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This is a very easy way to make some convincing rusted looking barbed wire to enhance your props or costume and the best part is that it’s safe and inexpensive.
This prop does not involve the use of a papier mache (gasp!) but it does make a nice enhancement to your papier mache props.
The Faux Barbed Wire is made from twine, craft foam and black latex paint.
When starting this project I referenced a piece of real barbed wire and found that the barbs were approximately five inches apart.
The first step is to grab a piece of twine that is twice as long as you would like final piece of wire.
If you want 10 feet of barbed wire then start with 20 feet of twine.
Any type of thick twine will work but I prefer to use polypropylene because it holds together and doesn’t shed fibers.
Take your piece of twine and tie the two loose ends together then start tying loose knots at five inch intervals until you have placed knots along the entire length.
Next the barbs are created using a sheet of craft foam.
Use a paper cutter or scissors to cut thin strips of foam, the thickness of the strips will be the thickness of the faux metal barbs.
Cut the strips into two inch sections, these sections are longer than what is needed but extra length makes them easier to handle.
Take two of the foam strips and place them through the center of the loose knot, make sure they are centered within the knot then tighten.
When the twine is tightened the foam strips will be bend creating a convincing looking barb.
Trim the barbs to the desired length, remember to cut each end on a 45 degree angle to create a sharp looking point.
Once all the barbs are in place and trimmed the entire length of wire is dipped in flat black exterior latex paint.
Using a pair of rubber or plastic gloves remove the wire from the paint, use one hand to “squeeze” the excess paint from the twine.
The length of wire will need to be stretched taunt for drying, I attached one end to a hook in a tree and placed the other end over a stake placed in the ground.
Twist the twine several times before pulling it tight to give a convincing barbed wire illusion.
After the black latex paint has dried, the entire length of wire was dry brushed with a mixture of brown and red acrylic paint to give a rusted appearance.
Now you have a section of faux barbed wire that is easy to make and best of all safe and convincing.