Most low-budget Halloween masks and costumes purchased direct from a store tend to have a plastic, artificial look to them. However, you don't need to spend a fortune to add an extra touch of realism to an existing product. This werewolf outfit I put together last year is a prime example!
- Mask of choice (preferably something rigid, rather than the flexible latex type)
- Real fur scraps, tanned. (can be obtained from just about any fur clothing manufacturer)
- Glue (Elmer's or similar - please note that hot glue may melt some plastics, so use caution if you decide to attempt it)
- Window screen
- Neon-colored or reflective tape, for eyes!
Step 1: Gather Your Fur and Start Gluing!
Pick out some fur scraps that you feel best match the existing colors on the mask. You want everything to "blend" as natural as possible, to truly bring your mask to life. Use darker or lighter colors to accent certain areas. Note how I used darker fur for the "eyebrows" of this wolf, and light colored raccoon fur on its forehead, cheeks and chin. A tuft of white fox fur was glued into the base of each ear.
Make sure to use tanned fur that is soft and flexible, so it better conforms to the shape of the mask. Trim to desired shapes and secure it to the mask with your glue, and allow to dry for at least 24 hours before further handling and proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Add the Eyes
Eyes can be done a few ways, but no matter how you do it, it will definitely give your mask a much more fearsome, realistic look than if you simply left the eye-holes blank.
Begin by gluing a piece of black or dark-colored window screen over the back side of each eye hole. This will hide your "real" eyes but will still be easy to see through when you wear the mask.
Next, you will need to add artificial eyes atop the screen mesh. I have used glass taxidermy eyes on other masks before, however these can be heavy and may fall off after several uses if you do not secure them well enough. For this werewolf here, I decided to try something lighter-weight, and very simple to attach.
To make these eyes, I used reflective orange tape, cut into the desired shape and simply adhered to the screen mesh, in the top corners so I could still see through the screen under them. I added a "pupil" to each eye with a Sharpie marker. To give the eyes some additional shape and shine, I also glued a piece of rounded plastic over each eye. This plastic was simply cut from the packaging the mask came in, but you can also use any clear plastic from a bottle or other container.
Let all of your glue dry thoroughly, and the mask is then ready to wear!
Step 3: Wear and Scare!
Now that your mask is finished, you can add your choice of details to the rest of your outfit to further add to its appearance. You can make matching furry paw gloves, a tail, etc. (For the tail, I used an extra large, real fox tail with a keychain attachment, assembled the same way these here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Real-Fur-Tail-Keyc...)
So get creative and have fun scaring those Trick-or-Treaters this year! ...And you'll scare 'em good, because now the "big bad wolf" no longer looks like he's made out of plastic!