Help me make fake legs
April 12, 2006 4:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm not crafty enough to figure this out: I want to make a pair of fake "legs" that are wearing a pair of my jeans, socks, and shoes.

The "skin" of the legs would never be exposed, so realism on that level isn't important.

Assuming a minimum amount of skill in craft-type projects (and nothing fancy like a sewing machine), what should I fill the legs with, and how would I keep them sturdy enough to look like real legs, but still bendable enough to pose? Things like cotton, packing peanuts or sand would be poseable, but potentially a mess and would have to be contained within something... but what?

The legs do not have to stand, they would be laid on a desk/table, and the top/waist area of the pants aren't important, they'll essentially be hidden.

I also wouldn't be against buying something if a prop or costume shop had something readily available -- something like an actual prosthetic leg would be overkill, this is just for a gag and I don't want to spend a ton of money.
posted by robbie01 to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
First thing that springs to my ming is packing peanuts in supermarket bags with the handles tied together.
posted by flabdablet at 4:39 PM on April 12, 2006

fill a pair of cheap hose with... whatever. cotton balls?
posted by MadamM at 4:41 PM on April 12, 2006

Garbage Bag.... fill it with crumpled newspaper or old magzines...(newspaper works better as volumizer)

Shape the filled bags and stick in each legs... another bag for the hip area. Pull some part of bag out of ankle area and put the shoes filled with newspaper on them.

The trick is to fill the bag with as much newspaper crumples as possible for tight fitting.

maybe about 45min job with a dollar worth of stuff
posted by curiousleo at 4:44 PM on April 12, 2006

If they didn't need to be poseable, i would just go for two dowels of wood with some styrofoam around them carved to the rough proportions of your legs. As long as you could get access to the materials you are probably looking at 30 minutes of work.

[and now that i think about it, you might be able to use those flotation devices for kids, i think they are called 'noodles' or something. They even have a hole along the axis for the dowel.]

Failing to find styrofoam, you could probably knock up some simple leg length boxes and fill them with GreatStuff, and once it hardens, carve it to shape.

Poseable gets a bit harder. You could probably use similar techniques but put some sort of basic hinge at the knee and ankle.
posted by quin at 4:50 PM on April 12, 2006

Balled-up newspaper inside a pair of ladies' pantyhose, inside the pants. If you want posability, run a strong piece of wire (fencing wire) down the middle of each leg. To keep socks up under pants legs, pin them to the pantyhose.
posted by tracicle at 5:25 PM on April 12, 2006

Pantyhose, good idea -- that may be the missing link.
posted by robbie01 at 5:36 PM on April 12, 2006

The knee is the tricky bit. If you stuff pantyhose (or whatever) very full they won't bend nicely at the knee. You can make a "joint" like you would in a balloon-animal: twist until you have two "sausage links." This will bend nicely but now it won't fill up the jeans by the knee, so stuff a tube sock (loosely) and wrap it around the joint and pin in place. Maybe overkill for your purposes though.
posted by zanni at 5:47 PM on April 12, 2006

Duct-Tape body building
posted by glibhamdreck at 6:39 PM on April 12, 2006

Rolled up towels, it worked for me.
posted by 445supermag at 10:26 PM on April 12, 2006

I rolled up pairs of jeans and stuffed them into another pair of jeans. A pair for each thigh and a pair for each calf, with shirts stuffed in for the knees. Pretty heavy, but good and sturdy.
posted by team lowkey at 2:45 AM on April 13, 2006

I'm not sure what you want to use them for, but for Halloween, one of my decorations was "Moe Dover" - a pair of fake legs protruding from under a lawnmower. I just put a pair of flexible down-spouts (got from HomeDepot for about $5 each) into jeans. Then put the spout ends into a pair of sneakers, and tied the sneaker laces to holes I punched into the spouts. Worked fine. Email me if you'd like to see a picture.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2006

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