Introduction: Harry Potter: Make a Death Eater Mask!

Picture of Harry Potter: Make a Death Eater Mask!

So me and my friend wanted our costumes for the book launch to be EPIC. Everyone always dresses as Harry Potter, or some form of Hogwarts student, and I have been guilty of that in the past. However after seeing the masks that Death Eaters are going to be wearing for the OotP movie, we knew there was only one thing we could do.

This is my first time making any sort of mask, so bear with me if I'm suggesting something incorrect. :) The end result turned out pretty spectacular though!

Most of these pictures were taken by friends while we were making the masks (ie. not for the purpose of an instructable), so they're not necessarily the best for an this and I'm probably missing some photographic steps.

If anyone decides to use my project, PLEASE send me some pictures! I would love to see your masks!

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Picture of Gather Ingredients

You will need:

Plaster Bandages - these are bandages already coated in plaster (meaning you just need to add water). I found mine at my local art store.
Aluminum Foil
Lots of newspaper
A Bucket of warm water
Headband to hold up your hair
Metallic Acrylic paints
A friend

Step 2: Prep Work

Picture of Prep Work

If you're not sure exactly how you want your mask to look like, head over to Death Eater Art for some inspiration. It will help to sketch out your mask beforehand, especially if you want to leave holes around the mouth area.

Find a nice spot on the floor and lay down the newspaper. Although this isn't too messy if you're careful, you don't want to get plaster all over the floor.

Get a few globs of vasaline and rub it all over your face. Make sure to cover your eyebrows, hairline, sideburns, and any other facial hair well. It can be pretty painful to remove the mask if you forget this vital step!

We wanted to be able to talk through our masks at the book launch/movie premiere, and since plaster would have set directly over our face we wouldn't be able to move our mouths. If you unroll some aluminum foil, fold it in half, and squish it over your lower jaw, that should leave enough room for you to talk behind the mask. It will make your final mask look somewhat gorilla like, but I think it's even more menacing. :)

Cut two pieces of straw about two inches long. These pieces of plastic will fit glamorously up your nose, enabling you to breathe.

Cut your plaster bandages into strips of varying lengths.

I'm blind without my glasses and I don't have contact lenses. What I did was take the lenses off my old glasses and laid them over my eyes. Once the mask comes off, you can glue the lenses inside the mask.

Step 3: Start Making the Mask

Picture of Start Making the Mask

Now it's time to put your trust in your friend. You will need to lay on top of the newspapers face-up (might be good to lay on a towel/pillow as the floor can be quite hard, and you'll be there for a while). You friend will take the plaster bandages, dip them in water, squeeze off the excess, and start plastering up your face.

Step 4: Modify Mask

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Once your mask is finished, wait another 10-15 minutes before removing it. If you're having trouble, try scrunching up your face, saying the vowels, blinking rapidly, raising your eyebrows, etc. Anything to stretch your skin and get the plaster off. If you haven't rubbed your hairy bits with enough vasaline, this step might be a little traumatic.

Once the mask is off your face, you can now shape it with the remaining plaster. I added more depth to the forehead, nose, and cheeks. I also added a 'ring' around the eye sockets as seen in some of the official death eater art. Once you're happy with the mask, let it dry overnight resting on a ball of aluminum in case it starts to buckle.

Step 5: Paint the Mask

Picture of Paint the Mask

Get out your metallic paints and paint-er-up! This is a stage where it is helpful to have your sketch to refer back to.

Once you're done painting, let it dry. Attach elastics/ribbon to the back using super-glue (I needed an anchor above and below my ears, as well as over the top of my head. The mask is a little heavy!).

I glued my lenses to the back of the mask using a glue gun. I also left a ring of glue around the lenses where it makes contact with my face, as I found without that extra space my eyeballs were pressing up against the lenses and it was quite painful. Just wear contact lenses if you have them!

Step 6: Wear It!

Picture of Wear It!

Grab your longest cloak, blackest gloves and boots, and don your mask! Memorize some curses! Pose grumpily for pictures! Scare small children! :)

For my wand, I've used this great instructable.

Also, for added authenticity, henna-tattoo a dark mark on your left forearm!


instructable person 9 (author)2012-07-16

i made a paper mache mask

instructable person 9 (author)2012-07-08

looks great

gamingzombie (author)2012-02-02

You know if you want to not use your own face you could buy your own foam mannequin head and use plaster over that easier and only need one person.

jrose8 (author)2011-07-13

if you dont want vasaline all over your face or mask you can use a wet paper towel or two. I did that when we had to make masks in art class and it keeps most of the mess off your face altogether. most people were able to wipe a tiny bit of plaster off their face with a wet towel.

cranezysam (author)2009-10-13

Instead of doing all that work with the plaster bandages(I hate those...), couldn't you just buy one of those cheap plastic masks that they have at Michaels, and cut out the holes with an X-Acto knife?

