Monday, August 29, 2011

Fiji Mermaid Prop

Hi Frightners!

So I have been in prop making mode like crazy. Basically I am trying to fill out my Cabinet of Curiosities for my haunt. Thus far I have started a Dead Pixie, Shrunken Head and now I am on to a Fiji Mermaid which I am posting pictures of below.

These are all smaller props that are quick and easy to do and will bring you the best bang for your buck especially if you have a cabinet of curiosity in your haunt or a freakshow of sorts. Seeing how I am working in a circus theme this year I needed a hole bunch of strange little oddities to put on display but didn't want to spend all that much to create them.

Now I am not totally done with this Fiji Mermaid but in case you have a few free hours and want to make something cool let me go ahead and tell you how I made this little gal.

                                             ( Mermaid Fully corpsed with stain application.)

Now remember I still have a few steps to go before I am complete witth her but the base is there. Now all you will need for this is this:

1) A small skeleton. I picked up a strand of skeleton garland from my local dollar store for...yup thats right $1! There were 4 plastic skeletons on the strand all about 6 inches in length. So thats a whole lot of Fiji Mermaids! I am actually using one for my Dead Pixie Prop.

2) Tin Foil. Most of us have some tin foil at home and you will use this to create the tail section of the mermaid.

3) Cotton Balls. This is to add texture over top of the tin foil.

4) Mold Builder Latex or Glue. Now I used both and suggest you do to for a better effect but if you don't want to spend money on the Mold Builder latex which costs about $15 then Elmers Glue should work just fine.

5) Cheesecloth. You can get Cheesecloth in your local hardware store and normally it is only a few bucks and a little goes a long way!

6) A small piece of cardboard. You can find this almost anywhere around your house..if anything just use a paper towel or toilet paper roll. This is for the flipper of the tail.

7) Wood Stain. A small can is fine, you will only need a small drop or two from it, any color of stain is ok. I got a medium finish.

8)  OPTIONAL: Sculpy and a wig. These two supplies are really up to you. I am using both for some extra details. The wig is just so I can pull a few strands of hair off to use on the mermaid and the sculpy is so I can sculpt a little sea shell bikini for the mermaid.

Now on to the build!!

Building her or him, is really super easy.

First, remove the arms and the legs of the skeleton. These will only get in the way while you build and corpse your mermaid but DON'T throw the arms away, you will need them in the end.

Second, Take a small section of tin foil, maybe about a 6" x 6" square of it, you be the judge, and begin to wrap the top portion of the foil around the hips of the skeleton, the remainder of the foil should be shaped into a tail shape.

Then, cut out a flipper with your cardboard and tape it on to the end of the tail. Now you should have your basic mermaid shape.

Unroll your cotton balls and thin them out. Apply a thing layer of either glue or mold builder latex to the entire foil and flipper area front and back and then add the flattened cotton balls to it. To matte down to cotton balls go over them with a coat of the latex or glue. The cotton balls  shouldn't be puffy or dry at this point, they should be gooey and fleshy...ewww!! Hehe!

                                         ( Mermaid with the cotton balls and latex application)

Once almost dry take small squares of cheese cloth and begin to wrap the entire tail. I only used about 2 layers. Brish the cheese cloth with at least 2-3 coast of glue. The cheese cloth is going to give you a cool scaley texture for your fish bottom. Let this totally dry.

            ( Mermaid with Cheesecloth wrap, to the side are the mini clam shells for the bikini.)

Now you should have a pretty dried up looking mermaid and your read for your last step which is the stain.

Using a small brush or sponge soak up a very small amount of stain onto the brush or sponge and begin going over the cheese cloth. The cloth should look fully browned when complete. Be careful not to soak it to much as it will take longer to dry. I did not have to re-dip my sponge into the stain a second time and neither should you. You can even add some stain to the plastic skeleton too to age it more.

Your done!! Well almost. You will need to add your arms back on to the mermaid with some hot glue. You can position them however works best for you. Be sure to give them a little stain as well.

If you have a wig around, I suggest sacrificing some hair from it and adding a few strands to the head of the mermaid.

With some sculpy and some leftover cardboard you can even fashion a clamshell bikini!

                                             ( Sculpy is easy to mold into little clamshells. )

I will post final pictures of my mermaid fully complete and in its glass case but thus far this has been a fast and fun project that anyone can do in a short amount of time and with a small budget so have some fun with it and get your Fiji on!

Stay Frightful!


Steves haunted yard said...

Cool man. I did a shrunken head display and I have not vlogged it yet.

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