A Smashing Way to Make Glass Props!

If you need to break it, its easy to make it!

By David Hague,

If you need to break a window or some such thing in your next production don’t risk cuts and lacerations. Do it this way! (With stuff from the kitchen larder)

All the best movies have a car chase (think Bullitt and the French Connection) but they also should have a bullet smashing a window – or anything smashing a window really.

Whilst I can’t legally show you how to do a car chase (hiring a motorsport circuit for an hour is perhaps one way), I can show you how to save money on a glazier and avoid a hospital visit.

All you need is the common kitchen ingredients of corn syrup, white sugar, cream of tartar, aluminum foil and water plus a mold. I used a casserole dish.

You may need to buy a Candy (Deep Fry) thermometer if you don’t have one, and they are $10 from a shop such as House.

1. Mix 2 cups of water, 1cup of corn syrup 3 1/2 cups sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of the cream of tartar together. Bring it to the boil s-l-o-w-l-y (so that it doesn’t caramelize). As it warms, it clear from its initial cloudy appearance.

2. Here’s where you need the thermometer. Heat the mixture to 150 degrees C then take from the heat. This should take around 60 minutes or so. As this happens, the temperature may appear to stop rising but this is not so. It is the water evaporating and the temperature will start to rise again. IT WILL BE VERY HOT SO WEAR GLOVES OR OVEN MITTS. If this step happens too early, you may get a yellow tinge – it takes practice to get it just right!

3. Make sure the aluminium foil is moulded to the dish (some recipes call for lashings of spray vegetable oil instead of foil.

4. Pour the mixture into the mold

5. It will take about 1 hour to cool and harden

6. Remove the glass from the foil. If it sticks, heat up a knife under hot water and gently pry it up where it is sticking.

Voila. Bear in mind that heat will make it melt and get sticky.

TIPS: Make brown glass by using brown sugar, and coloured glass by adding food colouring. By the way while not as sharp as glass, it will still have an edge on any shards. Oh and it tastes terrible!

Have fun!


About Winter Film Awards

Winter Film Awards (WFA) is a volunteer-run and operated celebration of the diversity of local and international film-making. Our Mission is to recognize excellence in cinema and to promote learning and artistic expression for people at all stages of their artistic careers with a focus on nurturing emerging filmmakers and helping them gain recognition and contacts to break into this difficult industry. We pride ourselves on our diverse collection of Festival selections, allowing our audience to enjoy films they normally wouldn’t think to seek out. WFA is a minority- and women-owned registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Posted on August 6, 2013, in Filmmaking Tips & Advice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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