Constructing Anubis


Introduction: Constructing Anubis

Begin by creating a paper template of the mask and mount it on a sports face mask as a base.

Take the template apart, transfer the head and ears to cardboard (matte board.)

Build out features with Styrofoam; smooth with light hobby putty.


Cut 200 yards (yes, 600 feet) of 1/8 cord for hair.

The video shows all the steps.


Materials used:

1 sheet of matte board approx. 24" X 30"
several sheets of thick grade paper stock approx. 24" X 30"
1 roll of paper mache material
6 oz. air dry modeling putty
6 oz lightweight hobby putty or wood filler putty
1 Worth brand face mask (see pic)
1 roll 3/4" painter's masking tape (get GOOD masking tape)
1 roll packaging or scotch tape
1 bottle Elmer's Max glue (NOT regular Elmer's)
1 sheet 18 X 24 X 1" carvable Styrofoam
Approx 6 yard of gold material
200 yards (or more) of 1/8" rattail cord or similar (gold leaf if you can afford it)
1 pair of gold reflective sunglasses, polycarbonate lenses
8 oz can of gold leaf paint
Black gloss, clear, and metallic gold spray paint
two 5' lengths of PVC pipe, 1 3/4" and 1 1/2" (smaller fits inside larger)
1 length of foam plumbing insulation
1 black cloth beanie
1 cheap plastic colander with lots of divisions (see pic)
1 piece of flexible rubber or vinyl material
1 full body black suit from any costume supply house
General hardware: pipe cleaners, small nuts and bolts, etc.
Anything gold-ish for costume embellishments (jewelry, etc.)
Tools: utility knife, X-acto, Dremel, carving tools, files, sandpaper, paintbrushes, scissors

Step 1: Create a Paper Template.

Create a paper template beginning with the head.

Step 2: Create the Ears Template.

Continue building the template with the ears, then test in by mounting it on a sports face mask, which will be the foundation for the mask. It may take a couple shots to get the ears right, this is why we're doing it with paper.

Step 3: Create a Nose.

I used a 1/8" piece of rubber packing here, but you could use anything flexible - vinyl, cloth . . . get creative.

Step 4: Transfer to Cardboard, Assemble, Shape It Out.

Take it all apart and transfer the head and ears only to thick matte board for a base. We will use the paper pieces for the rest. Use Elmer's Max glue (not standard Elmer's) for all. Mount the base to the face mask, then shape the Styrofoam to round out the hard edges.

Step 5: Smooth and Paint.

Smooth it out and supplement the sculpting by laying one light layer of mache material over all, then smoothing the material patterns with with lightweight hobby putty. Minimize the use of heavy sculpting putty; this was used only on the eyebrows and ears. A thin layer of sculpting putty goes in the ears, then carve out the lines with a sculpting knife.

Cut a breathe-hole under the jaw - you will need it.

It will take alternating layers of black and clear to build up enough paint to get a glossy finish.

Mask off the gold areas and spray with metallic gold.

Step 6: Create the Hair and Eyes.

You will need at least one 200 yard roll of 1/8" cord. I couldn't find metallic, so used gold tone and had to paint it.

Glue the lengths to one side of paper intended to roll up over to get a "curve" where it "grows out." You'll need at least 20" for the strands from the front of the head and 14" from all the others. This mask has a total of 440 strands (give or take.) :-)

A 99 cent store colander was used to round out the back of the head. Cut it so it partially wraps around the sides, and use the cut piece to go under the bottom of the head as shown. Use three nuts and bolts or pop rivets to attach it to the cardboard, you want this to be fastened solid.

Glue a piece of metallic gold material under the hair in case anything shows through.

Thread the "hair" down and around the head in clean lines and fasten with fabric glue, then paint the hair with gold leafing.

The eyes are from a pair of gold reflective sunglasses glued to the inside of the mask. Once in position, use a moto tool to carefully carve out the irises (and so you can see better.)

Step 7: Costume Embellishments.

The rest you can probably figure out - using a metallic material, create the shoulder piece, skirt, arm bands. The staff is constructed of two pieces of PVC pipe, one inside the other, and foam plumbing insulation for the head. :-)

The video shows all the steps.



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Well, I am a Hotelier and for the NEW years, our theme this year is EGYPT.

I am surely be making a few of these and will place it at the event...

Oh and I forgot to ask the most important thing. What are these blue pipes called, that you put in the ears?

1 reply

The only blue used is blue masking tape. If you're talking about the flexible ruler, that was just used to make sure the ears and other curves stay flexible. Once you get the lines drawn out on one, you shape it to fit and use it for the other side. Here is a less expensive one from Jo-Ann fabrics.

I would love to do this for my school project. It looks so beautiful. Well I cannot do the whole part. Because I have to show them make up. But just the ears and instead of the hair, I would like to use black and gold fabric. If that makes any sense. But what could I do so that it stays on someone his/her head? I thought of the balloon way, but I guess that will be to lose. Maybe you have any tips.

Kind regards,


1 reply

Not sure what you'd use, you could try just making a more accurate paper model and skip the modeling putty. That's why I used the hokey mask, need something solid to hold it toghether.

wowowow! great job have been done, upload more if u can - Horus, Seth, Ptah ;)

you guys freaking rock! i am a real live egyptian and i am jealous!

These are amazing! Can you post the one for Isis there in the background??

1 reply

Sorry, that is my wife's expertise, she is a belly dancer and has her own creative flair about costuming - she doesn't plan things out, just does them. :-) Best I can offer is if you're interested in the material or how she made it, PM me and I can direct you to her site. I am not sure if she still has the full costume.

really nice costume ! Can u make some pics from the side, front, Top , back pls ? maybe with a metre Stick in the picture. thx

1 reply

Thank you, here is the problem: I could spec it out with blueprints and one would still have to size it for any given user and apply their own creative touch as they work. I am no real artistic genius but the question is similar to asking Renoir to map out a painting for you, or how a paint by numbers kit never really comes out the same as the original. Dive in and trust your own exploration, you'll find the way!

We've worn both Anubis and Bastet for two Halloweens running, the greatest gift from them has been the joy they've given people. It's pretty awesome. :-)

Could you please post the paper template you used to create the head and ears? I'd really like to build a mask like this, but I am not certain on the dimensions used to get the paper part of the mask off the ground. It would be very helpful. Thank you.

1 reply

There is and was no template. Basically you have to experiment, as the video shows the first shot at ears was a fail and I had to try another approach before I came up with something that worked. Like any other art, you have to fail a few times to get it right. That's why you'd want to work with light stock at first to get the shapes worked out.

Can you please post instructions on how you folded the anubis head? Thanks!

Thank you,! We've been a big hit with it at the Halloween parties - be sure to check the Bastet companion I just finished:

Very cool Anubis!

You should enter this into the epic costume contest.

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Thank you, we did - OOOH Horus! . . . . next on our list!