Introduction: Iron Man Helmet

Picture of Iron Man Helmet

Ok basically i wanted to make an iron man helmet similar to the one from the new movie! so thats what i did, i tried to take as many pictures along the way as i could showing the details and the changes that i made, as i went through trial and error to get the shape and size right. i've used light weight air drying clay and car spray paints thats about it i think?

Step 1: Equipment

Picture of Equipment

OK these are the things you will need:

EberhardFaber light weight air drying clay
Plaskti-kote super enamel 686 gold
Ford Jupiter red metalic spray paint
Clear lacquer
Craft knife
sand paper
wet and dry paper
A pair of old sunglasses
4 bright white LEDs (sold in car shops)
12v Battery

Step 2: Getting a Base Shape

Picture of Getting a Base Shape

ok i started this project with a casted version of my head that i made back when i was in school, but you could use a polystyrene head or a balloon or something.

If your going to make a cast of your head i would suggest asking a friend or two to help. fist off your going to need plaster bandages cut up into 2 inch sqaures. Have your friend cover your entire face with vaseline and either use clingfilm over your hair or a shower cap.
now get your friend to cover the whole of your head with about 3 to 4 layers of plaster bandages, leaving a gap over the top of your head from ear to ear so that you can get back out of it,
Once dry which takes about 20mins remove and then place both pieces together and join with more plaster bandages.

Once you have your basic head shape its time to start making a base for the helmet. i used plastercine to get a basic shape, extending the chin slightly and the forehead. all done by eye, i never had a template or measured anything, but you could try drawing out a template to help guide you.

Then i covered the whole thing with light weight air drying clay, and then waited for it to dry out before starting to shape it. I used light weight air drying clay in the past and found it very easy to mold and sand after it is dry, you can get a really smooth finish on it using wet and dry paper. but use the paper dry cause it shapes it easier.

Step 3: Cutting Out and Taking Shape

Picture of Cutting Out and Taking Shape

After letting the clay dry for a day i decided to start cutting out the eyes using just a normal craft knife and sanding it back using some course wet and dry paper to try getting the basic shape of the helmet.

I then took the helmet off the model head and realised that i had done the eyes the wrong shape so cut them a little more and shaped it again. the eyes were probably the worse part to try and get right and symetrical but in the end i think they look ok.
you could try using a template for the eyes draw them out on a piece of paper, then cut them out, put them on the clay where you want the eyes to be and cut around them with a craft knife. this way you get them lookin symetrical.

Step 4: Building It Up and Checking It Fits!

Picture of Building It Up and Checking It Fits!

when the helmet has dried out you can slowly remove it from your head cast. check that it fits ok and then place back onto your head cast to prevent shrinking.

Step 5: Reshaping

Picture of Reshaping

After trying on the helmet i realised that the shape was slightly wrong and because of the light weight clay drying out the helmet was shrinking a little.
So i decided to put the helmet back onto the model head so it would keep its size, then i added some more clay to the top and the chin to try and get the shape right.
At this point its all about shaping and creating it the way you want it, so look at my example pictures and the way i added the clay. As the added parts dry out you can cut and sand to the desired shape and look.

Step 6: Detailing

Picture of Detailing

after letting the helmet dry out for a few days i decided to start putting details in! instead of creating seperate parts for the ears i simply carved them into the base helmet which still looks ok. To make the round ears i drew round the bottom of a cup then used the craft knife to cut the detail in, making a smaller circle within the outer circle.

to make the mouth i simply cut a 1mm gap using a craft knife, then removed the excess clay. To cut the holes in the cheeks i used a ruler and cut a line from the mouth to 1cm away from the curve at the top of the cheek bone. The curved part was all done by eye but you could use templates to get them equal on both sides.

to get all the details into the mask i used the craft knife and cut the lines into it but not too deep and wiggled the knife to make the gaps a little wider.

To create the screw looking parts i simply used the end of a biro pen and as long as the helmet hasn't dried solid you should be able to push the end into it and leave a perminant dent that looks just like a screw.

Step 7: Spraying and Finishing?

Picture of Spraying and Finishing?

The last step is to spray it up!

For the gold part i used gold enamel spray from halfords and for the red i used Jupiter red car spray paint.

first i sprayed the gold (about 5 layers) about ten mins in between layers once done leave to dry for about an hour or 2.

Mask off the gold area with masking tape and then spray about 5 layers of red, also this takes a little longer between coats about half hour so give yourself a day to do this! then leave for 24 hours.

once the red is lookin good and thick and shiny then remove the masking tape.

then spray coats of laquer all over both colours untill the gold and red are both looking shiny. leave to dry and then its ready to wear.

