No torture chamber, butcher shoppe or mad scientist’s lab is complete without some rusty meat hooks to display body parts. Plastic and foam chains with hooks are readily available from just about anywhere during post-Halloween sales. But, they aren’t very realistic.
Luckily, Allen Hopps of Stiltbeast Studio (watch his video tutorial) has an easy tutorial for meat hooks which I followed to create them. The one pictured here has a simple skinned face hanging from it that I created from a melted garbage bag. I’ll post that project after I’ve experimented with it a bit more.
Start out with some cheap plastic coat hangers. Simply cut them at angles to form two hooks out of each hanger.
After you have the basic shape of a hook, use a heat gun to soften the top end. Once it is soft, simply use a pair of pliers to bend it into a circle. Next, I used my soldering iron. Actually, it’s the first time I’ve used that tool to solder! In this case, instead of solder I took a piece of the leftover plastic from the hanger and laid it across the gap between the end of the hook and the end of my newly created loop.
A little practice would lead to a less rough looking hoop, but I did like that they looked homemade. I purposely made them in various sizes. Note, because I used a very cheap coat hanger, these will not hold much weight.
The final step is to paint them. These were sprayed with Rust-Oleum Orange Ultra Cover Paint & Primer which adheres well to plastic. Then, using Rust-Oleum Brown Rust Resistant Enamel, I lightly dusted them, taking care to leave some of the orange showing through. After drying an even lighter coat of Rust-Oleum Black Hammered Rust Resistant Enamel was used.
These photographs do not do them justice as they really look like rusted metal. One thing that helped them look more realistic was that the brown paint was apparently old and came out in chunks. If this would not have been the case, I probably would have sprinkled a bit of sawdust on them to give some texture. Others use oatmeal or grits to give texture to witches’ cauldrons or other items that are suppose to look like weathered, rusted metal. But, I avoid any food products as my props are stored in an attic where mice have access.