Introduction: Reaper Cosplay (DEADBOLT 2016)

About: I try to make stuff. For cheap.

TL;DR (this SHOULD but isn't always be at the top of articles): I attempted this project with little money and little reference material.

I was pretty broke this month but I made a costume as I do each year. This cost me about $10 bucks- Australian, damn roiiiit I live here in down undah.

This is my first Instructable.

This is also my first paper mache experience.I now appreciate how good this medium is.

Here is some generic clipping from Wikipedia about the game for those of you who don't know:

"Deadbolt is a side-scrolling stealth-action video game developed by Hopoo Games, who also created Risk of Rain. The game was released as a demo on April 19, 2015,[1] and officially on Steam for Microsoft Windows on March 14, 2016.[2] Linux and Mac OS X versions were also made available a few months later.[3]
The game centers on the Grim Reaper as he progresses through three sets of nine levels filled with hordes of undead that he must kill. There are four types of undead throughout the game: Zombies, Vampires, Skeletons, also known as Dredged, and Demons. Each set of levels is based on an undead type: the first set of nine levels focuses on Zombies, the next set focuses on Vampires, and the last focuses on the Dredged and Demons. The game also has a map editor where levels can be shared on the Steam workshop.[2]

This is not a paid promotion (I'd appreciate a bit of cash though), but Deadbolt is a great game. Despite this, I could barely find any material to start the build. After Google searching for reference material, I found:

  • Some good and bad fanart
  • 2 YouTube thumbnails of people showing off their already made mask
  • The covers of the game and OST album (which has some great tracks you should listen to)

Step 1: Stuff List (this Is As Blatant I Can Put It)

You will need to find, buy, beg, borrow, or steal (I did 1,2 and 4):


  • Scissors (GOOD ones that can ACTUALLY CUT)
  • Tape (idrk if this is a tool or material)
  • Stapler (with staples)
  • Knife
  • Sandpaper (medium grit)
  • Permanent marker
  • Paint brush


  • Card (hard paper) - The stuff I used is the thing they put in packaged shirts to keep them flat
  • White paint - I used the cheapest paint from the dollar store, poster paint
  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water


  • Black scarf (a somewhat transparent one that's big enough to cover your face and neck)
  • Dark coloured jacket (compare what you have with screenshots from the game)
  • Black pants (skinny jeans better suit the shape of the reaper)
  • Black shirt (I wore mine backwards)
  • Black socks
  • Black Shoes


  • Toy pistols (mine are also cap guns which is also a bonus)

Step 2: Step 1: Mask Frame

Draw a 'skull' on a piece of card and cut out with a lot of excess on the top. Cut out eye holes. You should be able to look out of these eye holes. This will be a face plate. Cut down from the top of the face plate down to where the forehead should be. These should allow you to bend the mask into a round shape over your head. Putting the mask on your face, pull the ends of these stands and pinch them together so that the front of the face plate is flush with your face. Staple into position.

Cut out about ten 1 inch to 2 inch strips (we use metric here but whatever). Use one or more to make a band that keeps the mask to your face. This should be a nice fit. This will be a headband.

Staple the ends of 3 strips to the headband, one on each side and the back. Do the same thing with the face plate, pull the ends of these strands together until they meet at the top of your head and staple into place. If a strip isn't long enough, staple another to lengthen it. Make sure these strips are flush with your head.

Repeat this process around the band until you have added strips all around the headband. When you'rs stapling, you'll have to put your stapler into the gaps in the band until you get to the last one. For the last one, tape the end to the top rather than stapling it.

I made some cuts on some of the strips to make them rounder like what was done to the top of the face plate. I held the overlapping corners with tape.

When finished, it should look like the above photo - somewhat like the reaper's head. This will be the mask's frame.

Step 3: Step 2: Filling the Mask in (paper Mache)

Cut newspaper into strips.

Don't do what I did and put in the balloon after starting to paper mache.

Mix up a paper mache syrup/soup/goop/doopaloop. The recipe I used is a 1 to 1 ratio of flour and water by volume. Use about 1 tablespoon of each or as needed. If flour water isn't hip enough for you, use whatever recipe you want.

Put a balloon into the mask and blow it up so that it fills the mask entirely. This keeps the mask in shape as the mache will be absorbed by the frame of the mask. It will also allow you to handle it better.

Dip strips of newspaper into the mache liquid and cover the mask. Make sure you cover all the gaps. Cover the right angle where the face plate meets the headband. Add cheek bones (I tried but it wasn't prominent enough).

Add another layer of white paper (I didn't but it would have made the mask look better). If you do this, skip Step 4: Paint.

Let dry. Probably overnight.

Sand down the edges of the strips to get a smooth surface to paint on later.

Step 4: Step 3: Re-cut Eye Holes

Use an image for reference, I used the cover art for the game. Zoom in on the eye/eye hole and draw this on a piece of paper. This will be an eye hole template.

Fold the paper in half or stack another piece so that the eye hole template is over the other layer.

Cut it out. you should have to mirror images of the eye hole template.

Tape the eye hole templates onto the mask where they should be.

Trace around the eye hole templates. What I do is use a marker (in hindsight, pencil would have been better) and make lines from inside the template to outside. Remove the template and join the inside of the lines to copy the template onto the mask.

Use a knife and scissors to cut out the eye holes. Sand around the inside of the eye holes to get a smooth finish.

Step 5: Step 4: Paint

Pain the mask with a solid layer of white. Acrylic paint might have worked better; spray paint would have been perfect. I used poster paint. Acrylic is expensive. Spray paint is illegal for under-18's in Australia.

Pros and Cons of poster paint

Pros: Paint is very forgiving for bad painters like myself, no matter how rough your strokes are, it dries flat

Cons: Paint prevents you from adding multiple layers. This paint seems to melt the previous layer of paint if you try to layer it so I could never get a solid white. The back of my mask has a faint red rectangle on it.

This will be the mask. I would have liked to cover the eye holes with a semi-transparent black T shirt like I usually do, but I didn't have one to spare.

Step 6: Step 5: Death and Taxes

Yes, mine are scrappy.

Paint some toy guns white. Sand the plastic to get the paint to stay. or use white primer.

Label one "Death" and the other "Taxes". Make a template or something and don't do what I did and write it in marker.


Death and Taxes is an item (singular?) that you can get in the game. It's the only weapon that is exclusive to the game. It has a large 24-round capacity and high AP. This is compensated by it's large recoil.

Step 7: Step 6: Wear It or Something

I don't know, you're done, wear it or something.

When I was making this, it was two days before Halloween.

Halloween Contest 2017

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2017