This is a new technique for making custom fitting masks out of hot melt glue and yarn. The base is a head form the same size as my head, to make sure my head later fits into the mask. (The base itself will be another instructable.) Over the basic head form I sculpted clay to make the form of the mask.
You can get a layer of hot melt glue and yarn to cover the clay, but it doesn't stick well to the clay. When finished, it is easy to remove because of that. The inside of the mask just had a little clay dust stuck to it, which washed off easily with water.
This kind of mask material is tough, leathery, and more damage resistant than paper mache. It is very light-weight and comfortable. To get the mask off the clay mold and over my own head, I made a couple of cuts behind the ears, which allow the mask to flex open. It then just springs closes over my head and stays in place pretty well. This material should have very good longevity, which is good, because laying on the yarn is pretty time consuming.
Step 1: Sculpting the Clay
This is the head mold. It was made by covering my head with nylon panty hose, like a bank robber, and covering it with two layers of metallic tape, like sticky aluminum foil (available in auto part stores). I was then cut out of the tape, the panty hose layer was removed, and the shell coated inside with a layer of plaster of Paris. When that was strong, I filled the rest of the cavity with grout and Styrofoam chunks, to cut down on weight and mounted it on a PVC pipe neck and base. The end result is a solid shape that resists pressure while sculpting the clay over it.
After sculpting the clay, you can see some of the first yarn going on.