Step 8: Suit Preview

Picture of Suit Preview

just some pics to show the rest of the suit i'm working on.

Step 9: Lighting Up the Eyes

Picture of Lighting Up the Eyes

to make your iron man helmet look even more impressive you can add lights to the eyes, to start your going to put two sunglass lenses inside. I've chosen a light blue faded pair of lenses that i got from a pair of cheap glasses from a market stall, but you can use what ever colour you want. you need to stick these to the inside of the mask with the lighter part of the lense showing, so they don't look too blue. I chose to do this with super glue but you could do it with a glue gun.

then add two LED's either side of the eye, i used super glue to put these in too but you could also use a glue gun on these aswell. next add a switch to the cables and hook up the 12v battery then you should have glowing eyes!

hope you enjoying this instructable!

Step 10: Other Masks

Picture of Other Masks

here are some pictures of other masks that i made in the same way but didn't document, but used the same technique!


cagrikanver (author)2017-05-19

Nice work, I really that iron mask.

Ken ogawa (author)2016-10-23

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa that's the thing

pasaal (author)2016-06-27

Do we have to cover our own face or take a balloon to do it? do we have to make the holes for the eyes when the clay is dry or still there?

Tyler Clinard (author)2015-10-26


Jedi_zombie85 (author)2015-10-15

nice build

WilmerD (author)2015-06-21

how old are you 7

heckup (author)2015-05-20

i mad the suit and helmet and glove and arc reactor

brandon bates51 (author)2015-05-01

what do i ned to make one

brandon bates51 (author)2015-05-01

how do i make a rill iron man soot that acutely has lazers and can fly

amanda.chung.184 (author)2015-02-23

Cool Version of the helmet

amanda.chung.184 (author)2015-02-23

Cool Version of the helmet

amanda.chung.184 (author)2015-02-23

Cool Version of the helmet

Subdood (author)2015-01-12

What version is this suit's helmet? 6?

tehraaage (author)2013-08-13

How long did this take you to make? I'm thinking of making one for a friend and have a limited time frame.

NAJDUDE (author)2013-05-16

how to hollow out the inside?

ljhuttybrown (author)2013-05-10

How much clay Was required,and how did you get it off the mould may I ask,looks great

ljhuttybrown (author)2013-05-10

How much clay Was required,and how did you get it off the mould may I ask,looks great

lstcause (author)2013-04-27

This helped me ALOT so thank you.

justwilliambrown (author)2013-04-01


Love it!!!!!!
Love the anonymous mask as well!

GeniusDevils (author)2013-03-31

surely I will make this, very nice article.
I also found another tutorial on Making Ironman helmet here.

jrichardson28 (author)2013-03-18

Gonna use this method for my Red Hood cosplay, thanks uploading this.

ssingh83 (author)2013-03-13

Hello there, are you still interested in iron man or other projects. There is a lot of information here and instructions on how to do things, i have found this very helpful. Please visit the new online shop that i have which will be launching soon and register for now.

pacentum (author)2012-10-04

cool story bro. I actually mean that because it looks amazing.

timmy turner (author)2012-08-24

make a dark knight joker clown mask. like the picture. PLZZZZZZZ.

p.s. remember to show os how you did it ;D

christian malca (author)2012-06-20

como consigo las plantillas para el casco entre en pepakura pero ya no esta el archivo del casco ........................alguien me puede ayudar.gracias

dmcawesome (author)2012-03-13

go to youtube search 3d iron man helmet draw the face cut out ONLY HALF fold in half then cut out rest and you get a desent templet

dmcawesome (author)2012-03-13

can you make the cast of your head with paper mache like newspaper and school glue

ehhdean (author)2011-10-11

I am going as Tony Stark for Halloween this year. I may add a mask.

Sunny124613 (author)2009-10-18

You, sir, have a great talent.

(the iron man suit is great)

pheadjack (author)Sunny1246132011-09-17

if you are talking to Pheadjack, thanks man. I had a blast doing it. lot of sweat and sore hands, but it was worth it.

King Crab (author)2009-11-20

I'm loving that green goblin mask. I really want to make one but I have no artistic skills whatsoever.

pheadjack (author)King Crab2011-09-17

I agree with 32033. just do it. even if the mask turns out horrible, you will learn things from the attempt and the next one will be better. I started playing with latex masks, ears, scars, neck bolts, and other things a long time ago.
The first things I made were so ugly, they were not even close to what I had in my head. But ! I tried again. I played with clay and got better at sculpting the basic shapes I wanted; then I learned to add details and it just takes adding that little step of skill over and over and over. Soon you will find yourself cranking out a finish product that looks good and not even remember how you got there. Ya gotta build the body memory of the actions and then the mind can wander in the imagination.

