A skinned face for your torture chamber is one of the quickest and easiest projects to do. I first saw an example from Hocus Pocus Customs on eBay and realized it looked very similar to a mask I had picked up for $1 after Halloween. Choose a mask that has only the face.
You will need: a mask, various colors of paint, something to poke holes through the mask, either an old frame or wood to create a frame and string.
Using scissors or an Exacto knife, cut out the eyes, nostrils and mouth. Also, cut around the face so it is not as curved and to give it an uneven edge. Be sure to cut off the holes that the strap went in. Take a needle or awl and poke a hole at the top, bottom and sides of the mask as well as the diagonal points midway between. You could also use something to burn the holes in the mask.
I grow bamboo for use in my Halloween projects and my garden. So, this was an obvious material for creating a frame. I cut 4 pieces large enough to give a nice border around the mask. Secured the corners with 2 cable ties on each corner. Leave some of each end protruding past the square of the frame. Then wrap one cable tie through the inside corner and between the two ends sticking out. Crisscross it with another diagonally across the two protruding ends. Use pliers to pull these very tightly, then snip off the ends. Repeat on each corner.
Next, wrap string around the corners in every direction until there is no sign of the cable ties. The cable ties are not necessary, but you will find that if you only use string the binding can loosen over time and eventually unravel. I added some Elmer’s glue on the string to prevent it from unraveling.
Using acrylic paint mix a pale skin color and cover the entire mask. The surface will remain a bit tacky but it did seem to adhere. Then use various red and black mixes to add shadows and blood to the wrinkles in the mask and along all the edges. Tie strings through the holes you created and tie the other end to the frame.
Above is my original creation. However, after it was finished I happened upon Stiltbeast Studio’s video “Blood on the cheap” in which he compares 36 homemade blood formulas. I immediately mixed up a batch using his Elmer’s clear glue, red food coloring and a touch of blue food coloring recipe. The thickness and transparency, make it the best blood recipe I’ve used to date. The first photo in this post was made after I splotched the new blood on it. Elmer’s is washable, so the prop is no longer safe for outdoors unless it is also covered with acrylic, polyurethane or some other clear, weatherproof coating.