Introduction: How to MAKE a Geico Caveman Costume

Picture of How to MAKE a Geico Caveman Costume

My first Instructable!!!!
While watching TV I saw the famous Geico Caveman commercial. I thought to myself what a great Halloween costume idea, so I went to work and took some pics along the way. Hope you enjoy and hopefully this Halloween there will be a bunch of caveman walking the streets!!! Total project cost was about $30.00 excluding some stuff I already had, and it took about two days to complete.

Step 1: What You Will Need


For lifecast:
plaster bandages
petroleum jelly
bald cap
drinking straws
another person

For sculpture:
modeling clay
miscellaneous utensils
more plaster

For mask:
liquid latex
spirit gum

Step 2: Make a Lifecast

Picture of Make a Lifecast

As Wikipedia defines a lifecast "is the process of creating a three-dimensional copy of a living human body" in this case just the face. I found an excellent instructible on this (Lifecasting-Hands) so I wont go into that much detail. Sorry forgot to take pics

First put a bald cap on so it covers your hair.

Second apply the petroleum jelly to all facial hair like eyebrows, eyelashes etc.

Third mix alginate and apply over face and let dry (it will turn rubbery) put straws in nose so you can breath.

Fourth wet plaster bandages and apply over dry alginate and let harden.

Fifth, wiggle your face to loosen alginate, pull off alginate and plaster bandages together, the plaster bandages keeps the shape of your face. This is a negative of your face.

Lastly mix and pour plaster into the negative, let dry and then you will have a positive of your face!!

Step 3: Lets Sculpt a CAVEMAN!!

Picture of Lets Sculpt a CAVEMAN!!

OK, so you have a positive of your face, now you need a game plan.

I found pics online and used them as a reference, my plan was to sculpt one part at a time starting with the forehead and brows then work down. Even though I have a big nose already, I made it wider so it looks different and made some protruding cheekbones to help with the Neanderthal look.

Step 4: Add Some Detail and Texture

Picture of Add Some Detail and Texture

Now that you have the basic caveman look you should add some imperfections just like a human or caveman might have. You can use anything around like a knife or other utensils for this. I used a sharp knife for the forehead lines, an orange for the texture of human pours and a pine cone for some creators.

Step 5: Cast the Sculpture and Adding Latex

Picture of Cast the Sculpture and Adding Latex

So your done sculpting, now mix up some plaster putting a thin layer on first, making sure it gets in all the cracks. Then keep plopping more on until you cover the whole thing. Let it fully dry so when you pull it off the cracks and lines are not left in in the sculpture.

The second pic shows the inside of the casting even though it looks like the positive its actually a negative. It looks wet because it is, I added the liquid latex in multiple layers so it gets thick. The last pic is when it is almost dry. I left it over night just to be sure it fully cured. END OF DAY ONE

Step 6: Test Fitting and Trimming

Picture of Test Fitting and Trimming

Day 2, I took out the dry latex mask, cut out the eyes and tried it on. Fit like a glove! As you can see the mouth is totally covered so I later cut it out along the cheek lines and removed the mouth and chin ( hay I need to talk).

Step 7: Its Beard Time

Picture of Its Beard Time

This part took FOREVER!!
So now we make the beard. The beard hair is the same hair as the wig. I bought a "religious" wig which had hair past my shoulders, so I cut it and put in some gel to make it look wet.

I applied a thin layer of liquid latex where the beard was going to go, then used the leftover hair and applied small bunches starting from the lower chin and adding layers on top, using latex to make it stick. I later added the mustache and trimmed the whole thing. This took about 3 1/2 hours to do.

Step 8: Coloring the Mask

Picture of Coloring the Mask

Here comes the tricky part, matching the color of the mask close to the caveman's skin. I went to the 99 cents store and picked up some cheap oil based makeup and went to work. Use darker makeup in the lines and cracks so they are more visible. As you can see the mask is now in two pieces. I later added hair to the lower cheeks so it would blend in with the beard.

Step 9: Putting It All Together

Picture of Putting It All Together

This Step will mostly be pics that are self explanatory. Start with the forehead using spirit gum to stick all mask parts on. Then put the beard on, next the nose and cheek part since it has hair that falls over the beard. Lastly fill in the mouth, eyes and around the mask with the same makeup and put on the wig!

Step 10: The FINNISHED Product!!!

