Picture of The Plague Doctor
A Plague Doctor was a physician specializing on tending to those who suffered from the bubonic plague.They were associated with death (where there's plague, there's the beak doctors and also death).
Because of this a Plague Doctor's costume is creepy - also with the added benefit of it's resemblance to both The Grim Reaper and Ravens.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Pre-Construction

Picture of Pre-Construction
To figure out the mask dimensions I constructed a simple form from newspaper.
Then trimmed and shaped it to provide a snug fit to my head.

Step 2: Cutting & Arranging

Picture of Cutting & Arranging
Once the newspaper prototype was finished, I cut it in half and flattened it. I cut a template of each section of the mask from this flattened form.
The resulting template sections are traced onto the mask material and cut out.
I constructed mine out of light-weight foam paper. This foam paper is available in 12"x18" sheets at most hobby and craft stores.
Once the individual pieces for the mask base were cut out they were assembled and holes were punched along the seam using a tiny hole punch.
I used paper brads to hold the sections together to give the look of rivets instead of stiching.

Step 3: Attaching Straps

Picture of Attaching Straps
Attaching Straps
Once the base of the mask was complete I cut the forehead and side straps from craft foam -
Two pieces were cut about an inch wide and (one) the length from ear to ear, (the other) from forehead to nape of neck.
First, a long vertical strap was attached at the top of the head using the same rivet technique from before. The base of the vertical strap was then looped
back on itself so the horizontal strap could pass through it. The horizontal strap was then threaded through the vertical strap, and riveted at each side
of the mask.
TaylorK52 days ago
For the paint did you also use acrylics for the medium and the topcoat?
ThomasM158 months ago

I really like how your tutorial covers information for a complete costume. I followed a different set on here that was twice as long and only on the mask. It also used craft foam like yours, but covered it with fabric. I used white denim for my mask, and for the lenses I used the plastic from playing card protective sleeves. I think the idea of using a wire mesh for the eyes instead of plastic might be a great idea, or you could put small holes in the bottom part and have the mesh glued/sewn in there as well.

Just to give a men's alternative to the patterns you posted above, I started with Simplicity 5942 - A (it's the golden one that is supposed to look like Elrond from LoTR) in black and added a modified form of the hood from Simplicity 5840. A stole was also made from the shoulder armor listed in 5840. A modified version of the corset belt from 5371 - D was done in red and it really works well.

didactylus made it!9 months ago

Thank you so very, very much for this! So many of the other how-to's I've seen have involved leather working and I was getting kind of despondent, but then I found this and had the whole thing ready in about a week and in plenty of time for the party! The paper-mock up idea saved me so much time and material. Thank you again.


I really like this. If I do end up using it, I think the only change I'll make is possibly a type of screen instead of the plastic for the eye holes to hide my eyes better. Other than that I love it. Especially how cheap it is compared to other ones, but still looks as good.

troberts8 (author)  nicholas.pinkert9 months ago

nicholas.pinkert: I like your idea and think that it would be a nice improvement. I chose to use plastic lenses because traditionally the masks were equipped with red lenses and it was my intent to dye the plastic ones. However - with the plastic lenses in it made the mask even more air-tight and harder to breath in - your use of a screen would eliminate that issue!

halb5110 months ago
Great idea I'm going as this for halloween
Plo Koon1 year ago
Grim Reaper, a raven, and the Black Spy!
troberts8 (author) 1 year ago
Thank you everyone for these thoughtful compliments! You've all made my day! :)
nerd74731 year ago
I say this a lot, epic
Cool and original
Mielameri1 year ago
Looks fantastic and feasible! Nicely done
A beautiful mask! Love the photo edits too, very moody :D