Introduction: How to Build a Deadmau5 Head!
Alright, so I thought I'd give it a shot and make an instructable for those who are stubborn as me and would rather make a Deadmau5 head rather than buy a terribad one from ebay. . I've made about 8 of these so far and have slowly come to perfect my design and assembly process and become more consistent when making these as well as going the most affordable route without sacrificing quality. I tried to take as many pictures as I could to help make it easier to understand and visualize the assembly process.
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Here is a list of materials you will need for building your very own Mau5 head as well as some estimated prices:
1 13" Hamster Ball ($30 at your local Petsmart or Petco)
1 5" Hamster Ball ($5 ^same place)
3 sheets of white foam core ($6 Hobby Lobby)
1 Hardhat ($10 at Lowes)
2 3mm Foam sheets ($2 at Hobby Lobby)
1 Can of Loctite spray adhesive High Performance ($8 at Lowes)
1 Roll of Ductape ($4-5 any color at any store)
1 bag of zip ties, although you will only use 7 ($3 Lowes)
4 long screw rods (not sure on pricing here I got mine from spare hardware from IKEA) although you can purchase a long rod
from Lowes and cut that into 4 sections about 5-7 inches each)
1 Bag of plastic washers (I also got these from IKEA spare parts, but any washer will work, you will need several to create
space between the hardhat and the Hamster ball)
5 Wing nuts (Not sure on pricing for these, but you can purchase them at any hardware store, make sure they match the size of
1 Round head bolt matching the thread size of the other hardware
1 Bottle of Gorilla Glue ($5-$10 depending on the size of the bottle, both quick dry and regular work well)
1 Yard of your main color stretch fabric, In my case I'm using red ($15 at Joann's)
1/2 Yard of secondary color, I'm using white for the eyes and mouth ($8 Joann's)
1 Wire basket ($2.50 from IKEA)
Optional: El Wire from Coolneon.com
Dremel with cutting attachment (I realize mine is broken, just using it as reference) and drill bit (preferably the bit shown in picture)
Screwdriver with Phillips bit
needle and thread
Step 1: Drawing Out the Mouth
I chose to use the hamster ball because I feel it is more durable and easier to work with than the pure Acrylic one. Also it makes it TONS easier to wrap the fabric with a VERY clean look without any sewing involved. I will reference the pictures in the order that they appear as I go through these mini steps describing the assembly process.
1 - Looking at the first picture, I aligned the top cap EXACTLY as shown, with the handles facing straight and center with the space between the screws holding the hamster ball together. Now apply hot glue to this from the inside to ensure it stays in place as shown in the second picture.
2 - I then applied duct tape to the spaces between the hamster ball so that it keeps it's integrity once I begin to cut into it and over the gaps for the screws. Make sure to allow space to remove the screws as shown in the fourth picture.
3 - Getting a bit ahead, I cut two 1 inch strips of the foam to use as a measure to draw out the mouth. As shown in picture 5 The front center of the Mau5 head is marked. The bottom lip starts 1 inch from the bottom front (remove and discard the bottom cap for the hamster ball)
4 - Mark the sides where the corners of the mouth will be as shown in picture 6. The mark will be made just before the 3rd screw from the front center of the Mau5 head on either side as seen in picture 10. I then used the strips of foam as shown to create a guide to draw out the bottom of the mouth.
5 - As shown in pictures 7 and 8, begin to draw out the line for the bottom of the mouth.
6 - Now measure 1 inch from the equator of head upward and run the strip of foam as shown to draw out the line for the top of the mouth as shown in picture 9.
Step 2: Drawing Out Bottom and Cutting Out Pieces
1 - I used a Cheez-It bucket to draw out the bottom of the Mau5 head, but anything 8-9 in in diameter will work. I marked a spot on one side of the bucket and another directly across the center so that It lines up with the center front and back of the mau5 head. As seen in picture 1 and 2.
2 - The bucket will be placed right on the edge of the pre-cut circle on the bottom front of the hamster-ball, so that the bottom cutout will be 1 inch from the bottom part of the mouth. the circle will expand towards the back of the head. As seen in pictures 3 and 4.
3 - Now begin to disassemble the hamster ball and lay out the halves as shown in pictures 5 and 6.
4 - Before you begin to cut out the pieces 1 more step will be taken to ensure that the ball maintains it's stability, and that is to apply hot glue in the open spaces of the ball that will be cut through. This is done so that the plastic sections in between the spaces don't become loose ends and start to bend inward. You can reference pictures 7 and 8 for this step.
5 - Now you may cut out the sections with the Dremel cutting wheel attachment. Cut the bottom section of the mouth, as well as the bottom circle, and the upper section. The resulting pieces should resemble the pieces in pictures 9-11.
Step 3: Adding the Foam Lips.
Here is where the adhesive spray comes in. You want to make sure you lay out some cardboard, or something you dont mind getting all sticky. I got some of this on my carpet and it attracted ALL the dirt it could. Important: As you do these steps, and any other steps involving the adhesive spray, you want to make sure you spray BOTH surfaces that you will be joining, otherwise it will not be as effective.
1 - Spray the 1 inch section where the lip will be on the bottom half of the hamster ball. Begin to cut out pieces of the foam so that they fit between the grooves of the ball and apply them to the area.
2 - Once that first layer is complete, the next three are easy. Just take a long piece of the foam, spray the backside, as well as the section it will be glued on, and lay it on there. picture 2 shows the second layer on top of the pieces from the first step. Repeat until you have 4 layers as shown in pictures 3 and 4.
3 - You will apply these steps to the top part of the mouth as well, in which you will layer small pieces of foam, cutting and working around the pieces of plastic until you can lay down a long strip and maintain an even thickness as shown in pictures 5 and 6.
4 - On the upper section cut out 2 holes next to each other on the two front small curved sections where the screws would have normally gone through and run 2 small zip ties through each side. refer to picture 7. Also cut one hole on the center bottom lip about 1/4 of an inch from the bottom. These will serves as areas that you will have the zip ties run through and hold the face mask to the head.
5- You can place the upper section on to the bottom as shown in picture 8 and begin to screw it back together in the sections that have not been cut. You can start to see that it is slowly beginning to resemble a mau5 head.
Step 4: Assembling the Ears.
The template I made for the ears started as a half circle with a radius of 7 inches and I hand drew the rest to make the ears look a bit more oval like. The completed template is 14 inches horizontal and 14 3/4 vertical. The curved section at the bottom runs 6 inches across. You can refer to picture 1. The black ticks represent each inch.
1 - Begin by tracing out the outline of the ears from the template you create on to a foam core sheet
2 - Then proceed to cut out the ears with an xacto knife, or in my case I used a utility knife, repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other 2 foam core sheets. You should end up with 6 pieces, in which 3 will be used for each ear. The inner piece will hold the threaded screws while the 2 other pieces sandwich the center piece, as I will begin to explain in the next steps.
3 - Place 2 threaded screws on to one piece of cut ear as shown in the 5th picture. Make sure to leave one screw hang out about an inch and 3/4 from the bottom while the other one can hang out about an 3/4 of an inch from the bottom. The longer one will fit in towards the inner section of the mau5 head because (as you will see in future steps) it will also be used to hold in the hardhat that fits inside the mau5 head.
4 - Trace around the screws and cut out the section of foam so that the screw fits snug in between the foam, as shown in the 6th picture. For the other piece you want to mirror this so that when laid out the longer screws are on the inside. as shown in the 7th picture.
5 - Take another piece of foam and lay it over the piece with the threaded screws. These 2 pieces will be glued together with Gorilla Glue. make sure they line up good together around the edges before applying the glue.
6 - Apply a generous amount of Gorilla glue to the piece with the threaded screws, making sure to put some on the threads as well, that way when the glue begins to expand, it will hold these screws in making it almost impossible for them to be pulled out. Now lay the second piece of the ear over the glued area and make sure it is even around the edges. Do the same for the other ear.
7 - stack the 2 glued ears and add weights on them. Now wait for the glue to expand and dry.
