Whether you want to play a prank on a friend or create a prop for a home movie, making a fake cast for your arm or leg is a fun way to create the illusion of a broken limb. With very few materials, you can make a fake cast at home in just minutes!


Using a Sock and Gauze

Mark the sock where the cast should end. Pull the sock onto your arm or ankle and mark it where the respective cast would usually end. You can check pictures of real casts to find the perfect spot. For an ankle cast, the mark should be approximately where your foot ends and your toes begin.Cut the sock to the correct size. Based on the markings you made with the sock on, cut the sock to the correct size for your cast. Don’t worry if the heel of the sock makes a small bubble around your wrist because you’ll cover it up later. If you want to give your fake cast the proper thickness, you can cut two or three socks to the same size and layer them to give it the proper bulk.Put the sock(s) back on. With the sock(s) cut to the proper size, you can now put them back on over the spot you want to make the cast. Now is the time to align the sock(s) as well, so place them in the correct spots both around your digits and further up your arm/leg. If you by chance have a relatively smooth wrist or ankle brace in your possession, you can also place this under the sock to gives the “cast” added bulk without ruining more socks than necessary. Yet another option is to wrap the area in a thick Ace bandage before putting on the sock. Not only will this option give the area the necessary thickness, but it’ll make it more difficult to move the wrist/ankle if you are afraid your movements might give it away that the cast is fake.Wrap the area in adhesive gauze. You may see the material labeled as sticky gauze, self-adhesive bandage wrap, or by another name. The material is a breathable gauze that has a slightly dry, sticky feel and texture that allows it to stick to itself. Start at one end of the sock and wrap the gauze in a tight layer down the entire length of the sock.

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<1> You want to make sure that you’re completely covering the sock except for roughly 1/4” at the edges where you tucked the sock under. You also want to make sure that the gauze is tight to give it a perfectly smooth surface with fewer obvious lines of the gauze overlapping itself. You may have to do a couple layers of the gauze to give the “cast” additional bulk, especially if you only used one sock. The gauze comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can easily fake a colored cast.Decorate the cast. Once you’re done wrapping it, your “cast” is ready to go. For added effect, you can decorate it like people do actual casts. Have someone who’s in on the joke sign your cast with a couple of names and “get well” remarks to help sell it. If you made an arm “cast” and really want to push the joke (and make it harder for people to examine it in the process), you can also keep your arm in a sling. This also helps to keep your arm in one place if you’re worried about your movements giving away the fact that your arm isn’t broken. For a leg or ankle “cast,” consider adding a pair of crutches to the costume. You can usually find old crutches at a yard sale or secondhand store for a reasonable price.

Using Toilet Paper and Tissue Paper

Get a roll of toilet paper. This method for making a fake cast requires a lot of toilet paper, so you probably want to start with a full roll just to ensure that you have enough. If you try to make a leg “cast” this way, you will especially use a lot of it.Break off a strip of five or six sheets. Much like a paper mache project, you will have to form the “cast” in smaller strips and sections, so begin by tearing off a strip of toilet paper about five or six sheets long.<2>Wet the strips. You want to get the strips a little bit damp but definitely don’t soak them yet because they’ll become too brittle to wrap around your arm. If you have a spray bottle, simply mist the strips with water instead of drenching them.Wrap the damp strips around your forearm or shin. Whichever placement you have chosen for your “cast,” start by wrapping the damp toilet paper around the top of where the respective cast would end.<2> For an ankle cast, this will be around your shin; for a wrist cast, this will be around your forearm. You want to start at the top of the cast because it’s much easier to get around the curve of your ankle or around your thumb after you already have a base with which to work. Don’t worry about wrapping the toilet paper toward the end of your extremity, just wrap it over itself to begin with.Add more water to the toilet paper. Once you have the strip wrapped around your shin or forearm, add more water to it. You want to use a spray bottle or even to flick water at the TP from your fingers because placing it under running water will just cause the TP to crumble.Squeeze out any excess water. With more water on the toilet paper, it will be more malleable, and additional layers will stick to it more easily; however, the layers won’t stick if it’s too wet, so start by wrapping your hand around the appropriate forearm or shin and squeezing any excess water out of the toilet paper.<2> Apply direct pressure because if you pull at the toilet paper instead of just pushing against it, it’s likely to tear.Apply another double sheet of toilet paper of the same length. With the first sheet applied, you want to apply a second double strip of the same size as the first. Stick one end of the double sheet to the current portion of the “cast.” The moisture in the first part will make the second double strip stick to it enough for you to wrap it. Then add more water and squeeze it out again.<2> You will repeat this step until the portion on your arm has the thickness you’re satisfied with, which will likely be with three or four applications.Add a damp double strip of the same size around your wrist or ankle. With the top portion of the cast ready, you can now move down to your wrist or ankle, depending on where you’ve placed the “cast.” Using the same length of double strip as before, dampen it and apply it over the bendable joint carefully.<2> For your ankle, you’ll need to keep your ankle at a 90-degree angle from here out, otherwise you risk tearing the toilet paper. You will repeat this step until you are satisfied with the bottom of the cast, which will probably require three or four total layers or however many you used on the top portion.Apply colored tissue paper around the whole “cast.” If you want to create the illusion of a colored cast, then you can choose the color of tissue paper you want and wrap one or two layers of the tissue paper around the “cast” once you’re happy with it. Be extra careful apply the tissue paper to the damp toilet paper since the tissue paper is even more fragile.Wait for the “cast” to dry. Once you’re happy with the toilet paper and tissue paper, you simply need to wait for the paper to dry. The toilet paper will harden as it dries, which will give the “cast” a more realistic look.<2> If you’re in a hurry, you can also use a hairdryer to help the drying process along.Remember to keep the limb straight. The toilet paper can still rip or tear pretty easily, so you have to remember to keep your wrist or ankle in one position while you have the “cast” on since movement can break it. Using a pair or crutches for an ankle “cast” is a great way both to sell the prank and to keep your from bending your ankle.

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Using Toilet Paper and Gauze

Cut up a sock. Take the top half (where your toes would be), and make it so that your arm can completely pass through, this includes making a hole for the thumb. The hole for your thumb should be about halfway.Slide the bottom half on your arm below the elbow.Slide the top half over your wrist.Wrap a soft layer over your arm. Some ideas are toilet paper, paper towels, felt strips, etc. Leave room at the top and bottom (where the socks are)Wrap the duct tape around the soft material, leave room at the top and the bottom (where the socks are). Wrap the pre-wrap around your arm leaving room at the top and bottom (where the socks are). Go around the thumb as well.Fold over the remaining sock material.Put a final layer of pre-wrap over your arm and the folded parts. Leave some of the sock showing.Cover the cast in glue (watery, white or blue kind).Wait for the cast to dry. You can sign it with markers after this.