Intro: How to Be Yourself
If you've come here looking for self-help, this is probably the wrong place. This is a tutorial for people who are already ego-tastic enough to want to make more of themselves. Not in the traditional sense, and not even in the cloning sense. You'll see.
This is, alternately, a creepy-doll mask tutorial. Hard to be sure.
Step 1: Make Positive of Face
First, you're going to need a positive of your face. Your face, but one that won't get burnt if it suddenly touches something that's 500 degrees.
I made mine using my Plaster Face Cast tutorial.
There are other ways to make a mask of your face than that described in this and the next step, but this is the most accurate way, I think.
Step 2: Vacuum Form Face
I used the one SHIFT! made for the Instructables office. You can read his instructable on what he did and how to use it here.
For my masks, I used a thin sheet of polystyrene. It feels just like the cheap masks that you can buy at party stores, though maybe less brittle.
Here are the steps I used:
- Find or make a frame that fits your plaster face. This must not be bigger than your vacuum forming surface.
- Set up face on vacuum former.
- Cut out a sheet of plastic the size of your frame
- Staple plastic to frame. You may have to hit it hard to make the staples go into the wood.
- Heat plastic in an oven at 500 degrees- this part goes very quickly.
- Plastic will deform upwards in bubbles, go flat, then begin to dip slightly (very subtly) in the center. Pull it out immediately.
- Place the frame and plastic over your face positive and switch on the vacuum. The sheet of plastic will form to the face.
- It should be pretty good already, but it's helpful to use a heat gun (with the vacuum still on) to make the plastic conform better to the details: the pits of the eyes, the nostrils, lips.
- The plastic cools pretty much instantly. Pull it off of the frame.
- Cut plastic to shape. If you have glass eyes, this is a good time to tape them on and take super-creepy pictures.
Step 3: Gouge Your Eyes Out
Carefully carve out eye holes. You might want to place a piece of duct tape at the corner of the eye so you don't accidentally over-cut.
Keep a mirror handy and check on the eye shape regularly.
Odd eye shapes can give your mask a lot of emotion and character.
Cut out the nostrils, too; breathing holes.
More creepy pictures are in order here.
Since your mask should fit your face perfectly, it's actually pretty comfortable to wear.
Step 4: Painting
I went to the art store, and one of the very nice people working there told me that Burnt Sienna + Titanium White mixed together made a great flesh tone. I also got Red Oxide (+ white) to make redder parts of my face, and since my skin is olive-y, added a little Yellow Ochre. In acrylic paints.
I had a couple of ideas on skin tone matching. None of them really worked, so I did end up with a creepy doll look.
Creepy doll is okay with me. Maybe you're better at painting/less impatient.
But here were my clever ideas:
- Mirror pallette: set up a mirror so you can see your face. Mix paints and test them directly on the mirror; compare to flesh.
- Color photograph: print out your face and test colors on it.
- Just paint right on your skin. You probably shouldn't do that; I think acrylic is bad for you. But I did it anyway. It didn't help much.
- Photo decoupage (pro: the right colors) (con: probably lose facial shape)
- Putting actual makeup on the face. Probably works better if you actually wear/are good at putting on makeup.
- 3D printing, but instead of extruding an object, it just prints photos on a 3D surface. Does this exist, even? Maybe I just mean airbrushing.
Step 5: Eyebrows
When I went to the art store, I got a super-cheap brush. So while I was painting the face, the brush bristles kept falling out into the paint.
"How fortuitous!" I thought. "Now I can make eyebrows!"
So that's what I used.
They were a little long, so I cut them up a little smaller.
To apply them, I traced a line of spirit gum onto the mask at the eyebrows and hand-placed the fibers.
Step 6: Wearing the Mask
You could probably attach an elastic, but that takes away from the realism.
I used spirit gum around the top edges of the mask, as shown.
Step 7: Costuming
Dress like yourself, but a little off. For example, the me-impostors in the pictures are wearing my clothes, sure, but something is off...
Step 8: Just Act Natural!
This makes a great Halloween costume: what could frighten children better than you, just being yourself?
Maybe that's just me.
But what's even better than one person being you?
Two people being you!
A whole army of you's!
Know no bounds. Live. Let yourself out to wreak havoc on the world.