This instructable will teach you how to make a light weight and comfortable mask of limited only by your imagination!  These can be used as wearable masks, wall hangings, or masks to put somewhere and scare the tar out of a friend, relative or enemy.

While many of us wear masks for Halloween, and believe me this is a great way to make your own unique Halloween mask, it's just pain fun to make a mask anytime of year!

If you create a mask, post it, I would LOVE to see it!

Let's get started....


A wonderful instructbale reader pointed out to me that this technique is used by a wonderful artist named Jonni Good, I picked up this way of making masks from a workshop taught by another art teacher, I had no idea that this trickles back down to Ms. Good and her years of work!  So do check her out, I did and I was BLOWN AWAY by what she can do!

Step 1: Materials Needed

Blue Shop Towels
Plaster of Paris
White School Glue
Thin elastic
Hot Glue Gun
Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
Two large bowls
Face/Mask/Face Form (I really like the Make-a-Mask® Reusable Face Forms)
Oil Based Clay (Molding Clay) - The more oil the better

<p>I made a kind of complicated mask so im going to attibute my problems to that however it was extremely hard to dry because vaseline does not dry at all. therefore my mask ripped every time i tried to handle it. Also I wish you said how much plaster to cover the strips with. It could be my own ignorance but my mask is just crumbling every time I touch it. But thanks for the general steps, it justs that i was trying to add horns and that just messed up everything. </p>
<p>I'm an art teacher short on modeling clay. Would it be possible for me to have students use the same technique ( with the mold, jelly and shop cloth) either A.) directly on the mold or b.) using other materials to build up the surface, like newspaper and masking tape with jelly on top?</p>
<p>Six students and I made masks together. It was dicy having 6 kids do the paper mach&eacute; quickly, and, having no idea how much mach&eacute; googoo we'd need, we made a first batch of 16 oz glue and plaster, vinegar, and then quickly made a 2nd batch the same size for the rest in the same bowl. One kid made too many heavy layers leaving the last kid a little short on mixture. Some were a bit too liberal with the vaseline, and the last kid's mask failed - and we learned the most from that one. All in all, for art students (and teacher) it was a great learning process including design, sculpting, papier mach&eacute;, patience, painting and finishing. Five 2-hour classes (could have done it in 4 with a rest for drying on day 3. Thank you!</p>
I want to ask if there's a way to smoothen the surface, because it looks rough almost in all masks and what I have in mind should be clean smooth surface, any tips?
<p>I needed a mask for my Articuno cosplay and this along with <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/crcampeau/" rel="nofollow">crcampeau</a>'s tutorial (https://www.instructables.com/id/Masquerade-Mask/) I did it! :)</p>
<p>Great instructable! I made an Animal mask for my rock star costume. </p>
This is an owl my son and I made for his drama class. The instructions were so easy to follow and so great we're going to do a wolf mask next. My only question is, any tips on cleanup? How do I get the dried plaster of paris and glue out of my bowl?
<p>We are using reusable white face masks and paper mache. Do I need to cover the masks prior to adding the paper mache? </p>
<p>Fabulous instructions which I am going to follow to the letter next week as I have been tasked with making a troll (from Frozen) mask for my daughter's dance show!! Thank you</p>
<p>Masks made by kids age 7-13 using the instrucatable. Thanks!</p>
<p>Thanks so much for this &quot;instructable&quot; !!!! because of your kindness my Vintage Halloween Party is going to be a big hit! I would have been lost if I had not found this page. It has taken a few trial runs, but I think we have it figured out now! I was wondering though if there is a specific type of Plaster of Paris that was used in this tutorial? </p>
<p>Do you ever have a problem with the mask fitting on the face? Because you build up the front of the mask mold with clay, and it is hollow, the mask may not have the right shape to sit on the nose/brow..? This may not be a problem, but I want to try really building up the brow area, and I'm afraid it will sit awkwardly when someone tries to wear it. Could you glue felt to the inside? hmmm...</p>
<p>How long does it take to fully dry before you can take it off the mold?</p>
You can pull it off the mold in 12 to 24 hrs then give it another day to dry off the mold
<p>How long does it take to dry?</p>
24 to 48 hrs :)
<p>Thanks for the great tutorial!! I made this mask and used the directions exactly as you posted them. I have never done anything like this before and it was so much fun!!</p>
that's really good :)
That is a really great process for making masks- well done!
Thanks so much!
This is my new favorite way to paper mache, so thanks so much for posting this. Is there any trick to getting the left over vaseline off the inside of the mask?
I also love this technique! You can use a towel to wipe off any excess that may be left. I didn't have a whole heap in mine, I did a wipe down then added a acrylic paint. I had one of my masks on Halloween no issues with paint or pealing so my assumption is that got off what it needed to. :)
