Introduction: Cardboard Plague Mask

About: | ✝ | Crafting | Music | Chickin Nugs |

Hello everyone!

I thought it might be humorous to make this my entry in the cardboard contest. One of my goals when doing this project was to make it slightly modifiable, and I'd say I succeeded in that effort.

I apologize for the bad photos. My camera's autofocus is terrible.

I've provided paper cutouts for the form of the mask. Be sure when you print them to click "fit to page", or else the mask will be way too small!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Be sure to vote for me in the Cardboard Contest!


Step 1: You Will Need

(not all items are pictured above)


- Cardboard (corrugated or "cereal box" style)

- Paper

- Some sort of cut-able plastic (I chose slim CD cases, I don't recommend that)

- Hot Glue

- Tape (I reccomend scotch tape)

- Leather or Felt

- Permanent Marker (The thick kind)

- X-Acto Knife

- Sandpaper (I recommend anywhere from 160-220 grit)

- Fabric (be sure to match to the color of the paint!)


- Paint (I chose black, but a hot pink plague doctor might be cool lol)

- Sealant (I prefer matte, but you can do what you want)


- Hot Glue Gun

- Cutting mat (if you like safety)

- Scissors

- Something to cut your plastic (I chose a pair of small nippers, I don't recommend it)

Step 2: Optional: Making the Paper Test Mask

I recommend following this step for the best results.

Print out all the files and cut out around the lines. You should get something like what you see in the 2nd picture.

Start by cutting along the bottom line on the head shape. Stop at where the vertical and horizontal lines meet.

Pull the two corners so they slightly overlap and make the whole thing into a cone shape. (3rd picture)

Tape it when you have a cone shape that rests on your face comfortably when you hold it there.

Fold the beak on the lines. Put the two halves on top of each other and then tape them together along the top seam. Tape the bottom triangle on. (you might need to bend it a bit)

I recommend putting the beak on first and then the eyes after that.

Be sure to make the eyes symmetrical!

Cut out the paper behind the beak so you can put your nose in.

Make sure it's comfortable and looks good before moving on. If you made a mistake, just restart this step.

Step 3: Making the Pieces

Print and cut out the provided parts. Go ahead and plug in the hot glue gun to warm up.

Make sure all the pieces fit on the cardboard before you glue them!

Now, a word on corrugation:

When cardboard has a "wiggly" layer in between two flat ones, it is called "corrugated cardboard". The manufacturers do this to make it more structurally sound. The direction parallel to the "wiggles" is much easier to fold. We should keep this in mind before you glue the pieces on. Here are my recommendations for each piece:

Beak pieces: anti-parallel

Beak bottom: parallel

Goggles: doesn't matter, they're circles silly

Face piece: parallel

I recommend applying glue to the back of the paper then flipping it over rather than gluing the cardboard. It proved to make the steps ahead much easier.

Once I had put the glue on and flipped them over, I used a hotel key card to press it on, similar to a decal.

After that, you should cut out the pieces roughly rather than precisely. After that, try to shave off little bits or small chunks as opposed to all of it at once.

It seems silly, but I sanded the edges of all the pieces to make sure there are no sharp/rough edges. It works, I swear. Be sure to blow through the corrugation to get all the cardboard dust out!

Step 4: Assembling the Beak

Get the left and right beak pieces and cut along the lines on the paper with an X-Acto knife.

Cut through the top layer of cardboard and the corrugation but not the bottom layer of cardboard. If yours is double corrugated (like mine) cut through all but the bottom layer as well. This makes it easier to fold. Be sure to do this on the cutting mat!

Bend the bottom piece so that it matches the curve of the bottom of the beak.

Remove the paper and glue from the cardboard. Use an X-Acto knife if the glue gives you trouble. (This is why I said to put the glue on the paper and not the cardboard!)

Put hot glue along the top edge of the beak on the inside. Press the two halves together and wait for that to dry.

After that, it's time to put the bottom piece on. Remember that this should not sit on the two halves of the beak, but in between them. I recommend putting glue on small parts of the bottom half and waiting for that to dry rather than doing the whole thing at once.

I also recommend putting plenty of glue on the top seam of the beak.

After that, sand the whole beak a bit so that there aren't any sharp edges or angles.

Step 5: Assembling the Mask

Take the paper mask you made as a model (or make another if you didn't do that step) and mark the edges of the overlapped paper. Take the tape off and unfold the paper mask. Measure the length from the center cut to the aforementioned mark. Make a mark halfway in between the cut and the other mark. Do this for each side.

Write down how far away the mask is from the center, because you'll need to remember it later!

Use a ruler to make a line from the new mark to the center point of the mask. Cut where you marked the line.

Proceed to fold the mask along the corrugation and then the other way after that.

Press the two edges you cut together and put plenty of glue on it.

Be sure to hold it together until it dries or the mask may come apart later!

Proceed to remove the paper from the folded mask. Once again, use the knife if it gives you trouble.

Step 6: Assembling the Goggles

Get the rings you made earlier and poke holes in the center. After that, cut out the centers. There's not really one "right" way to do that, but just try not to bend them as you are doing it. (If you do bend it, just be sure to flatten them with a book or something.) Remove the paper and sand the edges. Next, cut two strips of cardboard long enough to wrap around the goggles and at least 1.5 inches wide. Glue them on.

