Donkey Mask with Working Mouth (face puppet)

Picture of Donkey Mask with Working Mouth (face puppet)
With a donkey mask you can:
  •   Promote the Democratic Party
  •   Play a practically-themed joke on a farmer
  •   Scare your dog
  •   Make an ass of yourself
  •   Portray Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream
  •   Rob a bank
  •   Reduce your entrance fee at a Furry convention
I make all my donkey masks at TechShop.
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Step 1: Aquire:

Supplies used for this project include:
  • 24"x48"x1" medium density fiberboard
  • Modeling clay
  • 2 sheets of 28"x28"x.06" PETG plastic
  • 2 sheets of 28"x28"x.06" polystyrene
  • 1.5 yards of artificial white fur
  • 1.5 yards of muslin
  • Silicone rubber (OOMOO 25, 9 lb. unit)
  • Expanding polyurethane (FlexFoam-iT! III, 2.8 lb. unit)
  • Thread
  • Harness from a welding helmet
  • 2 post screws
  • Various nuts and bolts
  • Several double-capped rivets
  • Elastic
  • Airbrush paint

Tools used in this project include:
  • 3D Scanner
  • ShopBot CNC router
  • Vacuum former
  • Cordless drill
  • Hammer
  • Basic sewing tools
  • Razor blade
  • Airbrush
  • Hairbrush
  • Bandsaw
  • Electric trimmer

*all available at TechShop

Step 2: Sculpt

Picture of Sculpt
Donkey in 3DSMax.jpg

This donkey began as a 3” clay sculpture.  The addition of fur has a surprisingly fluffing effect and adds a lot of volume, so make sure you start with a properly thin shape to achieve the right look when fur is added.  With access to the equipment at TechShop, I was able to create a full-sized form of the donkey head by taking a 3D scan of the clay sculpture and milling an idealized reproduction using a CNC router.  One of the finest advantages this process offered was the ability to create a perfectly symmetrical shape using Autodesk 3DS Max.
anomalink9 months ago
This is brilliant. Yes, it would be lovely to have one for our Midsummer Night's Dream production. Any chance? Our little company is sadly lacking in skills of this caliber.
blakemenezes10 months ago
Hello! The Autodesk social media team loved your project so much that we included it in a post we created on BuzzFeed. Check out your work featured here:

If you have any questions, please contact me at

Blake Menezes
Autodesk Social Media Strategist
NOODLE!10 months ago
My jaw just hit the floor.
jstehlin1 year ago
How can I contact you about making one for my production of MSND?

Misac-kun1 year ago
try to use your jaw axis, it will open more and will be more sensitive to your jaw movements as you speak.
I agree, a video would definitely show the features, and impress the heck out of everyone!
a2e1 year ago
Please!! Make a video of the donkey explaining the technical aspects about anything.
This is the kind of tutorial I've been waiting for, for years! Thanks a lot!
One piece of info I'd like to have details about: can you tell us more about the elastic to close the mouth automatically, what type is it, and how does it relate to the face and the fur?

Scotttland (author)  Creaturiste1 year ago
It was originally just a thin rubber band, I replaced it with a thin piece of elastic which goes all the way around the snout and is only attached to the fur (from the inside) on the bottom of the chin. Having it connected anywhere else makes it too tight.
Thank you very much. By elastic, do you mean the "hat elastics" used in sewing, often for making self-closing bags of fabric?

And do you sew it on the fur, or glue it?
This would be a much appreciated update to the Instructable.

Scotttland (author)  Creaturiste1 year ago
It was garment elastic, as used in waistbands, and it was sewn in place. I prefer to avoid glue whenever possible.
zack2471 year ago
wow, nice job!
NAO1 year ago
I would love to see a video of it in action!
Xillra1 year ago
Just a thought, but I hear OOMOO 30 is alot better/easier then 25.
Edgar1 year ago
Don't forget the World of Sports, for using this one...
Phenomenal project, and a comprehensive tutorial. Well done, and thank you kindly for sharing!

Clay. ^^
Mr. Scotttland, I really appreciate your detailed information regarding the making of this high-quality donkey head...however, you have been rather amiss in not describing the amount of beers this project would require.

I live in Southern Thailand, so the leading beer here, and one of my personal favorites, is Beer Chang, or elephant beer as most expats call it, since the Thai term for "Elephant," is "Chang." It's quite potent, at a whopping 6.4% on the Liqtor scale. So, what would be the correct conversion, in Liqtor units, as to how many brewskies this project would require.

Note: While I am originally from the U.S., I realize most NORMAL people refer to metric when computing complicated calculations such as these important formulas, as one too many Chang's could easily put one to sleep whilst still holding onto a hot glue gun....

Mr. Jeeem
techno guy1 year ago
that's cool, now you look like a furry, can this method be used to make any other animal?
Scotttland (author)  techno guy1 year ago
No, only donkeys.
Thanks for documenting the process! I look forward to seeing the show, and congratulations for being promoted in the Instructables newsletter.
mchp821 year ago
Furries - We're /EVERYWHERE/ O_O

Awesome work on the head, now can you do an instructable on sewing together a full suit? xP
Post a video! Nice job, that's a mighty fine ass.
Nice to see someone who is not afraid to make an ass out of himself. Really nice job. Congrats on a nice instructable.
bsodergren1 year ago
dang, what a cute bunny.
adoannie61 year ago
VERY nice work!
Malccc1 year ago
janmarla1 year ago
What a fabulous donkey head! You get 5 stars from me!
f5mando1 year ago
Superb! Thanks for this - and yes, it's perfect for a "A Midsummer Night's Dream" production (no typo)!
PeckLauros1 year ago
Verry good! 5 stars!
SWV17871 year ago
I'm a fan of "A Midsummer's Night Dream" and this is an amazing mask.
Scotttland (author)  SWV17871 year ago
Thank you

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