oh oops I already answered this, lol!
I have not found any left over Vaseline being an issue on the mask. I give it a generous but thin coat. I've made several of these now and a wipe with a paper towel on the inside of the mask then painting over the inside with acrylic paint appears to do the trick. It's not greasy and the paint holds. :) Thanks for the comment and if you make a mask do share!
I also love this technique! You can use a towel to wipe off any excess that may be left. I didn't have a whole heap in mine, I did a wipe down then added a acrylic paint. I had one of my masks on Halloween no issues with paint or pealing so my assumption is that got off what it needed to. :)
That's donna be reaaly funny mask)Thanks for an idea)
not a problem!
Awesome! Thank you! My youngest son wants to be a piranha plant from Mario Bros for Halloween and I'm hoping I can make the head using this method :) I'll defiantly let you know how it turns out.
Oh yes you definitely could. That's a very round shape, you might consider going somewhere like walmart an finding a ball the size of your sons head. You could then build up on the ball with the oil based clay, cover it with Vaseline then put this type of mache over the top. You could use a bucket or trash can to hold the ball in place while you work. Then you could simply pop the ball. Just an idea. :)
Your masks are amazing! I can't wait to try it out for my kiddos for Halloween! How would suggest making one to cover the whole head?
Thank you very much! To make one for the whole head, I would use the mask shape of your choice then create a head the basic shape of the individual wearing it. You could use wadded up paper, sacks, anything that's firm. I would then wrapped it in saran wrap or tinfoil. If you have a mannequin head that would help but those heads (even the Styrofoam heads you can get) tend to be smaller than the heads a lot of people need. Then do the same steps and build your layers over the entire head. When dry you can pull out the wadded paper. Just make sure you Vaseline the whole thing, if all else fails and you can't get the head out, cut the back of the mask to open it up remove everything inside, then use the same paper towel and mache mixture to close the splice back up on the interior of the mask. I'd love to see what you came up with!
I made a puppet head using newspaper strips and clear glue. Dried it in sun after each layer and the end product was very stiff. But now it's rainy season and it has absorbed moisture from air and become all soggy. It's even starting to lose shape.<br><br>Will your recipe be able to hold it's shape in high humidity? Looks better since you used plaster of paris.
Yes the plaster should keep it all in place. Also, I would suggest painting it with acrylic paints on both sides of the mask. Acrylic acts almost like a plastic coating so moisture won't sneak in on you. :)
I made a puppet head, so it's a full 3D figure with a hole where the neck joins. So could only apply generous coatings of acrylic on the outer side. But even that coating has now become sticky. <br> <br>I'm considering covering it in layers of your mixture and after drying, taking out the old soggy layers in chunks out of the neck hole. That might save the puppet head maybe.
You could try that covering it with this mix. IF you do, I would not add the vinegar because it won't hurt anything if yours dries fast. What is in the center of the head? Is it hollow or solid?
The center is hollow. It has an animatronic mouth, so some electrical components are stuffed in there. Will try out your way this weekend and post a pic of how it turns out. Fingers crossed ;P
Humm, my guess is the moister is working it's way in then from the interior of the head. Likely a pain to take it all out and do the same mixture on the interior and then paint it. Do keep me posted!
Excellent instructable very well done, thanks for sharing
Many thanks I'm glad so many are enjoying it!
These are great maybe you should sell these at a booth somewhere as they are very professional looking.
Thanks a million! I am planning to help some kids make some for Halloween this year, you never know word might get out, lol!
This is so great. I've used regular paper towels in the past...I like your idea of the blue towels better. will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing.
Most welcome, these have such a soft nice texture and really soak up the mache! Because they are so thick it doesn't take a lot of layers, making this so so easy.
I love this! I have had a papier mache urge for quite some time now. I can remember using strips of newspaper to do it. For my little ones, the &quot;Lone Ranger&quot; style mask would be perfect for them to work with. I will definitely have to try. You are great Poof!
Oh yes this is SOOO much easier than old school newspaper strips. The mask is really very soft and has a bit of give, which is helpful and much more comfortable for little tikes. :)
Many thanks!

About This Instructable



Bio: I adore instructables and use it when I'm playing with ideas for my students (I'm a certified art teacher and the Art Director ... More »
More by poofrabbit:Ultimate Superhero Crafts & More Collection Lego Batman Costume On The Fast & Cheap! Grocery Gnome: Candy, Fundraising, Collecting and more! 
Add instructable to: