Introduction: Oogie Boogie Mask

Picture of Oogie Boogie Mask

This mask is designed to look like Oogie Boogie from Disney's The Nightmare Before Christmas. The project took me longer than expected so instead of creating a bodysuit I wrapped a tie in burlap and dressed in business attire. Since Oogie Boogie is a gambling man, the outfit worked as both classy and creepy. Additionally, since it was just a mask, the costume doubled as a backup for places that do not allow masks. Simply take off the mask and you're fit to go anywhere.

The project will take somewhere along two weeks to complete if worked at with a comfortable pace after working a full time job during the day. Plan your weekends ahead and get it done quickly and comfortably.

Items Required for Entire Project: (Each step will include what is needed for that step and suggest possible other items to have)

  • Aluminum Foil (or any cheaply available foil)
  • Plaster Form Tape
  • Plaster of Paris
  • 8 inch circular Styrofoam block - approximately 1 inch deep
  • Large Rectangular Styrofoam block - I used a 14"x20" block of 2 inch depth.
  • Hot glue & hot glue gun
  • Large paper
  • Writing/drawing utensils
  • Stand - I used a foam head found at any craft store
  • Can of Housing Insulation foam - I used waterproof material available at any hardware store
  • Protective gear: Eye goggles, breathing mask, gloves - A MUST
  • Rotary tool or other carving instruments
  • Black paint (preferably acrylic)
  • Thin black cloth you can see through (such as tulle)
  • Large area burlap (I bought 3 yards from a fabric store, did not need all of it but wanted to be safe)
  • Scissors

Note: In the fabric step I suggest using a Glow-In-The-Dark fabric spray paint. I applied this to the burlap early in the project, laying down a mat or paper under it and applying a liberal amount. After completing the project I think it may be a good idea to buy more of this and really coat the burlap. This just adds to the character who has a whole scene under blacklight.

Step 1: Create the Helmet

Picture of Create the Helmet

Items Required:

  • Aluminum Foil (or any cheaply available foil)
  • Plaster Form Tape
  • Plaster of Paris
  • A place to make a mess

Suggested Items:

  • Soft Felt

Time Required: 2-3 days

Instructions:

  1. Cover head of costume wearer, above pictured as self, with foil. This should cover all areas where hair exists, wrapping around rather than over the ears. Cover down to bridge of nose and around cheeks to meet near earlobes. Later this area will be used to attach items. - Note: A good idea after this step is to then cover the area again with a soft felt. This is a good thought because I added the felt after finishing the helmet, making the fit tighter than I would like. Additionally, if you wear glasses, plan ahead as the fit may not allow for glasses in the finished product.
  2. Cover this area with Plaster Form Tape. This will allow the plaster to adhere better to the design and all for easier removal. Keep this covering thinner, a single layer is all that is needed.
  3. In a place where a mess is okay or over a mat, mix plaster to a thin consistency and cover the area the helmet is to be made over. Do not go to far down the base of the head, just enough to give stability in putting on and taking off.
  4. Allow to dry, sand as needed, add more plaster where desired, trim if needed using a rotary tool. I used a rotary tool to cut and extend the nose bridge, adding plaster to reset the frame.

Step 2: Shape the Face

Picture of Shape the Face

Items Required:

  • 8 inch circular Styrofoam block - approximately 1 inch deep
  • Large Rectangular Styrofoam block - I used a 14"x20" block of 2 inch depth.
  • Carving tools
  • Hot glue & hot glue gun
  • Large paper
  • Writing/drawing utensils

Suggested Items:

  • Shaping tools - I used a car detailing brush kit found at any auto parts store.
  • Additional Styrofoam blocks, in case of errors

Time Required: 2-3 hours

Instructions:

  1. Draw the basic shapes of the eyes and mouth on paper, and cut them out. For the eyes, draw the inner shape first, this is the area you will be seeing through and you will want to make sure you are not overly obstructing your view. The eyes shape I used are a curved teardrop that could easily be put twice on a single block and the mouth was a curved "D".
  2. Using a marker, draw the shapes onto the Styrofoam, drawing the shape twice on each block. The mouth should be on the large block twice.
  3. Cut the shapes out of the Styrofoam blocks.
  4. Stack the mouth shapes on top of each other, using hot glue to fix them solidly together.
  5. Shape the pieces to curve the edges and give a more realistic appearance.

Note: Other glues may be used, but Styrofoam is porous, so the glue may sink in before allowing the pieces to set together. Additionally other glues may have chemicals that react poorly to Styrofoam.

Step 3: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

Items Required:

  • Helmet
  • Cut Shapes
  • Hot glue & hot glue gun
  • Stand - I used a foam head found at any craft store
  • Can of Housing Insulation foam - I used waterproof material available at any hardware store
  • Protective gear: Eye goggles, breathing mask, gloves - A MUST

Suggested Items:

  • Paper mat and Tray to stand the product on.