You are now done with the base pieces!

Step 7: Making the Lenses

I used some slim CD cases. I regret that a lot because the plastic is incredibly brittle and generally kind of bad.

I recommend using a better plastic.

First I taped the circles (not the rings) from my provided files on the plastic and marked along the edge to make a circle. After that I turned it 90~ degrees and marked where the tape was before along the plastic. I then removed the paper. Viola! a circle guide. I cut around the guide as best I could. I had to make an extra circle because one of them cracked badly. I then "shaved" around the edges. One of them had a small crack so I decided to spread hot glue across it to stabilize it. Not sure it did much, but whatever.

Later on I realized they were slightly too big for the goggles so I shaved the edges a little with scissors.

You now have lenses for the mask!

Step 8: (Optional) Painting the Faux Leather

I had some faux leather lying around and decided to use it to wrap the mask. I didn't want a brown mask so I decided to paint it first. I definitely recommend getting better paint than I did lol.

The most important rule of painting is this:

Two light coats is always better than one thick one.

Always paint in a well ventilated area, blah blah blah you know the drill.

Step 9: Cut Out the Leather Pieces

This one's pretty simple. Print and cut out the paper pieces again, and tape them to the leather or felt that you want to wrap the pieces with. Cut around the paper, but be sure to cut about 1 inch from the edge. After that, cut to the center of the mask piece (use the paper to do this). Remove the paper.

Remember that number I told you to remember? This is why. Repeat the step for cutting the paper mask "triangle hole" on the leather. You are now ready to wrap!

Step 10: Preparing the Mask and Beak

Cut a triangle hole in the beak the same shape as the mask. After that, tape the beak to the mask where you want it. Use the paper mask for a reference if you need to. Use a marker to mark where the edges of the beak are.

Be sure to cut it a little smaller than the mark indicates. Also make sure that your nose and mouth fit.

Step 11: Wrapping the Mask and Beak

Use hot glue to stick the pieces on the beak. Spread the glue after sticking them together with a hotel key card. Trim it so you can still wrap the edges. After that, wrap them and glue them down. Be sure to hold them down so it doesn't come off. Apply the bottom piece. Wrap the edges to the inside on the bottom of the beak.

Be sure to leave a little leather on the big end to make it flush with the mask.

Apply the leather to the mask. I noticed it didn't quite cover it on the bottom (I might have measured wrong lol) so I used a scrap piece to cover up the "bald spot". Wrap the edges on the inside for a nice look. Cut out the nose hole.

Before you glue the nose on the mask, trim the "fins" on the big end to your liking.

Glue the beak on.

Step 12: Wrapping the Goggles

This one's easy. Cut out two strips of the leather/felt you are using to go around the goggles and glue them on. Use an X-Acto knife to make it flush against the front. Get the pieces of leather/felt you saved for the goggles and glue them on. Cut them out and make them flush with an X-Acto knife. Use a permanent marker to cover any "bald" spots. Cut the goggles to where they are 1 inch deep, then cut them at a 45 degree angle (use a guide for best results) then trace the bottoms of them on scrap paper and cut out the tracings.

Go ahead and glue the lenses in as well.

Step 13: Cutting Holes for the Goggles

Apply the paper scraps you made in the last step (you could use tape or glue, doesn't matter) This is purely so you don't cut too far and ruin the mask. Cut the holes for the eyes. Remember, they don't have to be perfectly right up to the edges of the goggles. You run greater risk of messing up that way. Glue the goggles on. (Be sure to make them symmetrical.)

Step 14: Making the Strap

Cut out a piece of fabric to act as a strap. You could also use an old fabric headband as the head strap. Make sure it's long enough to hold on to your head loosely but securely. Glue it on.

You are now done with the mask!

Step 15: (Optional) Making the Top Hat

All the depictions I saw had a top hat along with a mask, so I decided to throw one together.

I'm kind of going to glaze over the instructions here because that's not really what this instructable is about.

Use the guide I provided to cut out the top and rim pieces. Get a strip of cardboard long enough to wrap around and make it into a "tube" shape. The reason I'm not specifying hat height here is so you can decide for yourself. You could make it like a straw hat or make it like Doug Dimmadome's hat. I chose 4 inches and I think that might have been too tall. If I were to do it again I would probably do 2 or 3 inches instead. Wrap the pieces in fabric and glue them on. Glue the pieces together.

Step 16: Completing the Look

You're done! But you can't wear this with any old clothes, can you? No, you can't. Here are my suggestions.

- Use a black t-shirt around your head to make a sort of head covering.

- Wear black boots and black slacks.

- Use a cane.

Now I already had the robe lying around from a previous cosplay (Fumikage Tokoyami from My Hero Academia) but it was pretty simple to make. Just a square of black fabric with a hole for my head in the center and a red headband sewn on.

Now one of the most important parts of cosplay is not only the costume but the attitude. When wearing this, look extra dapper and chivalrous, but also look prideful and impatient, like everyone is wasting your time. (Just don't actually be rude!)

Thanks for reading, and be sure to vote for me in the cardboard contest!

Have a nice day!

Cardboard Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge