water on a q tip or small brush to make the edges smaller. Gelatin will begin to dissolve and break down in warm water. Best to do this before your paint job! I'd recommend making sure you keep your fingers wet for this because once you start breaking down those edges the gelatin will become very very sticky, and if it sticks too much to your fingers it will begin to tear. Like I said, delicate procedure!

Last thing, a warning! I've attempted to use spirit gum to stick on prosthetics with this gelatin recipe and something freaky deaky happens, mainly that the gelatin seems to remove the stickiness from spirit gum and becomes very moist (like it's sweating!) I have no idea why this happens but I learned my lesson hardcore. The prosthetics just slip right off! I'd definitely recommend using prosaide or if they're not too large, you can use liquid latex or you can warm up more gelatin and use that as a glue.

Materials used:
Modeling Clay
Sculpting Tools
Spoolie (Mascara Wand)
Small brushes
Mineral spirits
FX gelatin
Smooth-On alginate
Mehron Body Paints

PTBarpun is a special effects makeup artist, body painter and partnered live streamer for

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