Picture of The FINNISHED Product!!!

So here it is the Before and After, it was a little weird my close friends and even my own Mother did not recognize me at first HaHa, so go out and populate the streets caveman style! Hope you enjoyed my first instructable, more to come!!


MjPadfoot (author)2010-10-11


RaNDoMLeiGH (author)2010-10-10

Nice job!

For removing the first plaster face from the second plaster face, as some people have said, coat the entire thing with dishwashing liquid (like palmolive) or with vaseline. Vaseline can break down latex but you probably won't have a problem with that since it mostly soaks into the plaster.

THIN coats of latex + hairdryer = much time saved.

You can also make the forehead, cheeks, and nose in separate pieces. Feather out the edges so they're very thin. When you glue them to your face with spirit gum, melt the edges with acetone (polish remover) but for god's sake KEEP IT OUT OF YOUR EYES and don't breathe it in. Put a small amount in a glass or ceramic bowl or cup and paint it on with a cheapo paintbrush. This will help blend the pieces together a lot better and make the appliances more comfortable to wear, especially around the mouth and corners of the eyes.

The person who suggested putting cotton balls inside the latex has a great idea. You will sweat a lot under a latex mask and this trick will help keep the sweat from pooling up in the brows and nose, which could later result in weirdness when it decides to come out, ha ha.

Spirit gum remover is your friend. Get some when you buy your spirit gum.

The latex at Michael's in the mold-making department is, for this purpose, the same as the stuff you can get from Joe Blasco or Ben Nye and costs about 1/3 less. I wouldn't put it right on my skin, but after the solvent cures, you're just left with the dried latex, and we've never had a problem with cured appliances. Haven't actually tried it on my skin but I would use a cosmetic grade latex for that part.

To lay a beard, paint on a couple of thin layers of latex over the whole area and allow to dry. Paint a thin line of latex where you want to place the hair. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Fan the hair in your fingers and use the end of a toothbrush or paintbrush to embed the hair in the latex. Allow to dry before moving up the cheek or chin for the next line of hair.

For a natural look the top of the beard should be a lot more sparse than the bottom. Pay close attention to the hairline, how it "grows" from the face. If necessary lay in one or two hairs at a time. However, for this costume you probably don't need to be that picky.

OdieGiblet (author)2010-04-23

Great mask, I just finished making mine and I'm happy with how it came out. Thanks for the idea! But this tutorial is definitely lacking some information which left me scratching my neanderthal scull. I used this site to help me fill in the gaps on how to do it. The site uses all clay in the first mold, but it's pretty much the same thing.

ZelenVR (author)2009-10-25

Any chance someone could post quantities of the supplies needed? Specifically I'm looking the clay and the laytex, but tips on the rest would be great too!  Looking for amounts for each item,  per mask, on the high side if estimates. I'm really new to this and dont want to run short, and I tend to have pretty steep learning curve with this this artistic. Thanks everyone!

Vessie (author)ZelenVR2009-10-29

I started this project last night and it took me 3 times to mix the aliginate correctly. I bought 1lb of alignate, which is enough for about 3 masks. When you mix the alignate with water, make sure you use a 1:1 ratio. I used 16oz (2 cups) warm water with 2 cups alginate powder. On the alignate it told me to use 5.5oz alginate for 16oz water, but they base that on weight, not volume. if you dont have a scale to measure the alginate to 5.5oz, just use a 1:1 ratio. (2 cups water, 2 cups alginate. Note: Make sure you have another person mix the alginate and apply it on your face. Doing it by yourself is pretty impossible. Keep me updated on your mask building venture!

qwertyuiop5433 (author)2009-10-24

How much alginate do you need to use for the negative. I need to know how much i need to buy.

chadsanders (author)2009-10-22

dont understand what you put on  the mask here because the alginate is not working to runny then when it gets think u can not sculpt it just wondering ?

echuta86 (author)2009-10-12

What kind of plaster did you use here? I put plaster over my mold and now I can't seem to separate them. Was I supposed to use alginate to cover it then plaster bandages? Any help would be appreciated!

echuta86 (author)echuta862009-10-13

OK, FINALLY!!! For those of you who are stuck on step 5 or are confused. On my second try I got it right. Here are some helpful tips:

