Introduction: Papier Mache Hannya

I bought a cheap, plastic, cartoonish Hannya mask at Don Quijote here in Japan. Thought of making my own version from it, and used it as a mould instead.

Here, you can see the finished products, with the original plastic mask for comparison.

Step 1: Set Up


  • the mould/original mask
  • aluminum foil
  • masking tape
  • kitchen paper
  • glue
  1. Remove the rubber string/band that goes to the back of your head when you wear the mask.
  2. Wrap the entire mask with aluminum foil. Smooth out the edges, curves, and crevices using your finger and thumb until has the original shape.
  3. Use the masking tape to fix the tears.
  4. Spread glue all over the aluminum foil.
  5. Tear pieces of kitchen paper and cover the whole mask. Smooth out the edges, curves, and crevices using your finger and thumb. Kitchen paper is best at this stage since it would easily take the shape of the mask. Glue about two layers.
  6. Let it dry and become stiff.

Step 2: Papier-mâché


  • glue
  • pieces of paper

Spread glue all over the already stiff kitchen paper, and stick pieces of paper completely covering the whole mould before going to the next layer. Newspaper would be best since it's thick and absorbent. I used receipts and flyers here, it works well too. I think I went about 10+ layers of papers here.

Optional: I used rubber bands while letting it dry to shape the mask, making the dimensions more realistic and not cartoonish.

Step 3: Cut-outs


  • hobby knife
  • pen/marker

Draw and cut-out holes for the mouth and eyes. Be careful not to cut your self.

Step 4: Horns


  • paper
  • kitchen paper
  • glue
  • aluminum foil
  • optional: hot melt glue

Shape the horns using aluminum foil. Coat them with glue and cover with kitchen paper in a twisting motion going from the base upwards to the tip. Once dry, use pieces of paper. Let dry until they're stiff.

Glue (or hot melt glue) them on the forehead. I placed mine a bit in the front like Hellboy's, again avoiding the original cartoonish look.

Step 5: Coating With Plaster


  • paint brush
  • liquid plaster or Gesso (found at craft or hobby stores).
  • sandpaper (fine grit)

As you can see from the photos, I've managed to make two blanks from the mould (until my fingers went numb).

Apply generous coats of plaster. These will cover up unwanted holes and irregularities. Use sandpaper to smoothen out bumpy areas.

Step 6: Detailing


  • mini-router or rotary tool
  • cone-shaped sanding bit
  • cone-shaped carving bit

Use the mini-router to carve out details on the mouth area, especially the teeth.

Step 7: Hannya Mask a : Wall Decor "Undercoat"

Ok, since we have two blanks, we'll be splitting the instructions for each at this point.


  • black acrylic paint
  • paintbrush

To make the final coat pop up, paint it entirely black.

Step 8: Hannya Mask a : Wall Decor "The Final Coat"


  • water-based iron paint
  • paintbrush

For this step, I used Turner's Iron Paint - Antique Bronze. You may use other types if you wish. Apply a single coat if you would like a rustic feel (the undercoat would show a bit), or multiple coats if you would like a solid bronze effect.

Let it dry and compare it with the original.

Step 9: Hannya Mask a : Wall Decor "Base/Wall-mount"


  • MDF or any type of wood suitable for background
  • ice cream cup or anything similar
  • strong magnets (x2)
  • hot melt glue
  • hobby knife
  • paint and paint brush

I want the mask to be detachable from it's base. Also if you would notice, the back side of the mask is bare, showing the papers I used to construct it. It would serve as a good conversation starter when your friends see it, you could detach the mask and do your show-and-tell. Then place it back again when done.

The ice cream cup would serve as a base that would elevate the mask when mounted, giving it a floating effect. Plot out where you would like to stick this permanently on the wood. Using a hot melt glue, stick it on to the wood. I noticed that it wasn't high enough, so I glued a PET bottle cap on top, then I glued one magnet onto it.

Optional: Carve out a hole on the side of the cup. Since we're dealing with magnets, this would serve as a secret storage for spare keys, or maybe cash.

Also, hot-melt glue the remaining magnet to the mask. Here's the technique to have it well-aligned: (1) Stick both magnets together having a strip of thick paper in between. This will fasten both but will give you ease on separating them later. (2) Pour a generous amount of hot-melt glue on top of the second magnet, then take your mask and carefully stick it onto the magnet, align and adjust while the glue is still hot. (3) Let it cool then separate the mask from the base. (4) Reinforce by adding more hot-melt glue on the sides of the magnet that's on the mask.

Paint it all up using a preferred color. I painted mine all black, including the plastic cup, but not the magnet. Let it dry completely.

Step 10: Hannya Mask a : Wall Decor "Done"

Enjoy your work!

The first photo would show how it would look when it's hanged on the wall. Just find a good picture-frame hanger or again, DIY your own.

Now, let's do the second mask (for cosplay purposes)...

Step 11: Hannya Mask a : Cosplay "Colors"

By now, you already have a pale mask that's already been detailed using the previous steps.


  • paint brush
  • acrylic paints: yellow, red, blue (skin tone base color)
  • acrylic paints: black and white (blending/detailing)

Again, avoiding the cartoonish effect from the original mask, I would like to have this close to human skin color. Tonalities would depend on your own preference when you mix yellow, red, and blue.

So, unleash the Van Gogh in you and start painting.

Step 12: Hannya Mask a : Cosplay "Water-proofing"

Using a Matte-Clear type acrylic spray, I sealed the front and back of the mask to protect it from any moisture. Apply one pass, let dry, then do another pass to completely seal it.

Step 13: Hannya Mask a : Cosplay "Strap It Up"

Using the elastic band from the original mask, I super-glued it on the sides.

Step 14: Hannya Mask a : Cosplay "All Done"

Admire your work!

Now, I need a real model for a photoshoot using this concept.