Halloween How-To’s: Painted Stitches, 3 Ways

Home / Halloween How-To’s: Painted Stitches, 3 Ways

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Uncategorised

Stitches can be a great accessory to compliment lots of different Halloween looks. They can spruce up your Bride of Frankensteins, finish off your Spooky Broken Dolls, add dimension to your casualty looks and ultimately really ‘tie’ a look together (see what I did there? Hahaha). Here are 3 different easy ways to bring your 3D, painted-on stitches to life.


I used the colours from the ‘All You Need Grande’ palette, but you could also use the individual colours separately in the 32g BodyArt Face and Body Cake’s.

The colours I used were:

-Strong Black

-Deep Merlot




-Springback Round Brush #1

-Springback Detail Liner Brush

-Springback Small Filbert

-Water or Sealer to activate the product

And for the last ‘Tiny Stitches’ I used the Ink FX Palette, the colours I used were:



-Fresh Blood


-Old Blood




-Global Colours IPA ( Isopropyl Alcohol to activate the product)

Big, Bold Lace-Ups

These are great for larger surface areas and body painting.

Steps 1-4: Paint your Shape

  1. Using ‘Strong Black’ and your #1 Round Brush, draw on your wound shape.

2. Fill in your wound shape with ‘Red’ using your Filbert brush.

3. Shade down one of the inner sides with either your ‘Strong Black’ (diluted and transparent) or using the ‘Brown’ or ‘Deep Merlot’, using the #1 Round Brush.

4. Using ‘Brown’ and a Round Brush #1, paint a thin, parallel line down one of the outside sides of the wound.

Steps 5-8:Render your Shape

5. On the other outside side of your wound, paint a thin, ‘White’, parallel line, using the #1 Round Brush.

6. On the outer side of your ‘Brown’ line, paint a thinner ‘White’ line to highlight, using the #1 Round Brush.

7. Using Brown (or your contour colour) you want to add shading next to the outside side of your first ‘White’ line, using the Filbert Brush.

8. With your basic wound shape and fill completed, (if you like) you can go back and intensify the colours and add some flush ‘trauma’ tone and definition to the wounded area.

Trauma Tone: ‘Trauma’ tone, is mimicking the colour the skin goes when it is in trauma (if it has been cut, grazed, punctured or broken) so think reds and crimson tones. The best way to do this is to use your paint colours diluted and transparent and try to recreate an organic ‘mottling’ effect on the skin, around the featured wound.

Steps 9-12: Add Stitches

9. Using ‘White’, paint on your wide stitches, I find you get a better finish of you keep the shapes a bit irregular and at different angles rather than straight across, using the #1 Round Brush.

10. Using ‘Brown’ and ‘Strong Black’ darker the bases of your laced stitches, using the #1 Round Brush.

11. Using a mix of ‘Brown’ and ‘Strong Black’, outline the lengths of the stitch laces, using the Detail Liner Brush.

12.Using a diluted and transparent ‘Strong Black’ or ‘Deep Merlot’, create shadowing for your Stitches, using a combination of your #1 Round Brush and Filbert Brush.

Steps 13-16: Render Stitches and add details

13. Using ‘Strong Black’ paint the ‘stitch holes’ onto the ends of the laces, using the Detail Liner Brush.

14. Highlight the edges of the ‘stitch holes’ using ‘White’, with the #1 Round Brush.

15. Using ‘Brown’ or your contour colour, add in further shading to compliment your wound shape ( to blend use your brush with only water or seal and ‘wash away’ the edges)using the Filbert Brush.

16. Add in your finishing details like blood splatter, further shading and flush tone etc.

Stitch Staples

Great for a more ‘surgical’ looks of stitch.

Steps 1-3– Paint on your Wound and entry points

  1. Using the Fine Detailer Brush, and ‘Strong Black’ paint on a series of small segmented dashes, which will eventually come together to create your wound. Use the #1 Round Brush.
  2. Shade around the edges of your dashes with ‘Deep Merlot’ or ‘Red’ to create some trauma tone, using the Detail Liner Brush.
  3. Using ‘Strong Black’, paint dots along the edges of the spaces between the dashes to create your entry points for your staples, use your Detail Liner Brush.

