So you're a HUGE Deadmau5 fan and have been aching to get your hands on one of those sweet Mau5 heads - but NOT one like some of those epic fail's you've seen some people wear... you want a legit head that will be envied by all. Well, I'm here to help. The process is long, it takes a huge amount of determination and patience, but I promise you, in the end, you will have the sikkest Mau5head of any you've ever seen!
Alright, LET'S GO!!!!
14” acrylic lamp post globe with 5.5” neckless opening – any color www.superiorlighting.com
6” acrylic lamp globe – white www.superiorlighting.com
4’x8’ Dow blue extruded polystyrene Styrofoam sheet 1/2” thickness
12” fully threaded rods 8/32” diameter (4pcs)
1 ¼” fender washers (4pcs)
8/32” wing nuts
Professional grade ratcheting hard hat
Lighting for eyes, can use LED’s – I use EL wire from www.coolneon.com
2yds fabric – 4 way stretch is best
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Liquid Nails for foam adhesive and applicator gun
Ball end sewing pins
Dremel with bits for cutting, sanding, and drilling
Jigsaw or open ended hacksaw
Fabric measuring tape
Single-edge razor blades
Small jaw clamps
Metal Mesh Food Cover Dome
Nylon tights or sheer chiffon for mouth
Electrical or duct tape
Black Spray Paint
Before you begin building your own Mau5head, there is one thing I cannot stress enough, take a great deal of time in the beginning to PLAN. Not only are the collective materials needed an investment, but to create your head properly, it will also take a lot of time – you want your final product to be worthy of all the blood, sweat, and tears that go into its creation! Find a few reference pictures to work from for inspiration and keep those at your work desk, it will help you to visualize along the way, as the head won’t look like much until it all comes together in the end.
For the most accurate replica, a 14” acrylic globe should be used, however if you are very petite a 13” could be used, or if you’re of a larger build you may consider a 16” globe, but in most cases the 14” will be ideal. My measurements are based off of a 14” diameter globe, if you should use a different size, please keep this in mind and adjust your measurements accordingly.
Step 1: Marking Your Globe
The neck opening should be angled toward the back to both look the best and have the most natural angle when worn. The easiest way to map out the circle for the opening is to create a ring out of your poster board that measures 9” in diameter and place it on the existing opening front. The remainder of the circle will extend slightly up the back of the globe – be sure to check that the ring is equal on either side so that your opening will not be lopsided. Secure with tape, trace around ring with a sharpie, and remove poster board ring.
The mouth opening will rise slightly above the equator line in the center. Mark a dot 5/8” above the equator on the front center line to determine the high point on the mouth. Measure 6 ½” down from this dot to find the lowest point of the bottom lip and mark this point. Now place a dot on the equator line ½” in front of the side line on each side, this will be the outer edges of the mouth. Again, strips of poster board will be incredibly helpful to create even, straight lines. Use tape strips to secure the poster board across the globe starting with the center top point to outer edge points, draw your line with a sharpie. Then, using the same poster board strip, repeat this on the bottom edge from the lower point up to the outer edges. This will create a perfectly curved lower lip, and perfectly straight upper lip.
Don’t worry about marking the ear position yet, we will do that once the ears are built.
Step 2: Cutting Neck & Mouth Openings and Eye Globes
The mouth opening can now be cut, but be very careful not to rest your arm or place unnecessary pressure on the globe. Cutting out these areas weakens the structure, and you want to avoid cracking or otherwise damaging the acrylic during this phase of construction. ** do NOT cut the mouth out with the jigsaw, the acrylic is very thin here and it will break! ** A Dremel with cutting blade works great for the mouth, and the acrylic is MUCH thinner in this area. Be patient and make 2-3 passes over the entire area to cut through. You can also use an open ended hacksaw to cut the mouth, but again, be careful with the pressure you place on the globe and you’ll do just fine. Keep the cut out piece to use as reference as you form the metal mesh for the mouth later on.
