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How Do I Make Fake Scars?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 23, 2024
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There are a couple of different ways to make scars for your face or body, and some are more believable and involved than others. One of the simplest ways to get started is to make a mound of fake skin out of a simple flour and water paste that you can stick onto yourself and embellish. If you have access to basic cosmetic products like eyeliner, mascara, and liquid foundation, you may also elect to draw a blemish onto the surface of your skin. The best results usually come from professional scar wax or theatrical makeup. Making fake scars can take a lot of patience and practice, but with time it’s usually pretty easy to get good results.

Flour and Water Paste

Beginners often have the best luck by starting with a fake skin compound made out of flour and water. Slowly add spoonfuls of warm water to a small pile of all-purpose flour until you get a dry dough. Break off a small piece and roll it to form the general outline of the scar you want to produce, then stick it on to your skin. You will probably need a bit of vegetable oil to help seal it around the edges, and covering the blemish with a neutral foundation can help it look more realistic. As it dries, try adding texture with a dull knife or toothpick, then dust a light powder over the top to help things set. Don’t be too discouraged if things seem messy and uneven; up close it might look somewhat sloppy, but this sort of imperfection often looks very believable from a distance.

Using Cosmetics

Another method involves the use of basic cosmetics. You can create the look of a raised scar by smearing foundation a shade or two darker than your normal skin onto the area you want to highlight. Outline the shape of your blemish with an eye or lip pencil, then use liquid eyeliner to add stitch marks or scar tissue. It often helps to pat baby powder on top to seal things, followed bit of mascara to really draw attention to your work; fanning the mascara wand across the surface of the scar can give it a bumpy look and also adds texture.

Scar Wax and Professional Alternatives

Costume suppliers and theater companies typically use special scar wax for actors who need to look wounded, and this type of product is often available to the general public, too. You may have to spend a bit of time researching suppliers in your area or tracking down products online, but in most cases the search is worth it. Scar wax is usually made of a composite of different oils and natural compounds specially formulated to stick really well to the skin. Each brand of wax is a little bit different, but in most cases all you have to do is break off the amount you need, warm it slightly in order to form it, then add the desired textures and colors.

Techniques for Adding Stitches

People who want really realistic fake scars often add fake stitches, too. You can draw stitches with makeup, but you’ll usually get a better look if you actually use string or thread. Fishing wire is also a popular choice. It’s usually easiest to put the stitches on before you attach the scar to your skin, since this lessens the risk of poking yourself in the process.

Lace a bit of your stitching through a blunt needle, then thread it through the top edge of your scar on either the left or right hand side. Make downward stitches, top to bottom, from end to end; tie things off with a knot and consider leaving a few straggling ends hanging. Looking at photos or real-life examples tends to be very helpful and can spur your creativity. If actual stitching just isn't for you, consider using staples to close the wound, though this tends to work best with thick scars that can hold up most if not all of the metal "legs."

Embellishment Ideas

Fake scars often look the most realistic when they’re paired with fake blood and bruising. You can make fake blood by mixing a bit of corn syrup, red and blue food coloring, cornstarch, and cocoa powder. When you are happy with the color of this mixture, brush the “blood” into the cut with a cotton swap, small paintbrush, or the tips of your fingers. Create bruises by patting a bit of dark eye shadow onto the skin right around your scar.

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Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Musical Expert writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon947841 — On Apr 27, 2014

I always wake up with a real scar from scratching myself when asleep.

By sunshined — On Nov 28, 2012

Making fake scars sounds like something my brother and his buddies would love to do. I can see them really getting into this, making fake blood and the whole works.

I don't think I will pass any of this information along to him. I can see him making a fake scar and showing it to my mom. He would also probably make up a story about a knife fight he was in or something like that. The last thing my mom needs is a practical joke like that.

By SarahSon — On Nov 27, 2012
My daughter volunteers at a local community theater and she has made fake scars before. I have seen some of her finished projects and they look pretty real. From where you are sitting in the audience, you would think they are the real thing.

By andee — On Nov 27, 2012

At first I thought, why would you want to make a fake scar? I have scars that I am trying to get rid of, but now it makes sense that you might want to do this for a costume party or a theater production.

It sounds like you can make some pretty realistic looking scars. I liked the idea of using staples to make it look like you had stitches, as long as you really didn't poke yourself as you were doing it.

By cloudel — On Nov 27, 2012

@orangey03 – You can buy them premade, but to me, they don't look as real as the ones you can make at home. Also, you will most likely have to buy additional products like special gels or glues to attach them, and that can make the price go up quickly.

If you are afraid you won't be able to make a good scar at home, you should practice your technique weeks before whatever event to which you are going to be wearing the scar. If you try several methods, then you will surely be able to perfect one of them in time for the event.

By orangey03 — On Nov 26, 2012

Is it possible to buy fake scars already made from a costume shop? I doubt my artistic talent would be good enough for me to make a convincing one at home.

By Oceana — On Nov 26, 2012

I have never attempted to make a fake scar, but the advice in this article sounds very interesting. I can definitely see how mascara would provide a good texture to a fake scar.

I know that flour and water does cling to the skin very well, because there have been times when I've been in the kitchen baking and I notice a clump of flour on my arm hours later. When I try to pick it off, it puts up a fight!

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Musical Expert writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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