This is where my no sewing technique comes in. :)
8 - While you wait for these parts to dry, grab the 3rd pieces of each corresponding ear and lay them over the fabric they will be wrapped in. Cut out a section of fabric for each piece. Now spray the adhesive over one side of the piece while it is sitting on the fabric. remove the piece and spray the section of the fabric the piece sits on.
9 - Carefully turn over the piece of the ear so that the section sprayed with the adhesive faces the sprayed fabric. Now lay that onto the fabric making sure there is an even area of fabric around the edge of the ear. lift and flip over the piece once the fabric sticks to it and begin to smooth it out the fabric making sure there are no wrinkles or raised areas until the fabric is cleanly stuck to the piece.
10 - Flip the piece back over and Lay the unglued section of the fabric out to be sprayed with the adhesive. Begin to spray the rest of the fabric as well as the perimeter of the ear piece that it will stick to.
11 - Now start to pick sections of the edge of the fabric up and stretch it on to the ear piece making sure it sticks. Work your way around the ear doing this, You may have to peel and re attach the fabric to make sure there are no showing wrinkles or overlapping areas on the edge of the piece.
12 - Now you will cut off the excess fabric so that it lays as flat as possible on the piece of the ear. Do the same for the second piece.
13 - Once the pieces with the threaded screw are dry, cut off any Gorilla Glue excess that may have foamed out of the edges to maintain clean edges for the fabric to be wrapped over.
14 - Now you will attempt to wrap the fabric over these 2 pieces as you did with the thinner pieces. Make sure that the sides with the threaded screws showing do not have the fabric wrapped over them, that side will be glued onto the 3rd piece with the side that also wasn't wrapped, resulting in a clean seamless edge. Apply the same amount of Gorilla Glue to that side and lay the thin piece over it. You shouldn't have any glue leak out of the edges if you apply the glue within reasonable distance from the edge, plus the fabric will absorb some of it as well.
And now the ears are DONE!
Step 5: Cutting Out the Hardhat and Fitting It.
1 - Measure 2 inches up from the curve of the lip of the helmet on the backside. Now draw a line accros the back area as wide as the raised grooves as seen in the first picture.
2 - Now mark a spot near the front of the hardhat as seen in the second picture. OR measure 9 inches up from the back line, if you have a different hardhat (refer to the fifth picture for measurements, each tick represents an inch) If you have the same hardhat as shown in the picture, your front mark should end up around where the inner grove ends.
3 - Measure 1 inch back from the very front mark. Now measure 3 inches left and right from that mark to determine the left and right sides.
Use a left over foam strip to draw lines from the back to the left and right sides, then to the front point. Your outline should look similar to the one on the second picture.
4 - Now cut out the piece and the result should look like the 4th picture.
5 - Draw a line around the front of the helmet and cut off the front brim as shown in the 7th picture.
6 - Now you want to drill holes where the ears will be placed. You want to drill into the groove on the hamster ball that is just past the corner of the mouth. Drill a hole in the upper end of that groove. Now fit the ear on with the long thread going into the top hole and insert it as far as it will go with the short thread remaining out. Mark where that short thread hits one the groove and cut a hole in that area. Your ear should now fit perfectly snug on the hamster ball. Do the same for the other side of the ball.
7 - Fit the head into the hardhat as shown in the 9th picture. Use a pen or something that will fit through the top holes on the head to mark on the hardhat where the holes for the threads will be. while the hardhat is inside the ball mark a spot on the back back of the helmet and drill a hole through that and through the ball. Insert a bolt through that back side of the hamster ball, and through the back side of the helmet You will need to add some washers to fill in the space between the inside of the ball and the helmet, refer to the 11th and 12th pictures. I used hot glue to hold the bolt from the inside, this will be permanently on the ball.
8 - Remove the hardhat from the ball, screw on the ears on to the ball from the short threads only and reinsert the hardhat into the helmet fitting it through the hole on the back of the helmet first. Now you want to move the hardhat as if you are sliding in the 2 long threads, mark the spots where it hits the hardhat and cut out a groove and the result should look like the last 2 pictures. You will also need to put some washers between the hardhat and the ball here also to fill in the space.
