Dead Manolo Mask - the Book of Life

Introduction: Dead Manolo Mask - the Book of Life

About: I enjoy making things. My making them is usually based on necessity, the fact that it doesn't exist, and/or buying it pre-done would be way more expensive. I like all kinds of projects and find this site a ver…

Needless to say, I saw the movie and was inspired. I wanted to do something to greet trick or treaters with but I knew the costume would be too elaborate. I decided on a mask! I then thought, I should challenge myself and use materials available at the dollar store. Well, these are my results.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


Small waste basket - got at dollar store

Black Duct Tape- got at dollar store

Wired Christmas Garland- got at dollar store

2pk LED tealights- got at dollar store

2 Styrofoam cups- had, but available at dollar store

Black permanent Marker- had, but available at dollar store

Black Elastic or cord- had, but available at dollar store

Black Acrylic Paint -had, but available at dollar store

Small plastic bag (the kind they give you at the store)

Image of dead Manolo

Optional, but useful - Nail polish remover and cotton swab


Utility or X-acto knife


Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Drill with small bit or an awl

Step 2: Making the Face

Using the image of Dead Manolo for reference, draw the the design on to the waste basket. Start at the bottom and work your way up. You'll notice it is fairly simple, the design is composed of swirls that are 6's, 9's and small stars. The nose is an upside down long heart. Use the bottom of the Styrofoam cup, if needed make the circles for the eyes. When doing so, place the side of the marker against the wall of the cup, so you can get a circle larger than the base of the cup. Draw on an outline of the sideburns and the hair, this will help with placement.

If you make any mistakes while drawing, use nail polish remover and a cotton swab to remove the mistake.

Use the utility knife and scissors to cut your plastic. See pictures for the shape.

Set aside.

Step 3: Making the Hair

Basically, I made the hair by wrapping garland in duct tape. The fluff of the garland and its wire help in giving it sjhape and form.

Front swirl

Take a 4 ft piece of garland, fold it into 2 1/2 sections, see picture. Wrap with duct tape staring at the thinner end and working your way to the thicker end. You will completely wrap it in duct tape. Take the small end and curl the whole piece into a spiral. Set aside.

Side hair

Take 4 - 6 inch strips and create a square panel. Place sticky side up. Take a 10 inch piece of garland fold it in half. Place the folded garland on the bottom half of the square panel. Fold over the top half. Press the edges to seal it. Cut edges with scissors to form rounded shape. Set aside.


Take a 6 inch piece of garland, place a 6 inch strip of duct tape on it. Place sticky side up on table. Place a 6 inch strip of duct tape on it. Press the edges to seal it. Cut edges with scissors to form rounded bottom corners. Set aside.

Step 4: Adding the Hair to the Face

Using duct tape, tape the sideburns first, starting at the top edge. Then the side hair in top of it. Finally, the curly center front piece. You can use folded garland pieces, if you would like to add bulk. Tape the outer ring on top as well.

We will be gluing down the edges in a later step. (I did not have my glue gun with me at this point) You can do so now, if you wish.

Step 5: Installing the LED Eyes

Place the Styrofoam cups in the eye holes. Secure on the back with duct tape. On the front, cut the excess of the cups with the utility knife. Score the center of the eyes with the utility knife. Use the black paint to paint in the eyes. Let dry. Use a pen or pencil to open the scored center.

Using the glue gun, put glue around the bulb of the tealight. Insert tealight into the back of the eye, let cool. Repeat on other eye.

Step 6: Adding the Holes to See and Attaching Elastic Band.

Using a drill or awl, make a few holes under the eyes. Make holes where the filigree design is, it will help camouflage the holes. Go over the holes with marker to further camouflage them. Also, with the marker, touch up any areas of the face design that may have been scuffed.

Make a hole on each side of the mask. Cut a length of elastic or cord, according to the size of your head. Put each end into the mask and knot. Make sure the knot is large enough to secure the mask being worn.

Step 7: Finshing Touches

Finish off the the top of the mask by placing a few strips on top to complete the hair. Place a folded plastic bag on the inside. This will cover the sticky side of the tape and give it more bulk on top.

Using the glue gun, glue down any edges of the hair, if you have not already done so.

Step 8: Turn It On, Put on and Enjoy!

That's it!

Your head should be at the top of the mask and the real holes at eye level.

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    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I love that it lights up.