Anyway, thanks for the instructable!
I'm going to surprise my sister with a Lucius mask at Christmas. =]

cranezysam (author)cranezysam2010-01-23

This is what it looks like with the plastic mask.

luvablemurder (author)cranezysam2011-05-15

thats a good idea but i think the plaster way is so the mask fits on your face perfectly, where the store brought ones are a random persons face shape.

Hugo4123 (author)cranezysam2010-12-15

that looks like one from the movies

Illidan (author)2007-07-16

last time i made a moulded plaster mask tiny bits of plaster went under my eyelids, it hurt A LOT. not moving your face while is sets is easier said than done. also- i dont know if you mentioned it in the instructable but in my experience the inside of the mask remains vaselined forever more.

grimsqueaker (author)Illidan2007-07-16

I couldn't find this on the internet but my friend was paranoid of getting it in her eyes as someone told her it could blind her. I imagine if the plaster had a chance to harden in there it would not be a good thing! Yes, not moving your face is easier said than done. Make sure to tell your friends not to turn up the music and start prancing around like pirates while your mask is setting! The inside of my mask isn't too vasaline-y actually, but I did leave it on for quite a while as it set so maybe my skin absorbed most of it? It is a little slick around the forehead.

Illidan (author)grimsqueaker2007-10-02

well plaster hardened touching my eyes and i didnt go blind my eyes and mouth were covered so i couldnt see anyone prancing around but i spent half an hour gesturing for them to turn of the james blunt on the radio to no avail

BraisedDuck (author)Illidan2010-10-19

u could try dunking tissue paper in plaster of paris and let it harden that way... it has basically the same effect, maybe somewhat thinner

TheSweetRevenge (author)2009-10-21

 xD i think i'll get one of those cheap halloween masks instead of my face. :] don't think i'll be able to bear having wet plaster on my face for long =D

this is great, btw :3

Rue_Ryuzaki (author)2009-10-09

just so u kno ur actually supposed to start at the nose with a criss cross cuz thats where most of the masks strength is trust me i made like 5 masks out of plaster bandages but good job none the less

Jesus. (author)2009-08-02

i was a deatheater last halloween ;)

spotfrog (author)2009-07-14

I didn't use paper mache, but rather another, similarly uncomfortable process of cutting and taping pieces of cardstock to my face until the shape was correct. I painted it with a latex primer to add some weight and solidity. The final paint-job was done with a coat of silver acrylic, over which I applied masking tape designs when it was dry. I then coated it with a mix of black and silver, peeled off the masking tape, and viola! It might be too late to make a mask for the premier tonight, but I hope this gives someone some ideas for the future. : )

JKibs95 (author)2009-07-11

Man... hard to believe the last movie came out last year...

JKibs95 (author)JKibs952009-07-11

no, wait... 2 years ago?

JKibs95 (author)JKibs952009-07-11


mg0930mg (author)JKibs952009-07-14

This one was supposed to come out last November, remember?

JKibs95 (author)mg0930mg2009-07-14

oh yeah... I forget: why'd they postpone it?

Danzy (author)2009-06-27

Great job dude, I'll do mine tomorrow (I need to buy plaster bandages) anyway I was thinking about this project and I didn't want to use vaseline coz I don't have any hair on my face yet but, after I saw that comment "My brother tore his eyebrows out doing this" I will use it :) I can send u pictures of my mask but tell me your e-mail or something

whiteoakart (author)2007-07-15

I will second the warning. Put lots of vaseline on your facial hair. My brother tore his eyebrows out doing this (he thought he had enough vaseline on). That's a special kind of self-induced pain, with a side-helping of humility walking around eyebrowless.

Crucio (author)whiteoakart2008-10-26

Couldn't you just cover your face completely with a layer of aluminum foil and then plaster on top of that to avoid vaseline? A-foil is so easy to shape, so this could save a lot of eyebrows and gooey mess. :) BTW, GREAT JOB, GRIM! You guys look AWESOME in those last pix!

thedubbedmime (author)Crucio2008-12-06

I agree. I think if you put a hole layer of foil on the face this would be alot easier. also, I think you should sand down the mask to a nice finish.

We did try it with aluminum foil at first, but it didn't mold to our faces at all! So we just went with the plaster and it worked out a lot better.

grimsqueaker (author)whiteoakart2007-07-15

Ouch! His WHOLE eyebrow? :S Yeah, my friend didn't put enough over her hairline so that was pretty painful for her. I was pretty paranoid after hearing horror stories from the internet so I did put enough on myself!

teamcoltra (author)2008-10-30

Can you sand these down to make them a little smother/metallic looking? I am new to plaster.

izzozzi (author)2008-10-14

Nice job! Informative instructable, and the mask looks good. Keep 'em comin'! BAM!

