When you said you wanted to get tanned, we’ll bet this wasn’t what you meant! We saw this eerie image floating all over Pinterest but were unable to locate the original artist. So we decided to try it out for ourselves – and it’s surprisingly easy.
Here’s how to craft a super-creepy “skinned” (cut away from the skull)-face Halloween prop just like the one shown. Happy haunting – and don’t go into the woods alone.
- A creepy latex face mask. Searching for masks under “old man,” “zombie” or “baby” (an example is shown at right) on Amazon or ebay will give you great ideas.*
- An Exacto knife.
- Acrylic paints. We suggest deep red, black, and white.
- A weathered photo frame large enough to stretch your mask across.
- Sandpaper, if you want to distress/weather a standard wooden frame.
- A kitchen or sea sponge and a small paintbrush.
- A heavy-duty hole punch.
- Short nails (to go into the sides of the frame).
- A hammer.
*If you are allergic to latex, look for a realistic non-latex mask. It may not be as stretchy, but you can get a similar effect by distressing the mask as described in the steps below.
Step One: Start Cutting
- Cut the face of your mask so it’s easy to stretch somewhat flat. Don’t worry about getting too exact with this. You want it to look cut somewhat haphazardly.
- If the eye holes aren’t very large, cut them a bit wider. The idea is that the skin has been cut away from the skull. (We know – eew!)
- If the mouth is not open, cut a slit between the lips and make sure it gapes when stretched.
- Punch holes near the edges of the face (as shown) using the hole punch. If your hole punch isn’t quite sturdy enough to do the trick, cut holes or slits with your Exacto knife.
Step Two: Add Paint
- For depth, dip your dry sponge into some black acrylic paint. Dab lightly on the insides of the eye and mouth holes. Again, don’t be too exact. (TIP: If you already have plenty of depth in the mask, you can skip this and the next step.)
- Using a different area of your sponge, add a few dabs of gray inside the eye and mouth holes for more depth. Now extend dabs of sickly gray-black across the face if you wish. Allow to dry.
Step Three: Stretch the Face
- If you want to distress your frame, rough it up with your sandpaper and smear streaks using your sponge and the gray paint; allow to dry.
- Hammer nails into the outsides of the frame where you want the twine to extend outward. These can be slightly off-kilter; again, messier and more haphazard is better.
- Cut pieces of twine for each of the holes you have punched into the mask. Tie one twine piece through each hole.
- Pull each piece of twine taut to stretch the mask and make it look extra-creepy. (Be careful not to pull TOO hard or you may tear the mask. Just have it look stretched out, with the eyes and mouth gaping.)
- Secure each piece of twine around its corresponding nail and tie tightly.
Step Four: Finishing Touches
To give your stretched face gory realism, dab/smear dribbles of red paint onto the mask, the twine, and the photo frame. Remember: messier is better!
You can also mix red with a bit of black to get deeper, “older”/dried-blood colors. Dab with your sponge or toss onto the face with a paintbrush for extra splatter.
Allow your creepy creation to dry completely before hanging. Enjoy!