This is part 1 of an Instructable which will show you how to make a latex mask. Eventually we will be taking a clay sculpture, and molding it in plaster, and then pouring liquid latex inside of it, and then pulling out the final mask. But before we get to that point, starting with an exact copy of your head will make for a nice, tight-fitting mask. You could start with a Styrofoam head and sculpt your head shape on top of it, but unless you're good at sculpting, it should be easier and faster to start with a cast copy instead.

Normally, molding a head can be difficult, but this method is simple and easy. With the use of paper mache, or plaster strips, you can make a 2-part mold, and you can even do the entire process by yourself. And, as always, without spending too much money. It should take about 45 minutes to make the head mold, and then another half an hour to make the clay copy.

Here's a video tutorial you can follow, or watch as an introduction to the overall process, including both Part 1 and Part 2. The step-by-step Instructables are more detailed and have more advanced tips and recommendations.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Materials needed for making the head mold:
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Duct Tape
  • Vaseline
  • Paper Mache (newspaper and flour-water), or plaster strips, and a bucket of water
  • Hair Dryer
Materials needed for the clay head:
  • Modeling Clay
  • Styrofoam Head
  • Plastic Wrap
Other tools you might use would be a comb, scissors, permanent marker, floral wire, and a long, serrated knife.

Total cost of materials (not including materials I already had lying around) would be $3 for the foam head, and about $10 of clay. A craft store would be the place to find the clay, plaster strips, and foam head (be sure to take advantage of the usual "40% off one item" coupons). Plaster strips are good to buy in bulk, from Amazon or eBay, or another online store. You'll need a lot of them for the entire process. A good price is around $50 for a 20 pound box.

Notes about clay:
There's a large variety of clay to choose from. My attitude is; whatever is cheap and gets the job done. For me, that ended up being a 25 pound box of pottery clay for $10. It was alright, but maybe a bit too wet and soft. Oil-based clay is better for sculpting, but more expensive. When we get to the step of adding clay to the mold, I'll make further suggestions.
As far as the plaster strips goes when I buy the box like you have. Do I just wet them with water and apply to my face and head as is?
When I used plaster strips in the past, I put a bald cap on and put vaseline all over my entire head and face. It's a mess and gross to clean off, but at least the plaster won't take your skin off. Pay attention to eyebrows in particular, it's easy to get them caught in the plaster.
thank you, you finally solved my problem, i did'nt found real size styrofoam heads from finland, but i make it my self!! I fill my plaster mold with paper mache and voil'a a head!
This is a great 'able!! I'm very excited to see pt 2, keep up the great work!!
i agree completely and is the vaseline super necessary
I can answer that, yes it is. Plaster not only can burn you, but with out Vaseline you can rip off your hair and damage your skin, you need the layer of protection.
oh......definetly goin to use it.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I've been making movies as a hobby for nearly 8 years now, and I've always enjoyed the fantastical and imaginative. I occasionally take ... More »
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