NeonSpleen (author)2008-09-19

totally being a death eater this halloween. Thanks a bunch for the tips!! *hug*

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-08-30

Eat that DEATH!

cwhara (author)2008-08-30

Hey matte, After mask dries, put some gypsun on it. Results are much better. ;D

dwhp (author)2008-08-25

heres my way I did it sorry bout the lolqwerwegf lolpics

dwhp (author)2008-08-25

I saw this then tried to make a paper Mache one.I added some cloth to keep it on.

saxyboy95 (author)2007-08-02

i just saw this a week ago sadly and ive been looking for plaster bandeges for a while and i cant find any. i live in jonosboro illinois and im basicly in the middle of nowhere and i wanted to know if just plaster could work? please tell me asap.

Sunbanks (author)saxyboy952007-08-11

Try a craft store...That's where I got plaster bandages for my fifth grade science fair project

grimsqueaker (author)saxyboy952007-08-02

I don't think pouring pure plaster on your face is a good idea. :) If you can find bandages, and find plaster, and mix them together...

saxyboy95 (author)grimsqueaker2007-08-02

what if you dipped newspaper shreds in plaster. also thank you

grimsqueaker (author)saxyboy952007-08-02

I have no idea, this is my first time trying this so I don't know how well it would work! Maybe paper mache??

saxyboy95 (author)grimsqueaker2007-08-02

still there

saxyboy95 (author)grimsqueaker2007-08-02

or goze

gravehearted (author)2007-07-26

we had a lot of fun making them, they scared the bejesus out of little kids at the book release too, he he. I used clock parts on the mouth of mine, since i looked everywhere for the right kind of hinges. Also, I started out with a lot more detail and realized it looked better less busy, so recolored over much of it with silver. thanks so much for sharing this - we're really happy with our masks

saxyboy95 (author)gravehearted2007-08-02


Woah, did I miss this comment? They look awesome! And the clock parts work really well too. :D I'm glad you got to scare some kids! Same on my end, it was fun. :) Although there was this little shrimpy kid dressed as Harry Potter who kept running after us shouting Unforgivables. I Sectumsempraed him and told him that the Ministry would come down hard. XD

saxyboy95 (author)2007-08-02

are their any art stores in cape gireaurdo

grant0 (author)2007-07-20

Awesome! I just took my mask off (and washed my hair and face like four times to get that plaster out) and it is drying fast. (I need it for the launch tonight, and it's already 12:43 here in Toronto!) It's really rough, and I only did two layers, but the design I am using is mostly black, and the book party I'm going to is mostly outdoors in the dark, so it should be okay, I hope. The aluminum foil really works well. A hint for other people who JUST DECIDED TO DO THIS NOW: the water which you are using to dip the plaster in should be WARM, and if you want it to dry faster, sprinkle a bit of salt in the water. No idea why this works. (Catalyzes reactions maybe? Something like that? Whatever, it seems to work. Mine's almost fully dry after 30 minutes, though it's only two layers.) This should be awesome! Now to finish sewing on my hood to my robe...

grimsqueaker (author)grant02007-07-20

Wow! You're brave to be doing such a rush job. I hope you get it finished in time! Make sure to take a picture when you're done, I'd love to see how it turned out!! :D Good luck!

highvoltageev (author)2007-07-20

Here's a picture of mine. I think it looks like John McCain. (Not that I have anything particularly against him, that's just what I thought of, especially before it was painted.) I have yet to attach a harness yet, I plan on doing that tomorrow. I have a wide elastic band I'm going to use, the only problem is how to secure it safely. I bought a tub of plaster to use to smooth out some parts of the bandages, but I found if you use to much it becomes very brittle.

Thanks so much for sharing! I love it, it looks awesome. :D I attached my elastic band with super glue, it came in this tiny tube and it will stick your fingers together if you're not careful. When I first started I Was thinking of punching holes into the plaster to attach the elastic but it does feel quite brittle. Good job on the smoothing by the way!

highvoltageev (author)2007-07-18

I just finished the plaster stage of mine. I found that if you add a little water to it at the end and LIGHTLY press the cheeks in to make them look sunken, it's a bit more sinister. Thanks for the great instructions. I can't wait for the big day. I'm going to paint it tomorrow. I'll probably use the official art as a basic guide, but I'll get creative with it. I think you can make it however suits you, since it all depends on the reader's interpretation.

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More by grimsqueaker:Harry Potter: Luna's Radish EarringsHarry Potter: Make a Death Eater Mask!Harry Potter: Henna a Dark Mark
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