Picture of Plague Doctor Mask
So after looking around online I decided I didn't quite like any of the plague doctor masks that I was seeing as far as tutorials, it all seemed like a lot of extra work for something that never turned out very clean.I decided to throw caution to the wind and just take elements of masks I've seen that I liked for inspiration and try and make one up on my own. I decided on a base of crafting foam, I've yet to see one made out of it which surprised me (maybe I wasn't looking in the right places) but it bends nicely and still has a firmness to it.  So here's what I did if anyone is interested:

You'll need:
Crafting Foam sheet (x2, one for the mask and one for the straps for the back)
clear colored plastic binder divider
fabric of your choice (thinner/lighter the better, you'll be hand-stitching a lot)
wire gauge, stiff enough to hold a shape on it's own and not instantly bend
black paint (forgot to picture, i used acrylic)
hot glue gun and sticks
needles of your choice (need to be durable and go through a lot)
any decor embellishments
paper and pen (to make the template)
something round to make the circles for the eyes and something straight to draw the lines

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Step 1: Make A Template

Picture of Make A Template
Scan 1.jpeg
using sheets of paper determine the size and shape you want your mask to have. The key elements are the left/right side panels, the bottom left/right panels, and the top panel (later you'll make the eye cutouts and head straps).

(attached are the scans of mine, the right panel is the same as the left, just face the flip side up and then they are symmetrical *also sorry for the poor lines, my scanner did not like me but I tried my best* originally cut out of computer paper so when I scanned it in I kept the same dimensions)

Step 2: Test your Template

Picture of Test your Template
using tape try and test the shape, make sure it fits yourself or whoever will be using it comfortably
I don't think mine turned out well lol. I had to buy to different types of foam and I couldn't get the dimensions right! But it's an A+ for effort on my part! Thanks for making this!
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BorosS made it!3 months ago

Thank you so much. The only difference is the that I use glue.

Zinjan made it!4 months ago

Mine turned out awesome! Thanks! I used a spray craft adhesive to glue my faux leather to the craft foam since I figured that there would be less glue to sew through when I began to stitch. To make my eyes glow I used a camping headlamp with a red gel taped over it. The eye pieces are purse grommets (bought at Joann Fabrics). I wanted my beak to be nice and curved so I used one piece unstead of the two shown in the pattern above.


I'd been considering making one for a while, but until I found your page I really didn't know how to get started. Thanks!

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Is it possible to just stitch without gluing? Haven't worked with craft foam before, so I don't really know much about it.

stacy.robinson.9699523 made it!5 months ago

Thank you so much for getting me started on this! I have wanted to do something like this for a long time and with your ideas I was able to get on the right track!

MeraHunt5 months ago

This is really helpful. I do have one question though. About how easy was it to breathe? Like, how often would you have to take the mask off to breathe fresh air?

Wardieb5 months ago
I will using this handy device to protect myself and family from the imminent Ebola scare.

You kid, but I swear I couldn't help thinking the same thing as I work on this project!

Jislizard1 year ago
I have been looking at making one of these but I have been procrastinating over the type of leather and how much to get and what colour. I could probably get this done without needing to find a leather shop and it probably won't cost me as much.

Nice thinking!

We just got tooling leather from Hobby Lobby for 10 dollars to make the whole project and have some to spare! we are going to make one tonight for my son for Halloween!! (And Ebola protection)

vivid-and-trivial (author)  Jislizard1 year ago
Thank you so much!
adanayala made it!5 months ago

thank you very much for sharing your patterns....this is my wip plague mask.

greetings from mexico


hello XD i need to make one o these for a play, how did you make yours look like it was made from metal?

hippiedip6 months ago

This is just wonderful!! So glad I found it. Project for next weekend with the boyfriend for his Halloween costume, thank you for sharing! My only question is this...we're not sold on actually closing the whole mask up (I know, kind of straying from history) how would we be able to maintain the shape of the mask without adding the underside? I hope that makes sense. I thought maybe a crossing pattern of the wire could support it. Any suggestions? We will definitely post some shots when finished! You did great!

vivid-and-trivial (author) 6 months ago
Step 8 you can see the bottom, I decided to go with two triangles to create a more round shape but if you want you could easily just put the two together and make one piece instead :) thanks so much for the interest, if you have anymore questions just let me know!
ben.welker.16 months ago

do you have any pictures of the bottom of the mask? i was interested in how you put it together. and i was wondering if just making one big triangle would work better?

antaale made it!7 months ago

I made it! Thank you sooo sooo much!! *-*


what materials did you use?

Only craft foam.

egarzav7 months ago

This worked like a charm, thanks a lot.

made it for my culminating history project (:

rstruckmyre10 months ago

Awesome thank you x

Rezeinz10 months ago
So are you planning to do more mask like a bear mask?
JustALittleCattyWampus made it!1 year ago

Thank you so much for this Instructable! I modified the template a little and made one for the Arcade Fire concert in Pittsburgh. I received so many compliments. ^u^

Daftehh1 year ago
Very cool! Thank you for the templates
Honus1 year ago
The finished look of this is really spectacular- I never would have guessed you made it the way you did. Nice job!
mvieke1 year ago
Really cool. Great instructable.
vivid-and-trivial (author)  mvieke1 year ago
Thank you so much!
Hi, nice work, I interested to create this mask after I read the newest Dan Brown book - Inferno. Do you mind to upload your template?
Due to multiple requests of my template I uploaded the scans of the template I made, please keep in mind I made mine to fit my face, so you may want yours to be smaller/larger/a different shape. Good Luck if you attempt to make!
cvillada1 year ago
srry, where is the template?
vivid-and-trivial (author)  cvillada1 year ago
Due to multiple requests of my template I uploaded the scans of the template I made, please keep in mind I made mine to fit my face, so you may want yours to be smaller/larger/a different shape. Good Luck if you attempt to make!
boocat1 year ago
What were the originals made of? leather?
vivid-and-trivial (author)  boocat1 year ago
Mine was made out of a fabric I found at Joanns that that had a leather look but was actually a very thin fabric, the thinner the fabric with this method the better as stitching will then have less to go through! if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask!
I like this but I have no idea how to create the right shapes for the template
vivid-and-trivial (author)  crickleymal1 year ago
Due to multiple requests of my template I uploaded the scans of the template I made, please keep in mind I made mine to fit my face, so you may want yours to be smaller/larger/a different shape. Good Luck if you attempt to make!