At this point you can get your head inside, go ahead, try it on and make sure the neck hole is large enough and everything is looking even and properly placed so far. Keep in mind that the hard hat will elevate the globe up off your shoulders. You can even slip the hard hat through the neck opening at this point to try on if you would like. After everything looks good, sand any rough edges around the areas that were just cut out.
Since you’re likely covered in all kinds of acrylic bits and dust, this is a great time to cut the smaller white globe that will become the eyes. Mark out 5 1/4" circles on either side of the white globe and cut out with a Dremel. Smooth edges with a sanding bit or sandpaper on a wood block if you prefer. Remove any remaining sharpie marks with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.
Step 3: Building the Lip
Step 4: Creating the Ears
Also be aware that some fabrics are somewhat sheer, so keep that in mind when marking your foam sheets and assembling ears. Try to put the printed side on the inside of the ear foam sandwich to avoid any see-through when covering them with fabric later.
Once the channels are cut and fit checked, use low temp hot glue to secure the rods in the channels. The rods only need to extend ¾”-1” past the bottom edge of the ear. Draw a bead of foam safe liquid nails adhesive on the foam and then apply hot glue down the channels with the rods and around the perimeter of the ear. Quickly sandwich the other piece of foam on top and use strips of tape to hold the two pieces firmly together until the glue has set. Repeat process for other ear.
After the glue has set, remove the tape strips that were used to hold the sandwiched pieces together so that the entire edge of the foam is exposed all the way around. Now, take a piece of 300 grit sandpaper wrapped around a wood block to sand the edges of the ears perfectly smooth. You will want a nice flat edge with 90* angle all the way around to have a crisp, finished look to your ears after applying the fabric covering.
Now that your ears have taken shape you can decide where you want them to rest on the head. Again, there are two main positions for the ears: wider set, and higher perked-up ears. The spacing difference between the two is only about ¾”, so be careful when you mark your globe. Hold your ears up to the head to get a feel for where you would like them to sit – don’t place them on the side marker lines, the ear holes should be cut 1” back from the side midlines. Hold them up to determine height placement, mark, and check to make sure they are equally spaced down from the center point at the top of the head.
Now you can cut the holes for the rods to slip through. Your rods will be at an angle, so cut your holes oval to allow for slight adjustment as the rods slide into the head. You don’t want a super tight fit as this could cause the acrylic to crack as they move. Have you ever seen someone split the seat of their pants? Yeah… too tight of a fit.
After you’ve drilled your holes for the rods, attach them to the head with washers and wing nuts. Now it’s really starting to look like you’re getting somewhere!!
Step 5: Eye Placement and Lighting
Depending on the type of lighting you will be using in the eyes, you may wish to mark out any holes you need to drill or cut to accommodate the lighting source. I use electroluminescent cool neon wire from www.coolneon.com and only need to drill two small holes in each eye area to route the wires. At this point, do not yet install the lighting; this will be done after you have covered the head in fabric.
Step 6: Preparing and Installing Head Restraint
Step 7: Preparing Metal Mesh for Mouth Opening
The solution: use a large (14" diameter) metal mesh screen food cover dome that is already in the proper spherical curve needed to form the mouth =) These are best found at your local Asian market, and should cost you around $5
Using the acrylic piece left over from cutting out the mouth, trace the outline of this piece onto the mesh dome and carefully cut the wire, making sure to be on the outside of the marked line. Always best to have a little more than you need, than not enough after you cut it out. Also, wear protective eyewear and heavy duty gloves to protect your hands - the cut edges are extremely sharp!
