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I want to build a life size skeletal/zombie warrior with leather armor and helmet or hood, but do not want to spend a lot of money. The creature will be mostly made of paper mache and monster mud, so I just need to simulate the look some how. Any one have any good ideas for a solution?
 

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See my tutorial for "spell book" and use the same technique ( type of decoupage) , its super cheap and easy. And if you are paper mache-ing you (should) have the things to do it with.

Macsrealm
 

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You need cardboard cut into the shape you want it, paper mache paste or decoupage medium, blue shop towels or paper towels, black and brown acrylic paints, and waterproofer or sealant of your choice.

After cutting the cardboard shape, add any 3D shape you need with wadded up paper towels and duct tape... Once you have the shape you desire, dip the paper towels in the paste, and apply to the shape. With your fingers, crumple and squish the paper towel into the texture you desire - either more smooth or more wrinkled - this will convey the age of the leather - the amount of wrinkles you add. After the paper mache paste is completely dry, paint solid brown, then once that is dry, either add watered down black paint and towel off the excess off, or dry brush the black on, using a LIGHT hand to pick up the texture of the wrinkles. Let dry, seal.

Quick, easy, and cheap.
 

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Go to your local car upholsterer. Ask them if they have any vinyl scraps they are throwing out that you can have. I got tons of it years ago. Lots of different colors too. I used it for all kinds of projects where I wanted a leather look. And it's already fairly water proof. You can sew it, hot glue it, staple it, etc.
 
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