Introduction: Batman Cowl

Picture of Batman Cowl

I've been wanting to make a Batman costume for some time now, and as Halloween approached it gave me a good excuse to dress up as the caped crusader. I made a full costume with armor and ordered a latex cowl hoping to save some time. Well, the cowl arrived and I hated it, so I decided to make my own. Here is the process I went through:

Materials needed:
- Plaster Strips
- DAP Modeling Clay (air dry)
- Cardboard (from a cereal box)
- Sandpaper
- Plasticoat Spray
- Black Spray Paint
- Velcro Strips
- Heavy duty fabric glue

Step 1: Plaster Strip Your Head

Picture of Plaster Strip Your Head

This is the part where you get dirty. It's actually fairly easy though. Get a swim cap to cover your hair (plaster + hair = bad) and then apply Vaseline to areas you will be applying the plaster strips. Then just start laying them on. You want to make sure you get the general shape of the mask set up. I made sure not to go under my jaw as that would make it difficult to open my mouth and to get the mask off.

Also, as I made my cowl in 2 parts, don't cover the back of your head either or you won't be getting that bad boy off at all. You will need to do a minimum of 3 layers of strips.

Step 2: Sculpt Face

Picture of Sculpt Face

This is where you get to bust out the clay and shape your own Batman look. I looked up several different styles of cowl and picked the parts that I liked most.
The DAP clay works well and you can smooth it over the plaster strips well. I worked on making sure the nose was really pointy and the eyebrows had a convincing scowl.
Then, before I got too crazy sculpting, I added the ears. To do this I fashioned them out of cereal box cardboard and taped them on. This was one of the more challenging parts as you want to get the shape and symmetry right. (Sorry no pictures of that process) Then, once I had the look right, I plaster stripped over the cardboard to make it solid. After that dried I was able to apply the clay over the top for a smooth look.

I don't have any pictures of the back portion of the cowl. Basically it is the same process. I plasters the back of my head and then cut the two prices to match up. I then covered this part with clay too.

You can also see that I applied a chin strap. Use the plaster strips for this. Keep your jaw open for this or you won't be able to open it at all when you wear it. Luckily it dries pretty quick. After it was stiff enough to take off I placed a couple strips on the inside to reinforce it.

Step 3: Sand It Smooth

No pictures for this. It's pretty straight forward though. Get out your sand paper and make sure it is smooth. I got out my dremmel too for a few shaping issues. Once it is nice and smooth (this can take some time) you are ready for the next step.

Step 4: Paint It

Picture of Paint It

This is the fun part where it really starts to look cool.
First, I did a couple coats of Plasticoat spray. This was to help make a better surface for the spray paint. Then I did about 3 coats of a matte black spray paint. Let it dry

Step 5: Velcro

Picture of Velcro

UPDATE:
Here are some pictures of the back of the cowl to see how the velcro system works.

Again I don't have any pictures of this. However, I think it is fairly intuitive. Cut your Velcro strips and glue them to the inside of the front piece of your cowl. This should run around the back of your head and be able to hold the mask tight to your face.
Then I placed 3 tabs of Velcro (hook side up) out the edges of front (one at top and one on each side.) I then glued the soft side of the Velcro onto the corresponding locations of the back piece. This allowed for it all to stay together.

Step 6: Put It on and Look Awesome

Picture of Put It on and Look Awesome

Paint black around your eyes and strap that thing on. Put some marbles in your mouth and growl, "I'm Batman!"

You can see the full costume here. That was way more work and I may post the process for another instruct able.

My wife is looking super hot in her Catwoman costume. We took my son out as Robin for trick-or-treating. It was super awesome

This is my first instructable, so I hope you like it. Feel free to give feedback as I will probably do a few more.

Comments

rainingfiction (author)2017-04-23

Awesome job!

Delacerdatn (author)2016-10-08

I think i bought the wrong clay. It dries then cracks & crumbles. Will the plaster of paris molding clay work? Idk what DAP you are referring to?

molarplanet4710 (author)2015-11-02

one more question. do the strips stick to your face ( I have never used them before )

They do, that is why you have to put the petroleum jelly on your face first.

molarplanet4710 (author)2015-11-02

I started looking thinking this would turn out looking stupid but this is the coolest think on earth great job

Thank you. it was definitely fun to make.

padbravo (author)2014-09-28

Wow!

mjdefrank (author)2014-09-25

How about a tutorial for the costume?

NathanSellers (author)mjdefrank2014-09-27

Done now. Go check out out.

NathanSellers (author)mjdefrank2014-09-25

Its coming. It is still in Draft form. should be done in the next couple weeks.

liserbell10 (author)2014-09-08

Awesome, thanks! Great job, thanks for making this!

boras (author)2014-05-31

nice costume mate.My question is .. what have you done with back of your head ? did u kept it uncovered ?

NathanSellers (author)boras2014-09-08

I updated the 'ible with pictures of the back.

NathanSellers (author)boras2014-05-31

I don't have a picture of it, but there is another piece for the back that Velcros on.

liserbell10 (author)2014-09-08

Silly question! Did you have to wait for the plaster strips to dry on your face before removing? How long does it take to dry?

You don't have to wait for it to be completely dry. It just needs to be hard. This only takes about 20 min tops. It does need to be dry before you add the clay though.

BATMANluc (author)2014-08-04

How long did it take to make it? Also how many times did you try to make it before you believe you got it right?

NathanSellers (author)BATMANluc2014-08-04

I probably spent 10 to 15 hours on it. I had to make a few adjustments during the process. getting the ears right was the hardest part. This was my first attempt though.

SpicyPandaCreations (author)2014-04-30

dope! really great costume

Andrew Garfield (author)2014-01-19

I guess u can get a role to play in next batman series

UberSlyAnnexHD (author)2014-01-15

:D that is really cool! I want to do a Batgirl cosplay, gathering ideas this helps a lot! :D :3

Subdood (author)2014-01-03

cool

CrystalB01 (author)2014-01-02

wow it turned out to be so realistic yet homemade!!! :)

starwarsgeek1 (author)2013-12-29

great job! Looks awesome

aceammar (author)2013-12-29

nice jov

ahumphries (author)2013-12-23

Parenting done right !!!! Amazing family costumes

NathanSellers (author)ahumphries2013-12-26

Thanks... My 6 year old was totally geeking out when he saw the whole costume for the first time. Halloween will never be the same.

wrsexton (author)2013-12-25

That is just amazing! Way cool and worth your hard work.

NathanSellers (author)wrsexton2013-12-26

Thank you. It really turned out well.

Infinitevortex (author)2013-12-25

Awesome costume! Did you make the armour too?

I did. The armor part took WAY longer. I will probably do the instructable on that in the next couple months, so keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the comment.

Ajala Jacobs (author)2013-12-25

looks like loads of fun

talldoctor72 (author)2013-12-24

Nice job

dorkpirate (author)2013-12-24

wow nice job! you should make an instructables with the body too!

Thattonedude (author)2013-12-23

Every single costume looks great. What about was the cost of materials for the cowl?

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm just a guy who likes makin' stuff. I love the creative process. Professionally I am a Therapist (LCSW). I got my Associates Degree ... More »
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