How to make fake stubble

Written by alex smith
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How to make fake stubble
Make fake stubble that looks real. (Getty Thinkstock)

Theatrical shows have the benefit of an audience viewing the show from a distance, allowing make-up such as fake stubble to be painted on. Creating realistic stubble can be a challenge for a character that will be viewed up close, in a film or at a costume party. You can make stubble out of crepe wool, which is sold at most costume shops. This stubble is glued to the skin to create a three-dimensional effect.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Crepe wool
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Spirit gum
  • Clean mascara wand

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  1. 1

    Chop crepe wool into tiny pieces with a sharp pair of scissors. The pieces should be 3 mm (1/8 inch) or shorter. Do this over a bowl to catch the pieces.

  2. 2

    Wash your face with soap and water, and then dry it completely.

  3. 3

    Brush Spirit gum adhesive onto a portion of your skin where you want stubble. Look to pictures of real stubble for growth patterns if desired.

  4. 4

    Allow the Spirit gum to get tacky. This typically takes 30 to 60 seconds, after which you will have a few minutes before it dries completely.

  5. 5

    Grab a pinch of chopped hair and roll it into a ball between your thumb and first two fingers.

  6. 6

    Pull the ball apart into two halves, which will cause the hairs to stand up on end.

  7. 7

    Gently tap the hair against your skin, allowing the ends of the hairs to become embedded in the Spirit gum.

  8. 8

    Repeat this process on other parts of your skin, building up stubble in small sections until the desired area is covered.

  9. 9

    Groom the stubble with a clean mascara wand, brushing it in the proper direction if needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Press the hair onto your face as gently as possible. If you press too hard you will leave hairy blobs stuck to the Spirit gum.
  • Wash the stubble off with Spirit gum remover or rubbing alcohol.

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