Adam and Barbara Maitland of Beetlejuice Costume




Introduction: Adam and Barbara Maitland of Beetlejuice Costume

I created masks of the Maitlands from Beetlejuice!

Step 1: You Will Need:

for Adam:
-helmet or structured hat of some kind (without a bill)
-paper towel roll
-heavy construction paper and cardboard
-masking and duck tape
-latex gloves (3)
-plaster of Paris cloth
-black nylon
-paint (skin color, black, red)
-brown cloth (i used a swatch of fur) to resemble hair
-10 fake eyeballs (see my realistic fake eyes tutorial on instructables)
-black and white plaid shirt
-khaki pants

for Barbara:
-3 wire hangers (i got these free at a local laundromat)
-newspaper and tape
-cardboard or thick cardstock paper
-plaster of Paris
-2 fake eyeballs (again see realistic eyeballs tutorial)
-flowery dress, nude tights and flats
-brown curly wig

Step 2: Frame for Adam's Mask

I purchased the cheap plastic construction helmet for $1.99 at Party City. I wrapped the helmet in newspaper to round it out and flatten the little bill in the back. I then taped a paper towel roll to the front and a piece of cardboard on either side to make the frame of the face. to finish it up, I cut the excess off the front of the paper towel roll and stuffed tissue paper inside to round it out

Step 3: Tape It Up and Make a Jaw!

I taped all the gaps in the front to finish the face and added a jaw made of construction paper. this step took several bouts of trying on and cutting and retaping to make sure we could get the mask on and off and make sure it covered as much of his jaw as possible.
tape everything securely

Step 4: Wrap It Up!

I decided to wrap the entire thing in aluminum foil so I had the exact outline of the mask to plaster over. (note: do as much filling in and puffing up as possible with paper or tissue so your mask doesn't come out too heavy!)

Step 5: Start the Plaster!

I used rigid wrap, I ordered a 5 lb roll on Wal-Mart website for $20 and used less than half the roll for both masks. I went through and just added 1 layer of plaster to cover the outside only (some wrapped into the inside but I cut and sanded it down because 1) it was rather itchy and painful against your skin, and 2) it just weighs the mask down)

Step 6: Apply the Hand and the 2nd Layer of Plaster of Paris

I stuffed a latex glove with cotton balls and put a layer of plaster of Paris. once you get the plaster on, it's easy to bend the fingers slightly so they stay a bit curled. after that dries, and after the first layer dries (NOTE: IF THE MASK FEELS COOL TO THE TOUCH IT IS STILL WET). I let it dry overnight before starting the 2nd layer.

anyway, plaster your hand on the top (its helpful to have someone hold the hand in place while you work) and then begin your 2nd layer on the rest of the mask. I pinched some areas while laying the plaster to get the stretched-skin look. I found that 2 layers of plaster was enough and it didn't make the mask too heavy

Step 7: Let It Dry and Paint!

let the mask dry fully (remember, if it's cool, it's still wet) and then get to painting!
I started with a thick base of white acrylic paint (trust me, you will want to prime it first to fill in the natural spots and holes the plaster leaves) then used a mixture of peachish skin tone color for the entire thing

Step 8: Add the "hair" and "eyes" and Teeth

I used a swatch of brown fur I got at JoAnne Fabrics for the hair. I forgot to include ears early on, so I added them here out of paper (i wish I would have made them out of plaster before painting to make it more natural)

I hot glued the black nylon to the inside of the eyes to see out of. Make sure to pull it tight enough to see through.

Because I made the lower jaw a bit too close to the nose, I opted to just make the teeth out of paper and glue them on.

I also decided to hot glue some fabric to the inside of the mask to make it more comfortable to wear.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Adam wears khaki pants and a black and white checkered button up shirt with a red t-shirt under it. We had to improvise last minute and adapt a blue checkered shirt for this event.

we got similar glasses from goodwill for cheap and made the eyeball gloves from foam balls and latex gloves (see my sweet eyeball instructable for the specifics on this!)

