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"Withered Skin For Static Indoor Props"

This is really tedious and messy but pretty effective if you have the time.

1. Set up a work area: I used a 2'x4' board and covered it with Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (shiny side up). Wax paper would probably work well also....except you'd have to tape it down.

2. Take a 2 ply unscented white Kleenex and separate the plies. Open each ply and lay both of them down on your work surface, creased fold facing down. (If you find that you have a tendency to use a LOT of glue, don't separate the plies.)

3. Take a bottle of Elmer's glue (I buy the gallon size and use it to refill my smaller 'squirt' bottles of Elmer's) and spread (squirt) glue over the bottom halves of each tissue ply. (I use a sort of cross-hatching method and I try to keep the glue lines fairly thin so I don't OVER saturate the tissue.) This is definitely a trial and error process...too little glue and the plies will separate......too much glue and you've got a good messy blob (however too little and too much can have applications elsewhere...for now we'll just concentrate on the withered skin technique.)

Here's two different photos of the 'cross-hatching'. I tried to use a colored 'craft substance' so it would be easier to see (in the second photo).

This is a tombstone prop-arm made out of wire & masking tape (ala Scott N's Ghostly Hands method) paper towel, snot-rag mache, and paint. The nails were made out of FIMO clay. (See IMPY for another example)

4. After 'cross-hatching' the lower part of the tissue plies, gently and carefully fold the top half of the ply down over the you make a sort of Kleenex/glue/Kleenex sandwich with each tissue ply.

5. Gently press the 'sandwich' together with your hand (from the top as it is laying on your work surface)...this makes for some good messy and sticky fun!
You could lay a piece of waxed paper (waxed side down) over the tissue and press it that way...but you're still going to get glue on your hands when you apply this stuff to your prop. : )

6. Let the tissue sit for a few minutes (again..trial and error) and then gently lift and peel the tissue from the aluminum foil work surface. If the tissue isn't fully saturated on the top side, flip it over and wait a minute or two.
Try not to let the tissue fold over itself (unless you WANT it to)'s like duct tape and almost impossible to separate without destroying it. : )

Your method of application will depend on what type of surface texture you're hoping to achieve. For the 'withered-dried-up-look' this is what I did:

Each 'tissue sandwich' will cover an area approximately half the size of the flattened tissue sandwich. (I'm sure there's a more eloquent way to say this, but I'll be damned if I can think of any.) What you'll be trying to do is to 'bunch' up the the Kleenex like an accordion...from left to right or right to left. Try to envision it as a wave....and press down each low spot of the Kleenex to attach to the object (prop) you are covering. Move from one side to the 'wave' at a time. If you have good 'saturation' you may only have to press down the top and bottom of the wave (as gravity will help you attach the 'skin').

You must attach the withered skin from the top of your object....otherwise gravity can (and WILL) work against you. Example: Attaching skin to the bottom of a prop. Gravity will cause the tissue to fall away and or billow out from your object. Simply flip your object over......but if you have wet 'snot-rag' on the opposite side, you'll have to wait for it to dry. This is one of the reasons this method is so time consuming.

As soon as a section is dry, I use a latex base coat (a dark undercoat) of paint to help seal and strengthen the 'withered tissue skin' before I move on to other areas. Be careful not to apply the latex paint in thick layers or you can eliminate the textured surface you're trying to achieve. A thin (but completely covering) layer of latex is all you need and it will dry faster.

After the entire base coat has dried I use a lighter paint with an almost dry brush and paint the 'raised' areas (for contrast and detailing). The effects you can achieve are pretty amazing.

This is a tombstone prop-arm made out of wire & masking tape (ala Scott N's Ghostly Hands method) paper towel, snot-rag mache, and paint. The nails were made out of FIMO clay. (See IMPY for another example)