Introduction: How to Make a Rorschach Mask

Picture of How to Make a Rorschach Mask

In the midst of this new craze for Watchmen, and more specifically the Rorschach character, I thought I might give the whole costume thing a shot. Now the rest of the costume is self explanatory, and the thing that people have the most problems with, is the actual mask.

This is a really easy and quick project to do. Although the mask does not move, it's still pretty neat.

BTW: This is my first Instructable, so please be easy if I made any mistakes. If you have any comments, suggestions, or pictures of YOUR mask, please, I beg of you to leave a comment!


Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The materials you need are fairly easy to come by, except for the fabric used for the actual mask.

A black sharpie,
Black stocking (that can fit over your head)
*White sleeve(or white tights sleeve that can fit over your head)
Small Trashcan
**Rorschach Images
Safety Pin or sewing kit

*= I'm not sure if any of you have ever gotten a cast, but they put this sleeve over your leg before they do anything else. But anyways, I screwed up my knee earlier this week, they decided to put me in a cast to be on the safe side, and when they put that sleeve over my leg I realized it was stretchy enough to fit over my head. I asked for some extra, so the nurse gave me a load of extra sleeve(like 20 feet). I highly recommend this material, because it allows for great visibility, and it is very breathable, and it's lightweight. I could go on and on, but I wont. haha
I am pretty sure that you can get the material from a medical supply(or surplus) store for really cheap. So I don't think you have to worry about having to break your leg to get some.

**I have included some of the Rorschach templates that I have made in Illustrator. Some are based off of other Rorschach images. You can use these and print them out, just remember that under "Page Scaling" when you print this out, click "None". I have made the PDFs to be printed on 8.5x11 inch paper.

Step 2: Tracing the Rorschach Image

Picture of Tracing the Rorschach Image

In this step, you need to tape the rorschach image to the trashcan or whatever you have, and slip the sleeve onto the trashcan. Remember to leave a little extra on the bottom, so it can go under your shirtline!

Now trace the image onto the white sleeve with the sharpie. Start by tracing the outline through the sleeve. Then after you have the outline done, continue drawing in the rest. Make sure you go over the fabric with the sharpie to not leave any white threads within the outline.

Tip: You might want to air out the sleeve for a while, until the Sharpie ink and all the fumes dry. It never bothered me, but who knows about you.

Step 3: Try the Mask on and Trim

Picture of Try the Mask on and Trim

First of all, put on the black stocking. This is so that your facial features get obscured while your wearing the white part.

Now slide on the white Rorschach mask. Make sure that everything is centered on your face the best you can.

Now take the excess and cut it off a little bit above your head. Don't try and cut too close to your head, because you might cut too close, making the mask too short. It's just better safe than sorry in my books!

Step 4: Sew or Secure

Picture of Sew or Secure

This step is really simple.

Turn the sleeve inside out and sew or secure the top of the sleeve.

Turn the sleeve outside in, and you now have your Rorschach Mask!

Step 5: Fin!

Picture of Fin!

Now that you have your mask, what are you going to do with it? Go break fingers in the city's underworld? Go eat beans out of Dan's house?

I don't know about you, but I am going to comic con with it once I get the rest of my costume all done!

If you have any comments, suggestions, or pictures of YOUR mask, please, I beg of you to leave a comment!


icestorminjune (author)2014-10-20


BeastandEpicProductions (author)2014-10-04

"They will look up to me, crying 'Help Us!, and I will say 'No.'"

Rorschach is my favorite DC character, good job

mrsben (author)2013-11-03

SUPER JOB and VERY COOL! Will file this one in my memory bank in event one of the grand children needs a costume. Thanks!
P.S: For those who don't care for the smell of a Sharpie, I would imagine any type of paint pen would do, Doesn't necessarily have to be for fabrics as most are water-base acrylics anyways so are safe yet washable. (ie: Tulip paint has a line of different types. My favourite for fabric is called Tulip Soft Fabric Paint that you brush on and comes in a bottle.)

knexboy586 (author)2012-09-03

does the image change when you talk

trebory6 (author)knexboy5862012-09-03

No, this one doesn't. It's just a simple cheap one.

For a moving one you'd need thermochromatic paint.

Here's an Instructable:

watchmen13 (author)2011-12-19

Looks good, but where did you buy the sleeve thingy? I can't find one anywhere, and I really wanna make one

eprice6 (author)2011-10-31

thank you so much for this - it was super helpful! here's my version (and yes, i'm a girl, and i didn't want to be silk spectre).

dbenham (author)eprice62011-11-26

Thatz hawt ;-)

dbenham (author)2011-10-29

Thanks for the tips bro! Check these mad pics. Too much fun!

airsoftdominator999 (author)2009-10-27

I cant get the smell to air out!!! i left it on a hanger for 2 days, and then when that didnt work, i used febreeze, but it still smells!!!!!!!!!!!! PLZ HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you try to wash it?

yes like 10 billion times!!!!!

Maybe a drop of essence oil. If it's the good (expensive) stuff, I recommend no more than a single drop. Seriously, one of my sons got hold of it and dripped about a teaspoon worth into his bath, stunk out the whole house for the next three days....

hippyrob (author)JermsG2011-10-24

Of course the smell won't come out! This a Rorschach mask we're talking about. It SHOULD smell bad.

theex (author)2010-02-02

Just thought I'd chime in and say thanks for this awesome instructable.  I also did a bit of searching online myself, if any of you out there in the US are having trouble finding tubigrip, in the states it seems we call it stockinette material.  Googling said phrase will help you turn up more US suppliers, and also if you're like me and just plan on running down to the medical supply store you know what to ask the clerk for.  Thanks again for this awesome technique.

