DIY Halloween Decorations, Halloween Corpse
(Photo by Credit: Straight 8 Photography)

DIY Halloween Decorations: How to Build a Movie-Quality Corpse for $50

Greetings, ghouls and girls! Our favorite time of year is here, and if you are like me, your wallet seems to get emptied buying expensive Halloween decorations at these pop-up seasonal stores. Well, let me show you a quick and easy method for creating a movie-quality prop for a fraction of the price! Plus, if this isn’t the best parent-kid bonding project, I don’t know what is! 

DIY Halloween Decorations Materials

Cheap skeleton from Walmart, odorless mineral spirits, clear silicone caulk, spray adhesive, heat gun, red acrylic paint or antiquing gel, plastic drop cloth (0.7 Mil), rubber gloves, weird sense of humor.

Step 1

DIY Halloween Decorations, spray paint
(Photo by Credit: Straight 8 Photography)

Take your skeleton and give him a light spray down with the adhesive glue. Next, wrap him in the thin plastic, making sure you cover the entire body. Keep spraying as you wrap to guarantee maximum contact. There’s no rhyme or reason here; just make sure he has about two layers covering his bones.

Step 2

Halloween Corpse, heat gun

Grab your heat gun and get to melting! As you start heating things up, the plastic will act like shrink wrap around the bones. Feel free to go overboard and melt all the way through the plastic at certain points (ribs, lower leg bones, etc.). Once completed, you will start to see the rotting-skin look form! 

Step 3

Halloween Corpse, silicone
(Photo by Credit: Straight 8 Photography)

Let’s mix the silicone skin! Make sure you are outside for this one, as the fumes can get overwhelming. Pour some mineral spirits in a bowl, followed by a tube of clear caulk. A good ratio is four ounces of mineral spirits for one tube of caulk. Once that is mixed, slowly start adding your paint (a little goes a long way). I like to do one batch of bright red. Apply it on the skeleton and then come back and make another batch of dark red or black. This way, you have some gross contrast to your corpse.

Step 4

Halloween Corpse, skin
(Photo by Credit: Straight 8 Photography)

Time to spread the love! This is by far the best part. With rubber gloves on, start spreading the silicone skin all over the plastic. Make sure you get in every crevice, both front and back. It’s OK to leave a little exposed bone here and there — it adds to the illusion. Once that is on, go back and mix a batch of dark silicone and sparingly spread it on top.

Step 5

Halloween Corpse, dry
(Photo by Credit: Straight 8 Photography)

Let your rotting corpse dry for a few hours, and then it’s time to show the world! I usually make two — one for our home haunt decorations and one to throw in a dumpster to give the trash men some mid-week excitement. OK, just kidding, but that does bring up a good point. Disposing of this creation can pose a problem due to its realism. Stuffing it in a plastic bag and tossing it in the trash may get some unwanted attention. So, maybe donating it to your local haunted attraction might be a good option. Enjoy, you sick bastard! 

P.S. — If you’re looking for some great horror movies to soak in the season, we have a list of the best horror movies based on true stories.

The above piece on DIY Halloween Decorations is directly from Skillset Magazine. Pick up digital and physical copies at

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