1) To make your life easier, lay your molded face facing up. Use molding clay and put about 1 inch x 1 inch wall around the base of the face. This will help you use leverage to pry the mold from the plaster at the end.
2) Before you start layering plaster on top, cover your molded face and wall from step 1 with a thin layer of vaseline (I've heard soapy water works or there is a liquid you can get from a ceramic store but for me, vaseline worked great!). Be very thorough and spread nook and cranny.
3) When you prep plaster, be sure to make plenty. You'll want mounds and mounds on top. I think I used about 3 quarts (combined volume) and gave everywhere a good 2-3 inches worth
4) Wait for the plaster to start setting (ie, it just start changing from watery to gooey) before you start putting it on top of the mold.
5) After the plaster has set on top, I used a screw driver to start prying out the inner mold gently along the 1 inch clay wall going in a circular motion. It will start to give slowly and you can just life it out about 1/2 way around.

piper1234 (author)2009-10-05

mm i don't see the point... can't notice the difference btween you with n' without mask .... :P hahahaha xD just kidding :D you gimme some ideas thx ; )

ANTQNUT (author)2009-10-03


screeching crow (author)2009-10-03

very cool although way too involved for me i think ill just skip the mask

fylraen (author)2008-10-28

A few words of advice: If you start from scratch this project will cost you a lot more than $30. For me: Latex = $20. Alginate = $12. Clay = $7. Bald cap = $3. Plaster = $7. Wig = $20. Spirit gum = $2. Plaster bandages = $3.

When you get modeling clay, BUY OIL-BASED CLAY. I can't stress this enough! Otherwise the plaster will stick to it and make things impossible.

The liquid latex I bought (Mehron) is pretty thin and takes about 15 minutes to dry a coat, more in the cracks / crevasses. You need dozens of coats of latex in the thick areas that need support (nose, cheek ridges, upper lip, brow ridge) at 15 minutes a shot. It takes a long time. Give yourself plenty of time.

You can use a drinking straw in your mouth to breathe, since you will be cutting out the mouth anyway. Make sure you hold it loosely in the mouth so as not to distort the face. It's much easier for breathing than the nose.

thepelton (author)fylraen2009-10-02

A good oil based clay is Plastiline. (Not sure about the spelling, but it should be available in art supply stores.)

rafalobo (author)fylraen2008-11-03

sidenotes: to make the mask easier to blend in with your face, go easy on the latex around the the eyes, the sides, or the mouth. when making the first positive cast from the alginate mold...before the plaster sets, try putting a "handle" in place and let the plaster cure around it...that will give you something to pull the clay sculpture from the 2nd plaster cast. a "handle" can be anything...bolt, old cabinet handle...or even a groove you make with your fingers...not so deep so it interferes with the facial features of the cast but just deep enough so you can put at least two fingers in there to pull the clay sculpture away from the plaster. when making the alginate mold from your face, make sure you cover enough real estate..meaning a few inches past the top of your hairline all the way to the underside of your chin, and the sides of your face to your ears....this is to ensure you have a bowl-like mold deep enough to hold the plaster. For smoothing out the clay on the sculpture...try using a sponge with warm water...but be sure you're using oilbased clay or else the clay will turn liquidy.

rafalobo (author)rafalobo2008-11-03's a good idea to stuff some cotton on the inside of the latex the empty spots like the brow, the nose or the cheekbones...because you will sweat underneath it.

carliman56 (author)fylraen2008-10-29

Where did you get all this stuff??? I gonna get it today! well I just need to know where to get the plaster, bandages and alginate! help thannxx!!

fylraen (author)carliman562008-10-30

You can get that stuff at an art store like Utrecht or Dick Blick. Craft stores like Michael's have the bandages and plaster but I didn't find any alginate.

carliman56 (author)fylraen2008-10-31


rafalobo (author)fylraen2008-10-30

also at Douglas & Sturgess in San Francisco or Richmond,

carliman56 (author)rafalobo2008-10-31

thank you guys!!

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-10-02

That is awesome! great job!

Ouroborous (author)2009-10-01

Ha ha! That's amazing! I must admit that I'm thoroughly sick of those caveman commercials, and the gecko ones for that matter, but that costume is awesome nonetheless.

