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Fake Injuries: Making Knife Stab Wounds and Sticking-out Objects (How to Make a Staple Wound)

Updated on January 28, 2013

Previously I have shown how to create fake small cuts and two types of bruises (fresh and healing), useful for anyone needing theatrical make up effects, or for films, or simply for Hallowe'en or other costume events.

This article will take you through the steps of taking the fake wounds further, to give the effect of stab wounds with objects still protruding out of them. The basis for this is very similar as the fake cuts, which you might want to look over here:

As before, you will need:

  • Plasticine (pink or similar flesh colour)
  • Red grease-based make up
  • White make up or similar for blending
  • The offending object

For this first attempt, we'll start off with something small.


To make a just-been-stapled effect, start off as with the small cut.

Create two raised skin areas using the plasticine. Shape them into two small humps, the right distance between the two points of the staple in question.

Make a small hole or well in each of the lumps. Put a dab or the red grease-based into both of them.

It's generally easier to blend the edges with your skin tone before you attach the staple. As before with the fake cut, use the white to blend the the raised bumps to match the surrounding area. Leaving a bit of pink gives that infected, agitated look.

Finally, slip the staple into the two lumps. The plasticine around the edges, and the slightly sticky grease-based make up underneath, should keep it in place. For a wound that may involve more moving around, you may need something more adhesive to keep it in place.

Spirit gum is widely used by the make up and prothestic effects people in films and theatre. It can be used for applying facial hair, wigs and other prothestic enhancements. As such, it is useful for what we are attempting here.

Once the staple is in place, and the skin tone blended, that's the wound finished. You now have a rather effective looking staple wound.

Taking it further

Once you have mastered the cut/open wound base, you can, together with the spirit gum adhesive, begin experimenting with much larger objects.

For example:

  • Use a knife handle to create the classic knife stab wound.
  • Similar to the staple, create a series of raised-flesh lumps and attach a fork for a rather nasty cutlery related wound.
  • Break off part of a pencil and attach the larger part of it for a pencil attack.
  • Or break a pencil into three parts; two large sections from either end, with a smaller piece in the middle, perhaps 3cm long. Discard the smaller middle bit and use the other two sections, attaching them on either side of your hand. A pencil stabbed right through your hand!

Once you have the basic ideas, don't be afraid to run with them and create new and effective looking injuries.


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    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 

      8 years ago from UK

      Neat explanation of how to get a convincing staple injury - enjoyable in a slightly macabre way.


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