GreatacePro (author)theex2011-09-29

Thanks so much for finding the actual name for the material! I tried looking all over the internet for what it was called because I had no idea! :)

harry potter rules (author)2011-09-04

which template will look the best

harry potter rules (author)2011-09-04

I just can' seem to make it
if i do i will subscribe to yuo
how do you see through it

harry potter rules (author)2011-09-01

u could use glow in the dark paint link

to buy for americans

link for british people

psandiego (author)2011-05-08

you can also dont use the black stocking because its for hiding your face anyway 5 stars for the mask!

msouza2 (author)2011-05-01

can't you sell me one? send it to Brazil

Coliflower (author)2010-11-28

This is great. 5 Stars.

How well can you see out of the mask?

trebory6 (author)Coliflower2011-01-02

In low light situations, not very well, but in bright situations, very well.

Darthscout (author)2010-10-31

Ummmmmmm... how do you see out of it. I tried it with a white ski hat. and well i couldn't really see out of it. HELP!

Juako el Flaco (author)2010-10-15

This is my Rorschach costume following your instructable, for less than 10€ :D. I had to use the two legs of black pantyhouse, a white one and the hat. The rest I already had it.

[First foto with only a black layer, second with two, and the finished version]

BraisedDuck (author)2010-10-15

very nice. two problems though. the mask is quite tight, and the sharpie smells terrible.

Burnsides (author)2010-04-25

 Looks awesome! Great idea, I plan to use this to make my own costume.

freekofnature (author)2009-11-06

Great job i did this and it worked out great. the only thing that i could use some work is the fact that it is hard to see in the dark through the two masks. Godd job though.

JerBear (author)2009-03-22

I found some videos on youtube of people that made partially "moving" rorschach masks by painting some parts with thermochromatic paint . I still don't know where to find some that works on fabric... They seem to be selling them for crazy prices ($700+), so I don't think the youtubers will give away their secrets anytime soon... anyone got any guess what they used, or where they got it?

JT3OSU (author)JerBear2009-11-06

The easiest way I have heard of to have a different face is making 3 or 4 different masks and put a different one on from time to time.  Not quite the same, but cheaper.

Check out my Halloween Instructable:

cartmanblues (author)JerBear2009-06-11

Actually, the paint itself is as cheap as 45 dollars. It's only a little bag full, but compared to the price of the mask itself, which should only be 60 dollars at best, the paint is cheap. 700 dollars? BS

Here's the website:

Here's a video. Pretty neat. If I ever have 45 bucks to spare I'll definitely consider this stuff.

trebory6 (author)JerBear2009-04-02

Well I know that I had an idea that required tubing under the mask and disappearing ink.

Laguna135 (author)2009-03-23

instead of using a Small trashcan would it be ok if I use a small plastic flower pot instead?

JT3OSU (author)Laguna1352009-11-06

I inflated a balloon inside a stocking/panty hose when I was painting the face of my army man costume.

I love the Rorschach costume.  I'm a big fan of Watchmen and have been thinking about doing this next year.

trebory6 (author)Laguna1352009-04-02

Of course. Anything that has the same basic diameter of your head.

djplasmid (author)2009-10-31

Here is the mask that I made using your instructable.  I think it came out awesome.  I raided my wife's stockings (with her permission of coarse) and wound up using a tan-ish/grey stocking that she had for the main.  The other leg I used as a second layer underneath, and a black layer under that.  It's a bit snug, probably due to having a big meat-head, but it's wearable and I think it came out great.  Thanks again for the awesome instructable, this is the best costume I've ever made.

Pants3000 (author)2009-10-17

So, is it me or are the sleeves / stockings really tight and uncomfortable? I could barely open my eyes with mine on. Did you encounter this problem too, or do I need to get a larger stocking?

DWMW006 (author)2009-10-01

wats the black stocking for

wert456 (author)DWMW0062009-10-13

yea what is the black stocking for

Father Christmas (author)wert4562009-10-15

Step 3: "First of all, put on the black stocking. This is so thatyour facial features get obscured while your wearing the white part"

Not to be rude, but people should actually read through an instructablebefore asking questions.

I need you to start reviewing all my ibles. :)  I'm really to the point where I just want to say "see step 5". and such.

volquete (author)2009-10-15

can you see well?

mharrison93 (author)2009-08-30

can i use a dry erase marker instead of a sharpie would it work?

deafman214 (author)mharrison932009-10-12

it would work but it wouldnt be as dark as a would look more grayish

Timstuff (author)2009-10-11

I found a website that sells Tubigrip by the foot in the US. Their prices are pretty reasonable looking.

I guess the big Q is what width to buy, so I'm going to go with size G since it's the "large" size for legs and I've got a big head (24" hat size). It should probably work out for those of you with more normal sized heads as well, though. Here's a page with more info on the various Tubigrip sizes:

dfwmonkie (author)2009-10-09

nice work

Crusader_8 (author)2009-10-02

I used tubi-grip and your tutorial made my mask great! I had to bleach it though, and I didn't need the black stocking. I made an extra for my friend, too. Note to others - let the sharpie dry out for a while before trying on! None of us need to be as crazy as rorschach.

4play002 (author)2009-09-16

Thanks a lot for the Instructable, had the rest of the costume down but the fabric for the mask was tough. You've saved my Halloween and I'm sure earned me lots of tip $$$

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