Lt. Commander Richie (author)2009-02-14

I've been meaning to do something like this to make a Wraith face, thank you for posting!

purplekitty (author)2008-12-26

Amazing! You should walk down the street and the malls and stuff and act like him that would be so funny looking at the peoples faces. "It's the caveman!" xD

fylraen (author)2008-10-31

You can do the beard creation step on your positive. It's a lot easier.

MonteB (author)2008-10-27

I got it to come out but, all the clay was stuck to the inside. That was a pain to get out! I did read on another site to coat the whole positive with a layer of dish soap so I did that. Then a shook the heck out of it to pop off the plaster once it was dry. I will post a pic of my final look once its done.

rafalobo (author)MonteB2008-10-27

so you applied the dishsoap to the positive clay sculpture before you added the plaster on top? And before adding the plaster, did you mix it normally (2:1 plaster/water by volume)? I saw a vid on youtube that showed a clay barrier around the positive and the plaster was poured onto the positive within the barrier...and it made it easier to separate the negative from the positive....also I think you're actually supposed to use a water-based clay so it doesn't stick to the inside of the negative. But of course I used an oil-based clay like mostly everone else because it wasn't mentioned anywhere to use water-based. lol

MonteB (author)2008-10-27

this was a fantastic idea but I'm having problems getting the molded face back out if the plaster!? Anyone have any ideas???

rafalobo (author)MonteB2008-10-27

maybe you have to break it out...but then you might end up breaking the whole thing...i'm having trouble with this also. step 5 sux! -_-

phendyr (author)2008-10-25

how did you prevent the 2nd casting, after sculpting, from sticking to the clay and be able to pull them apart? I was working on this, and at that point, I could not separate the two, resulting in a broken forehead and nose :( now I gotta try and glue it all back together and hope I can fabricate something to rebuild the nose structure before applying latex.... great work though, looks great :)

rafalobo (author)phendyr2008-10-27

I'm having the same problem....actually I started off with a small amount of plaster first and when I noticed it was sticking hard to the clay I immediately washed off the plaster and resculpted the clay. Now I'm stuck and don't know how to go about this. I'm guessing that applying a release agent or petroleum jelly to the sculpture before adding the plaster might make the 2nd cast easier to remove. wish me luck

jomamasdad (author)2008-10-25

this instructable is so easy, a caveman could do it!

momm (author)2008-10-20

i bet u didnt make anything, ur the guy that plays the cave man!!!! :P

hornbadoing (author)momm2008-10-22

he is

rafalobo (author)2008-10-19

regarding step 5: if you add plaster onto the sculpture, won't it stick to or merge with the eyes and other plastered pieces? or do you just mix the plaster so it's really thick? When I mixed the plaster for the original alginate mold, I used a 2:1 ratio by volume (powder/water) and it came out thin and easy to pour into the alginate mold....should it be thicker when you "plop" it onto the clay sculpture? thanks.

Fillitup4 (author)2008-10-19

ohh wow that's amazing

matthewabel (author)2008-10-19

Man, what an excellent project. And a great east-to-read instructable.

bassclarinet23 (author)2008-10-19

That's really good.

cantthinkof bettername (author)2008-10-18

That looks just like the guy on tv. good job.

Redgerr (author)2008-10-18

Teh awesomeness

BuffaloNickel (author)2008-10-18


SuperTails (author)2008-10-16

Before I looked at this, I thought you used stock photos. You look just like the actor. Very cool.

lockdown1101 (author)2008-10-16

epic win.

Ian.G (author)2008-09-30

needs more hair.

schlitzme (author)2008-09-26

Looks good. I'm a little confused about step 5 though. Do you pull off the plaster and then pour in the liquid latex....if so does the plaster peel off the modeling clay easily?

zomfibame (author)2008-09-24

very well done; the outfit you have on with the mask really makes it come together.

GWJax (author)2008-07-14

You should try the foam latex next so you wont have any cracks on down the future plus it moves like natural skin. I started off like this too but adding the foam really worked well eventhough you have to bake it. great job and nice layout. A+++ GWJax

Handsome-Ryan (author)2008-06-12

Very cool project and well executed. I'd like to see more details about what's going on in steps 5-6 though. You never really explain how you used the latex in the mold(s) you created. Overall a great instructable.

Gary (aka fool4jesus) (author)2008-05-05

This is very well done. Good pictures and instructions.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love brewing and drinking my own Beer (hence the name), building robots, animatronics, working on my car, and building random things.
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