9 - Now remove the hardhat and the ears until you are left with just the hamster ball.
Step 6: Preparing the Eyes and Wrapping the Fabric
1 - First you want to cut the small hamster ball in half and remove the excess plastic on the rim. Now apply hot glue to the cap on one of the pieces as shown on the third picture.
2 - You want to place the eye next to the second groove out from the center of the head and along the line at the top. Mark the spot on the eye and on the head where they meet at the groove and do the same for the other side of the eye. These are going to be the spots that the eyes will be zip tied down on to the head.
3 - Now drill holes on the head where the marks we made as well as on the eyes. Be sure not to drill too close to the rim of the eyes so that the zip tie doesn't rip the plastic off when tying it down.
4 - Now lay the eyes on to the fabric, spray both the entire fabric and the inside of the eye. You do not need to spray the outside of the eye, plus it will make it more difficult as you peel and re apply the fabric to get out any overlaps and wrinkles. the end result should look like the last picture.
Step 7: Wrapping the Fabric
This part may have you ripping your hair out in frustration, but in the end it will be well worth it. I approach wrapping each half of the ball separately so that there is no sewing involved and it creates a clean seamless line around the head.
1 - Lay down the top half and cut out the fabric that will be wrapped around it. Spray the outer edge of the fabric and the inside edge of the head with the adhesive. Begin to wrap the fabric and stick it to the inside of the head. You will frequently encounter overlaps as seen in the second picture and you will just need to keep peeling and reapplying the fabric. You may need to respray it with the adhesive to retain a good hold.
2 - Once the fabric is wrapped you may attach the eyes with zip ties on the areas that you previously drilled holes for the zip ties to wrap around. You will need to make minor incisions to the fabric to get the zip ties to run through smoothly.
3 - Now you do the same thing to the bottom half and spray the outer edge of the fabric and the inside of the bottom half of the head. Once it it wrapped you want to cut a small circle out so that your head will fit through it.
4 - Now make some minor incisions around the rim of each half where the screws will go through, and also make some incisions where the screws will go in to attach both halves. Screw both halves together tight and firmly, there should be 6 screws that hold them together.
5 - Now make some incisions where the threads of the ears go into the head. Attach the ears and screw them in with a washer and wing nut on the short outer threads. If you would like you can attach the helmet and test wear the helmet and admire your work.
You are almost done!
Step 8: Mouth
Alright, time for the finishing stretch. (literally)
1 - Cut the perimeter of the bottom from the wire basket, then wrap the entire piece around the mouth area of the mau5 head to get a good idea where you need to cut the wire down do size. You can also try to just replicate the cut piece in the pictures though if that works. You want to leave some extra wire hanging out from the top and bottom (about 1/2inch). You will need to bend these wires outward so that when the piece is placed in the mouth, these sink into the foam of the mouth and provide stability.
2 - Lay the cut wire piece on to the fabric and cut around the perimeter. Now begin to stretch the fabric evenly in all directions. How far you stretch the fabric out depends on how well you want to see out of the mouth. In my case the fabric I used was pretty thick so I had to stretch it quite a bit. Know the limits of your fabric though, you do not want to end up tearing it. Cut off any excess fabric hanging off the sides.
3 - Insert the piece into the mouth area of the mau5 head and press the wires hanging out into the inner foam of the mouth. Now zip tie the wire into the mouth as shown in the pictures. In my recent builds I just ran with one zip tie in the bottom center and 2 at the top and it worked out fine.
4 - Now the last step involves sewing the white mouth to the surrounding red fabric on the head. This is the only sewing that is done and it creates a clean look to the mouth as seen on the last assembly pictures. After this you may want to close the small incisions where the screws went into and then you are DONE!
Step 9: FINISHED!!!
Congratulations! You have finished your Deadmau5 head! Now go out and show it off to the world.
You can start to get a little crazy with it now and add El Wire to the head or LED's inside the eyes if you really want to make it stand out.
If you feel you would rather purchase one You can visit my etsy store here: www.etsy.com/shop/Darkmantis