Steps 4-6– Add depth and dimension and staples

4. Using a mix of ‘Red’, ‘Deep Merlot’ and ‘Brown’ ( this colour ratio should differ depending on the skin tone you are working on) add ‘trauma’ flush tone to the rims of your staple entry points and start to shade out areas where the skin may be raised or ‘pucker’, using a combination of the Detail Liner Brush and the Flibert Brush.

5. Add ‘White’ highlights down one side of your wound dashes, and anywhere else you would like highlight to occur, using the #1 Round Brush.

6. Using your Round Brush #1, and ‘Strong Black’, carefully paint on very thin and delicate staples, that will join up with the entry point dot that lay opposite.

Steps 7-8: Add Highlight and Puckering

7. Using ‘White’, add the highlight to your staples ( make sure that the black is completely dry first)using your Detail Liner Brush,

8. Using your trauma colours, add in some more puckering detail and rendering to complete the look.

Tiny ‘hand sewn’ Stitches

Tiny ‘hand sewn’ Stitches, Using the Ink Fx Palette; Great for small surface areas, Broken creepy dolls and because Ink FX is waterproof, it will also last a long time in areas that might become wet or that are highly mobile.

Steps 1- 4: Draw on and fill wound shape

  1. Activate your Ink FX palette with Isopropyl Alcohol ( such as Global Colours IPA), Using the Round brush #1, paint on the outline of your wound, a good shape to mimic is something similar to a little string or irregular sausages ( the fatter sausage the wider your initial wound wound have been). I’ve used the colour ‘Fresh Blood’ for this.
  2. Fill in the shapes using ‘Fresh Blood’
  3. Darken the outline of the wound shape using ‘Old Blood’ to create depth.
  4. Outline the insides of the wound with a mix of ‘Black’ and ‘Bruising’ to create depth.
    1. ( I’ve used the #1 Round Brush for all the first 4 steps)

Steps 5-8– Add Entry points, puckering and skin trauma

5. Using ‘Black’, paint on the dots which will become the entry points for your stitches, using the Detail Liner Brush.

6. Using a combination of ‘Red’ and ‘Old Blood ‘ create lines for the skin ‘puckering’ where the stitches will eventually go, using the #1 Round Brush.

7. Leaving a few millimetres of skin unpainted, add your flush tone and trauma shades around your wound, using a combination of #1 Round Brush and Filbert Brush.

8. Using the ‘Beige’ ( Ive also mixed in a little ‘White’) highlight down one of the outside edges of the wound, using the Detail Liner Brush.

Steps 9-12: Add Highlight, stitches and detail

9. Now that your basic shape is complete, go in and add any further ‘redness’ or rendering that is needed to blend the wound with the rest of the skin, deepen the inside of your wound if you would like to create more depth.

10.Using ‘Black’, draw on your tiny, delicate stitches, making sure they join up your dot entry points, using the Detail Liner Brush.

11. Using a mix of Brown’ and ‘Old Blood’ (or whatever your skin naturally contours to), shade around the bases of your stitch entry points, using the #1 Round Brush.

12. Paint on your stitch highlights using ‘White’, with the Detail Liner Brush.

Try and get creative with your version of painted on stitches, try using a green for the fill colour to look like ‘monster blood’ or ooze, top off the looks with some Stage Blood, maybe you can have creepy crawlies exiting the stitches or even glitter!

This is a really good way to start learning 3D effects, but you could also add in actual ‘stuck on’ stitches using Latex or Cosmetic glue, made from black cotton thread or for a thicker look, wool.

Make sure if you try any of these techniques that you tag us #globalcolours or @globalcolours so we can see your gross and glamorous FX makeup looks.

By Emma Court

By Emma Court

Emma-Lee Court is a Sydney-based makeup artist & body painter who has owned and operated The Makeup Wardrobe for 9 years. With over 18 years experience creating looks for individuals, events, brands, theatre, fashion, film, TV, media and print publications, Emma can help your makeup dream become reality! Amongst a galaxy of performers, photographers, productions and individuals who come to Emma to help create their vision, Emma is also a fully-qualified makeup educator, with over 7 years experience teaching students makeup, hair, special FX & body painting.


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