Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Whether it's for a gag, a play, Halloween or a party, fake beards are pretty commonplace accents to a costume. Fake beards can be bought commercially around Halloween or year round online through costume retailers, but the savvy do-it-yourselfer can assemble his own fake beard---whether to resemble that of Abraham Lincoln or a mountain man---in little time and with minimal fuss.
Snip off the large band of string that holds the crepe wool in place. Discard the string; you only need the fine strands of wool. Repeat for any additional crepe wool that you bought, depending on the colour(s) of facial hair that you need. For a more realistic appearance, you'll need three separate distinctions: a highlight, lowlight and one that's closer in appearance to your natural hair colour.
Set a iron to high. Lay the strands as flat as you can and try not to leave them stacked on top of one another. Once the iron is ready, carefully iron over the wool strands until they become loose from the heat; repeat for additional wool colours.
Mash all the wool colours together to create a more realistic blend of colour. Set aside.
Wash your face with soap and water and pat your skin dry. This is especially important for those with oily skin, as the liquid latex you use will have trouble adhering to skin oils. If you're a man and you need to shave off some stubble to gain a better surface, do so before washing your face.
Dab blotches of liquid latex all over your chin, neck and lower cheeks -- or wherever you desire the beard to be. For a really bushy beard, dab some latex high on the cheeks; otherwise, follow your natural facial hairline. Pinch a small bit of wool together in a bunch, snip one of the ends to make it flat and press this flattened end against the latex. Repeat to cover your face in the wool.
Look in the mirror and snip away stray stands as necessary to give your new beard the appearance of naturally growing facial hair which, of course, doesn't grow at one length.
To remove the beard, pull on the base of the wool to peel off the dried latex.
- "Stage It Right: Beautiful, Practical & Theatrical Ideas for On and Off the Stage"; Lena Wood, Arian Armstrong & Daniel Armstrong; 2010
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images