Introduction: How to Make a Plague Doctor Mask

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In the Long-ago times, during times of plague in the Long-ago times, it was believed that foul smelling air was responsible for the spreading of the sickness (so close). To combat this problem, doctors who worked in while plagues were rampant wore beak-like masks to hold aromatic items to filter the bad air and prevent infection. In theory. I wanna make one!

Step 1: The Template

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trace your template onto your material and cut it out. I'm using one I got from my main. . . woman (doesn't sound quite right, does it?) at Vivid And Trivial, but you can use any you want, or make your own. I had to modify mine a bit, as my head seems to be bigger than hers. Once any alterations have been made, trace it onto your material and cut it out. I'm using a thin card for mine.

Step 2: Fitting Together

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Once you've done that, you'll need to put them together. This is simple enough but it can be a little tricky to stick the pieces together and maintain the dimension of the piece, so be patient. I also found that the two curvy bits that were supposed to make up the bottom of the mask wouldn't stick together if I was using a stiff material like card, so I had to make a new bottom. Heh, I said bottom. I did this by measuring the bottom edge of one of the large side pieces of the mask and then measuring the width of my jaw as far back as I could manage. Once i'd done this I used the dimensions to create an icosoles triangle using the bottom of the side piece for the sides of the triangle and my jaw width for the base of the triangle. I then taped this to the bottom of the mask. If you're doing the same, maybe add on a centemeter or two. This mask ended up a little too small for me.

Step 3: Structure

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For what I wanted to do with the mask next, it would need more structural integrety, so I mad some fluted cardbord triangles to place inside the mask. I used the same method as with the bottom (heheh) in the last step, measuring the distance between the bottom of the mask and the bridge of the nose, and then measuring the width of the bottom in the same spot, doing this three times along the mask, then making triangles of cardboard with the dimensions and placing them inside the mask, securing them with hot glue.

Step 4: Badly Timed Forehead

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At this point I joined the forehead pattern to the rest of the mask, but I had to modify it a bit to make it willing to conform to the rest of the mask. I did this by cutting out a small. . . thingey, and then taping the two sides of the thingey together. This gave it a bit of a bend and made it much easier to fit onto the rest of the mask. It may be a good idea to put a temporary support inside the mask near the face to keep the sides of the mask further apart during the next few steps. I didn't. Dont make the same mistakes I did.

Step 5: More Materials

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Now you're ready to prepare any materials you want to put over the mask. I decided to have one layer of soft material underneath a layer of textured matereal to give a more interesting and genuine look. And no, I did not come up with that. For the soft layer I used coconut husk fibre and for the textured layer I used scraps of leather cut from a handbag. Mum never used it anyway. She'll be fine. But please don't feel restricted to whatever I used or did. You may make of this tutorial as you will. If you ARE doing something similar to this, then get your materials ready to put on. Gluing them is enough of a pain as it it without having to get them ready as you go. Also, if you want to make any adjustments to the shape of the mask or eyes or anything, now is the time to do it. Once you start putting the materials on, you won't be able to make any adjustments, so if there are any to make, make them now.

Step 6: Coconut Husk Fiber (CCHKFB)

Picture of Coconut Husk Fiber (CCHKFB)

When putting the materials on the mask, start with the eyes. If you don't they will be very difficult to build around later. I traced the inside onto small squares of fibe, then cut them out and glued them over the eyes. I then glued fiber over the rest of the mask, and cut off any that stuck over the edge of the mask.

Step 7: Mistake-hiding and Leather

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Once you've done that, it would be a good idea to paint the husk fiber whatever color the textured material is, so that no gaps between the pieces of textured material show up. Trust me, if you are glueing, you will almost certainally have gaps, so you don't want them to show up by having the underlying material a different color. Once you've done this, glue on the next material, again starting at the eyes. This is a very long process, so be patient. It helps to tape the pieces down while waiting for the glue to set. Also, don't try to do it all at once. Do it as the glue dries.

Step 8: Repairs and Final Touches

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When you regain your sanity and the glue is dry, glue down any corners that have come up and patch up any holes or gaps you plausibly can. I also had to patch up around the eyes. I expect you'll also want to make something to keep it on your head. I'll let you figure that one out. I'm working on it, but I needed to get this tutorial published quickly.

Step 9: Finished!

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And now you've finished! Go and wear it while standing outside the house of someone you don't like. Send me pictures and chocolate.

Comments

seamster (author)2014-11-11

Very nicely done! I never knew the origin of these, thank you for sharing that!

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Bio: I am 42 and have been for the last fifteen years.
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