Paper Mache Steampunk Gas Mask




Introduction: Paper Mache Steampunk Gas Mask

I have been fascinated by the steampunk aesthetic for a long time and couldn't find a mask that I liked so I decided to make one of my own.

Please bear with me as this is my first instructable and I am really bad at documenting my process.

You will need;

  • A dust mask, or other mask that covers the lower half of your face
  • tinfoil (optional)
  • plastic wrap,
  • Steak knife, brush (Optional)
  • A whisk or fork
  • scrap paper, newsprint or other paper,
  • Flour,
  • Empty Toilet paper roll
  • Paint,
  • Leather

Step 1: Step One

Put on the dust mask and adjust the nose piece to fit your face. Then cover the mask in tinfoil and shape the foil to form the base for the shape you want.

I wanted a mask that would cover a bit more of my cheeks than the dust mask did so I made wings on either side.

Step 2: Step 2; Paper Mache

To keep the paper mache from sticking to the form I covered the form in Plastic wrap. I had some packing paper because I moved recently but I expect newsprint or any scrap paper would work well. Even cheap paper towel or toilet paper would probably get the job done.

I made my paste from flour and water, no precise measurements here but there should be slightly more flour than water. Put your flour and water in a soup bowl and whisk it together. It will be lumpy, and should be about the consistency of white glue. (i.e. it should run fairly freely, but also thoroughly coat your fingers when you dip them into it)

For the first layer of paper I generally dip my scraps in the paste and put them on with lots of it. but after that, you can use your fingers or a paintbrush to brush on the paste on to the paper.

Once you have 3-4 layers of paper mache you're ready to dry the mask.

For more detailed Papermache instructions and paste recipes I recommend that you check out Ultimate Paper Mache

Step 3: Step 3; Dry

Set your oven as low as it goes (mine goes down to 170 F) and place your mask on the middle rack.

Drying is a bit of a process, my projects generally take about 2 hours to dry, but I usually just stick them in the oven and go work on another project for a bit. The paper mache does actually get very hard even when it's still slightly damp.

When your project is completely dry it should be white/grey depending on the paper you used, and my paste generally dries to a very light yellow. Sadly I don't have a picture of the mask at this stage, but you can see a picture of the dry mask in the next step.

As a side note, as you handle your mask, it will very likely deform while wet. If this happens one way to fix it is to put it on your face briefly and re-shape it. Be VERY CAREFUL though because air will not travel through the mask at this point. This means that when you put the mask on your face not only will you not be able to breath through it, but by breathing in you will create a vacuum which may collapse the dome of your mask. One way to remedy this is to hold one corner of your mask away from your face to create a channel for airflow.

Step 4: Step 4; Extra Bits

It is very likely that once your mask is dry you will need to trim it to make it slightly more symetrical. You have probably noticed that my mask is still not completely symetrical but it was close enough that doesn't bother me.

Now that you have the basic form of your mask you may have some specific extra things to add to the silouette.

I don't know what they're called, but the port/hole things on the lower part of most steampunk masks and some resperators look really cool to me. I cut a couple of slices off an empty toilet paper roll, taped them to my mask and put paper mache over them to hold them in place and dried the whole shooting match again.

Once I had dried the mask a second time I took a steak knife and cut several lines in the front of it to allow for slightly more air flow since I wear glasses and wearing the mask makes my glasses fog up.

Step 5: Step 5; Paint and Decoration.

Once all the extras that require extra paper mache or cutting the mask are finished, you can paint your mask.

I added some leather, and used some small rivits and leather glue to attatch it. I also used a small buckle for the strap which I think is a little too small for it's job. Another good material for the strap would be elastic or an old leather belt cut shorter.

Step 6: You're Done!

Congratulations! You have made your own paper mache gas mask.

I still have other things I want to add to this, but that's another rabbit to chase on another day.

Happy Making!

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    6 Discussions

    Uncle Kudzu
    Uncle Kudzu

    4 years ago

    Very cool! Great idea to make it using the dust mask. I use white glue with water 1:1 in my papier mache projects.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks! Does your paste dry clear? I didn't have any white glue in my house when I was working on this so I didn't experiment with many other pastes.

    Uncle Kudzu
    Uncle Kudzu

    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, the white glue and water paste dries clear. I mention it because most people have a little Elmer's on hand, but may not have wheat paste (which I used to use) or whatever. I learned the mix from someone who teaches art in a public school; she liked it because it's simple to mix and it's plenty strong. I don't know how it would compare cost-wise to other stuff, but I only make one or two things a year, so I find it handy and cheap enough in the quantities that I use. I also use acrylic gesso at the end if I'm gonna paint much, but it would get expensive if you were using it as your main glue.

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Awesome cosplay accessory. This could work with a lot of different kinds of costume.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks! I am glad you liked it.