Step 10: Framework for Barbara's Mask

to make the frame for Barb, I started with 2 wire hangers. using wire cutters, I snipped the hook end and bent the hanger in half. I took the 2nd hanger, snipped the hook, then reshaped the wire into a semi circle and a partial triangle. I detached the ends to link it through the first hanger and attach it back together.
I wrapped the entire thing in painters tape (i didn't have masking tape) to soften the wire and cover any sharp edges. you'll want to try it on to make sure it fits and is a somewhat loose fit for when you add other material

Step 11: Remainder of the Frame

next I cut out 2 semi-ovals out of cardboard and taped it to the wire. you'll want to cut a chin and forehead section as well for a better fit. I then glued and taped an outward border on both cardboard ovals. finally, I stuffed the top and bottom with newspaper and cardstock strips and taped it down lightly.
this is helpful to pad and shape the mask without using extra plaster of paris, which will weigh it down. continue trying it on to make sure it's a good fit. in the photos I have added eyes, but I did not really include them until later.

Step 12: Wrap It Up!

again I covered the entire mask in aluminum foil. you may notice an additional flap on top, that is to begin the upper layer of skin that is separate from the gums. in retrospect, I would have made this much larger/closer to the edge of the mask.

also in this step I added some length/tapered down the upper and lower jaws for a more pronounced, almost V shape. I did this with newspaper and aluminum foil

Step 13: Tongue and Eyes!

to make the tongue I took my 3rd wire hanger and bent it like shown above (measure how big you would like it inside the mouth). I cut some cardstock in the same shape and taped it under the wire. filling the tongue with crumpled newspaper, I wrapped it in foil as well. I did not attach this until later when I did plaster of Paris.

to make the mounds for the eyes, I crumpled up balls of newspaper, wrapped them in foil and taped them up top.

finally, to make the jaw hinges, I taped cardstock at a 90 degree angle to the top and bottom jaw and cut a semi-circle in each, again foiling them up.

keep trying it on!

Step 14: Plaster of Paris Layer #1

cover everything in a single coat of plaster of paris, inside and out. after it dries (fully and completely!) try it on some more in case you need to make any adjustments before you do the 2nd coat!) don't forget to plaster the tongue! (not attaching it yet though)

Step 15: Attach the Tongue With the 2nd Coat of Plaster

after the 1st coat is completely dry (i waited overnight), start by attaching your tongue. I placed the leftover wire in the back of the tongue flat against the bottom jaw and plastered it down really well (again it's helpful to have someone hold it for you). this can be tricky as you are going underneath the tongue to mount the bottom wires.
after you have that in place, provide a 2nd layer of plaster around the top inside mouth piece, if needed, and the exterior of the entire mask, pinching and bunching the plaster like in Adam's mask in order to provide that stretched out look. this is also where you add details like nostrils and eyelids.
remember, the more plaster you use, the heavier the mask will be, so make it count!

Step 16: Add the Teeth!

I though a lot about how I would like to add the teeth, and ended up landing on just using plaster of Paris. I balled up small strips and got it wet, bunching it up into a mushy little square and sticking it inside the jaw. using the bottom tip of a paintbrush, I dented the insides of the mushy square to make it more tooth-like. I found doing this in front of a fan was helpful in the teeth drying quicker and sitting still.
I started in the back and noticed partially through that the teeth were too low and would be hid by the "lips". I built a miniature cardboard ramp that I covered in plaster on each side on the top and bottom to slowly raise the teeth up to the top in the front of the mouth on the upper and lower jaws.

Step 17: Paint It Up!

as with Adam's mask, I completed a coat of white acrylic paint as a base, and then used a mixture of peach and whites to color the outside of the mask. I used a mixture of red and brown to get the deep red inside (i used multiple sized brushes for this to get around the teeth), and a brighter red for the tongue. if I could go back and change 1 thing, I would paint the tongue BEFORE I plastered it in, because trying to reach under there after was a huge pain.

finally I added some dimension to the teeth by painting them more of an offwhite color, spraying them with the acrylic clear coat spray I used on the eyes, then diluting some black with water and adding spots on the tops of each tooth.

Step 18: Wig Out!

I purchased this curly wig off Amazon and attached it to the back of the mask. I also hot glued the black nylon inside the mouth to provide a way to see out without seeing in. using hot glue, I attached the 2 eyeballs (see my other instructable about making realistic eyes!) on top of the tongue.
as with Adam's, I coated the interior of the mask and the wire coat hangars with fabric to make the mask more comfortable to wear.
now it's ready to go!

Step 19: Finishing Touches for Barb

barb wears a floral dress, nude tights and flats. I found this dress at goodwill for $4!

I also created a DIY "handbook for the recently deceased" and beetlejuice flyer for props! (see my other instructable for beetlejuice props!)

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    This has almost become a classic costume for couples, and you executed it very well!

    Great work!! :)