Once the piece has been cut from the mesh dome, go ahead and do a test fit inside the head, pressing against the foam lip on the inside to see how it lines up with the lip edge. When the fit is good, trim off any excessive overlap of wire (remember you will want at least ½” overhang on the inside to attach to lip). Wrap edges of metal mesh with electrical tape doubled over, or duct tape cut into 1” wide strips and doubled over. You should not have the tape go very far into the mesh area, just over the very edge to seal in the raw edge of the metal. This will protect you and your sheer fabric from the sharp edge of the mesh, as well as help you attach the mouth to the inside of the lip.
With the mouth mesh held in place, go into the head from the neck hole and mark dots where you will be placing the screws to hold the mouth in place. Remove mesh from the head and use a punch, thick nail, or other object to open the wire mesh in the places you will be inserting your screws. This will make installing the mesh much easier once it is covered with fabric.
Next, spray paint both sides of the mesh black. This will make the mesh disappear behind the fabric you will use to cover the mouth and because it won't interfere with your eyes from the inside, it will greatly increase your ability to see out of the Mau5head. A white or silver mesh will be very difficult to see out of and will make you very dizzy - do yourself a favor, spray it black!
Do not attach mouth yet, this will be the last step in creating your Mau5head.
Step 8: Covering Ears With Fabric
Now you’re ready to do the other side (front) of the ear. The process to pin the fabric will be virtually identical, except now you’ll run a strip of stitch witchery fusible web around the top edge of the ear. Pin the stitch witchery in a few places to hold until the fabric is stretched over it. Now, very carefully go around the perimeter of your ear stretching the fabric up the edge and over the back, and pin the fabric at the back of the ear. You are doing this to give a tight fit up against the stitch witchery, but not pin exactly to it. After you’ve gone around the entire ear and gotten a nice smooth fit all the way around, steam around the edge of the ear with your steamer to melt the stitch witchery and adhere your fabric edges together. Move slowly around the edge, allowing 10 seconds or so over each area to fully adhere the fusible web. Let the fabric cool completely, and then trim the edges. This will be your finished edge, so give a little teeny bit of stretch to the fabric as you trim it to get the smoothest even cut along the edge.
Secure the edges bottom near the rod ends with hot glue, making sure they are very smooth – this edge rests against your head and an even surface is very important!
Step 9: Covering the Head With Fabric
Play with your fabric a bit to get a feel for how/where it stretches. Place it on the globe in several areas and stretch it to get an idea how it will mold to the area you are about to cover. I like to start with the bottom lip/back first. Use your C-clamps to hold the fabric in place after folding over the bottom lip, and stretch the fabric up and around, securing with clips or pins as you go. If you have a friend who sews, bribe them with free pizza and ask for help. A seamstress’ experience can be invaluable if you have one you can borrow for the afternoon.
If you need to, you can tack the fabric in place with a *tiny* dot of hot glue. Remember that the glue can seep through many fabrics, so test on an inconspicuous area first. After the fabric has been stretched into place, you can secure with hot glue, or with stitch witchery if you will be overlapping fabric to fabric (stitch witchery between fabric layers and steamed to adhere).
On the inside of the lips, use hot glue on the back side of the foam – not on the lip itself! You want the fabric taut over the foam lip edge and secured only on the back where the metal mesh will touch.
Repeat this process on the top half of the head, and at your seam you can either trim smooth or roll under for a finished seam like a sewn edge would look. Secure with hot glue or, my preference, steam edges together with stitch witchery.
Secure fabric on inside of neck with hot glue after rolling fabric over cut edge of neck opening.
Cut small slits with a razor blade through holes for ear rods and any holes cut for eye lighting.
Step 10: Installing Eyes
Test fit your eye domes over the lighting and inspect for placement. When you are satisfied with placement, run a thin bead of hot glue around inner edge of the white acrylic dome, one at a time, and place over lighting source. Be careful to not drip any glue on the fabric of the head.
Step 11: Installing Mouth
Step 12: YOU DID IT!!!!!!
The last step is to ROCK THAT MAU5HEAD!!!
Switch on the lights and put on that amazing Mau5head you just created, and rock it like you mean it! You deserve it ;D