Time Required: 3-4 days

Instructions:

  1. Using hot glue, attach the pieces of foam to the helmet. Pictured here better than last set, the mouth is carved to fit the helmet more evenly, this also gives it more depth once the fabric is attached. You may want to do this somewhere with a TV so you can hold shapes in place while the glue sets without getting bored.
  2. Take the project outside for this step - Wearing the full protective gear, apply the housing insulation foam around the eyes and mouth of the mask. Apply as much as possible before it starts to fall. When it cannot support itself stop. - Note, the can may keep spraying for a moment after you release, so use small amounts at a time when possible.
  3. Apply more than once as needed, allowing a few hours between applications. This piece took two applications.

Note: The foam is used to give structural integrity to the piece. You may find your own methods for this, but at $6 for the can, this was a cheap and effective solution for an adult to make. The foam is sticky, so do not let it contact your skin and give plenty of space from other objects. Do not worry about exact shapes, the foam has a firm outer shell but can be easily molded and cut to desired looks once fully set. See instructions and warnings with can and ask professionals if you have any questions and concerns.

Step 4: Carve and Color

Picture of Carve and Color

Items Required:

  • Rotary tool or other carving instrument
  • Constructed Mask
  • Black paint (preferably acrylic)
  • Open Space

Suggested Items:

  • Compressed air duster
  • Upholstery foam
  • Cutting utensil (preferably a razor blade/box cutter)
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Spray Paint

Time Required: 5-6 hours + drying time (overnight-whole day)

Instructions:

  1. Using the rotary tool (commonly a Dremel tool) carve the desired shape out of the mask and foam. Now is a good time to test the mask by putting it on and checking for vision clarity. Carve out space to make for better vision.
  2. Dust off the piece, clear out any and all loose particles. May want to use a combination of air duster and a damp cloth to get all particles out.
  3. Optional: carve out upholstery foam and add it to the top of the head. I made a circular piece to fit over the head. It just makes the head taller and gives more definition to the shape when finished. The foam is softer and can be squished without losing its original shape.
  4. Paint the piece black. Other colors may work, but the desired effect is to make the character look empty inside or filled with bugs. Since burlap wont let enough light through to show bugs, black worked best. The inside of the eyes must be black.
  5. Let dry.

Note: Acrylic paint is preferred since many spray paints have chemicals that will melt Styrofoam. The other parts will not react poorly, so if you have black spray paint feel free to use it on those areas for ease and speed. There are spray paints compatible with Styrofoam, but I do not know an easy way to instruct you towards them. Feel free to talk with paint specialists or helpful people at your local craft store.

Step 5: Fabric It Up

Picture of Fabric It Up

Items Required:

  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Thin black cloth you can see through (such as tulle)
  • Large area burlap (I bought 3 yards from a fabric store, did not need all of it but wanted to be safe)
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Black paint

Suggested Items:

  • Cotton Swabs
  • Glow In the Dark Fabric Spray Paint (I sprayed the burlap at the beginning of the project)
  • Additional foam pieces shaped into a cone

Time Required: 3-6 hours

Instructions:

  1. Using scissors, cut small patches of the black cloth to cover the eye openings from the inside.
  2. Attach the cloth to the inside of the eye openings of the mask using the hot glue gun.
  3. Lay the burlap over the mask, leaving more space available at the back end than the front. Should cover to a few inches below the bottom of the mouth.
  4. Press the burlap into the openings and to the form of the face. Mark the areas to cut the burlap to appear that the burlap wraps inside the mask
  5. Cut the burlap along markings.
  6. Using hot glue, attach the burlap to the eye openings first, then glue the mouth opening. Begin wrapping the fabric to the frame of the mask and let it be looser near the back. Find areas to tack the fabric to the back of the helmet. Leave a conical tip at the top of the mask to perfect the look.
  7. Cut excess fabric
  8. Add touch up paint to the eye openings and mouth. This will let you cover the excess strands to give a clean look as well as any areas missed earlier. I used cotton swabs to apply the paint.

Note: Because the fabrics are very open, there is a strong likelihood of burning yourself with the hot glue. You may wish to use cotton swabs to hold the fabric in place when dealing with the hot glue. I chose to suffer for it and it turned out fine, but I don't recommend it if you can find other ways. Hot glue is ideal since it reacts well with all fabrics and materials used.

Step 6: Smile for the Camera

Picture of Smile for the Camera

The mask should be completed once the burlap has been set in place. Put it on and scare the neighborhood children day or night. I put on a tie wrapped in additional treated burlap and walked around as Business Oogie Boogie.

Enjoy making your costume!

Comments

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-11-02

That mask is awesome! I love the techniques you used to create the expression, so perfect!

Thank you so much, I had fun making this and learned a bit, which I added to the instructions. The result was fantastic and I'm happy I committed to making it.

GorillaGroddLOH (author)2016-08-25

Is there some way i can maybe buy one from you? lol

DigitalHer0 (author)2015-05-09

Can't wait to start working on this project!

sabu.dawdy (author)2014-11-02

this is really amazing

jennifer.kearney.566 (author)2014-11-02

AMAZING job! Cant wait to see more!

tpk7 (author)2014-11-02

Awesome!

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