Plastic-Free Pros-Aide

Acrylic-based Pros-aide is traditionally used in special effects make up to adhere prosthetics to skin. In stop-motion animation, it is used to coat armature wires with a tacky layer so that they stick together while wrapping them into a bundle. Without it, wires would move around and compromise the integrity of the puppet. This is a natural, acrylic-free alternative specifically for armature making.

Materials Needed

  • 1/4 cup gum arabic powder
  • 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
  • 5 drops lavender, rosemary, or other stabilizing essential oil (optional)
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon or stirrer
  • Airtight Jar


  1. Combine gum arabic powder and hot water. Stir to dissolve the granules.
  2. Add glycerin and essential oil (if desired).
  3. Allow to set overnight.
  4. Store in a jar or airtight container.


  • It can take hours for the powder to actually dissolve fully and even days for the mixture to become more gel-like. Be patient!
  • Use a toothpick or paintbrush to apply to wire.
  • This will not work to adhere prosthetics to skin, as Pros-Aide does. It is only meant as a natural alternative to making armature wires tacky.


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