Old Man String Mask




About: I'm a refugee from Los Angeles, living in backwoods Puerto Rico for about 35 years now and loving it. I built my own home from discarded nylon fishnet and cement.

This Old Man String Mask uses colored yarn and hot melt glue for the flesh areas. The hair is also attached with hot melt glue.

Hot melt glue and yarn makes a thin and light-weight layer which is comfortable to wear. A good fit to the head of the wearer is assured by a head harness made of rubber floor mat material, customized to the wearer's head. All the rubber parts are hot melt glued together, and are attached to the inner surface of the mask by hot melt glue. You have to be careful with the fumes, but I love working with hot melt glue. It can take several days to do the yarn work, though.

The face is sculpted in clay first. The yarn and glue material that covers the clay lifts off the clay easily when the mask is finished, lifting up a layer of clay dust from the sculpture surface.

Step 1: Sculpting the Face

I started out using a head mold of my own head. (see: https://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-Head-Base-f... ) That way I knew that my head and glasses would fit inside the mask.

I first did the internal head harness using strips of rubber floor mat material, cut with a paper cutter, and hot melt glue. The weight of the mask rests on top of the head, and the band around the forehead is snug, but not tight enough to cut off circulation. The main reason for using a head harness inside the mask is to keep the mask from flopping around when the user's head moves. You especially want your eyes to stay in front of the viewing holes so you can see where you are going.

Rubber connecting struts are then glued to the head harness and the features are sculpted in water base clay. The struts protrude through the clay and are cut off flush. As the skin off yarn and hot melt glue covers the face, it will automatically connect the skin to the struts and the head harness below.

Step 2: Covering the Clay With Yarn

The hot melt glue and yarn will stay in place on the clay while the surface is covered, but since the top layer of clay can just lift off as a layer of dust, the glue layer does not stick firmly. No mold release agent is needed to get the mask off the mold later. I made a couple of cuts behind the ears to help get the mask off the mold. It fits over my head the same way it came off the mold, and the slits behind the ears are hardly noticeable.

Since I wanted the hair in the mustache and eye brows to be under control, I sculpted the hair masses and then glued yarn down over them. The hair in the back is loose and helps cover the neck of the mask wearer. The hair in back is put on in multiple-hair units. After tying the hairs to a central yarn, they are glued down as a unit. That saves a lot of time.

Create your hair too long and trim it later.



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    9 Discussions

    The Juliart

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Just wanted to tell you I love your Instructables . The fishnet and concrete is great and well your yarn masks are wonderful. I use an appliqué iron ,it has a temperature control on the handle and nice attachements just want to share that.

    Can't wait to see more. Yours Kindly! Jewels

    Clover Mini Iron II-The Adapter Set

    2 replies

    Hi there Jewels. Glad you like my work. Thanks.

    The Mini Iron looks useful. I use an independent voltage regulator to get similar service from soldering irons, etc. Built in is probably better, though.

    All in all its about getting the job done and you clearly have no problem with that. Have a great day!



    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is fantastic. Checking out some of your other yarn + hot glue creations now. Wow!

    The vision is actually quite good. Instead of open holes for the eyes, there is a lacy network of yarn and hot melt glue. You look through all the holes in the "lace". The lace is easy to see through from the inside, and hard to see through from the outside (since inside the mask is relatively dark).


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Well I think it's pretty cool as a matter of fact. And this guy is a king of non-classic materials