92033 (author)King Crab2010-05-16

"I have no artistic skills whatsoever"?

See my earlier post above...

"Whatever The Mind Can Conceive, And BELIEVE, The Mind Can Achieve".

YOU 'can' do it. If you don't attempt it you will never know for sure and regret it later. Life is too short...make it happen.


hjfoster73 (author)2011-07-13

Just curious, is that cardboard you're using to build the leg in the picture above? If so, what do you plan to cover the cardboard with and what type of cardboard is it? Awesome job, by the way!!

pheadjack (author)hjfoster732011-09-17

If you are talking about the Pheadjack suit, these are all thin steel sheets, cut and riveted together. The whole thing weighs like 40 lbs and is a bear to get into. The main thing I didn't really take into account other that the time it takes to work metal sheets is the sharp edges. Had to roll all edges of each piece and still some are pointy.

It was a labor of childhood dreams though.

agayon (author)2011-07-26

Will you post a suit instructble? Great job with the Helmet

scotty03 (author)2010-05-14

do you have to put a material over the plaster base to stop the clay sticking to it? surely the clay would join with the plasticine?

92033 (author)scotty032010-05-16

You can rub a light coating of oil or vaseline over the form with yout fingers, which will prevent sticking and easily removing when it's drying or dry.

scotty03 (author)920332010-05-19


Is it best to try and carve out rough details such as the eyes before it dries?

92033 (author)scotty032010-05-20

Yes. You could also do it afterward but easier cutting while the mask is still reasonably soft...while in the 'setting up' stage. Using good quality Papier Mache can make it hard like a football helmet when it's completed.  By giving the project a final spray of two or three coatings of Clear Lacquer or Varnish, it will be waterproof.

If anyone questions stability and strength of Papier Mache...all I can say is that Movie Studios use it all the time. Life size horses made over armatures of wood and chicken wire have been made...saddle put on it and actors posing on it like a live horse. I once saw a used auto dealer that had a lifesize horse made and displayed out in front of his lot to draw attention from passing motorists...the horse was in a front legs up raised position...out in the elements of weather all year round.'s durable.

Taxidermists use it every day in their shops. I have a head I made once for a Ventriloquist figure ('dummy' as most folks call them)...which I made over a clay sculptured head I made (I am NOT a Sculptor by any means...just shaped it almost human life size by just just shaping it)...using a full 5-lb box of Modeling Clay.

Once it dried, I coated the clay with motor oil and applied the Papier Mache...let it dry for a week...cut it in half carefully with a sharp knife and removed it. The tip of one ear broke off  the dried clay model as I was removing it but I just glued it back onto the head...still looks same as when I made it...some SIXTY YEARS ago. :-) Howzatt for durability?

The layers of saturated Paper are built up to the thickness you want.
I once made a large artificial rock for a model to sit on when posing for photos. They are LIGHT in weight and Stronger'n heck.

Good luck with your project(s).

~ ED

PS...I'm thinking of creating a ible on how to make and use the Papier Mache as professionals use it.

tallpaul100 (author)920332011-05-10

Yes, definately please do an ible on Professional papier mache. Its the easiest cheapest thing to make but I've know idea how to get top quality results.
everything i've ever made from papier mache still looks like it was made from papier mache!

TheRocket35 (author)920332011-02-06

Please do. I would love to learn. I think many on istructables would too.

ironman22 (author)2011-02-08

nice work man i am just working on that mask and i gotta tell you it is not so easy it looks

technofreak911 (author)2010-12-04

I live in jakarta andi dont know where to buy clear laquer OR lightweight air drying clay. would you know any place where i can buy it?? if not could you tell me what would be the best possibe replacement??

nefla24 (author)2010-10-22

@ pheadjack. Great body work .... Eventually we'll have a working iron man suit haha!!! ...

pheadjack (author)nefla242010-11-05

Thank you sir,

Here are updated photos of the 'finished' product. I ran close on time and the legs did not work out as well as I liked, but the whole thing was pretty good. A real pain to put on and take off, but such is the sacrifice to pay homage to shellhead.

hifatpeople (author)2010-09-10

make a metal suit, once youve done that, paint it, then add lighting wherever it goes.

It's not THAT easy...

Seleziona (author)2010-09-27

Where do you think you could buy the clay in Canada?

Barrymore (author)Seleziona2010-10-10

You can buy it at Curry's art supply. As well they carry it at Michaels.

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