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Make Your Own Horror Mask Tutorials
By Lauren Vork
OverviewWhether you're using them for a costume party, role-playing games or movie and theatrical ventures, being able to make your own horror masks gives you the freedom to create custom designs while being more cost-effective than getting store-bought versions. Though not a standard home handicraft, making rubber horror masks can be easier than you might expect.
LatexYou can make your own long-lasting and professional-looking rubber horror mask with materials that are easy to find in craft and theater/costume stores.
The primary ingredient is, of course, liquid latex. This can be found at most costume, magic and theater stores with a makeup counter and generally comes in beige. You can change the color of the latex by adding paint to it while it's wet or painting it after it's dried. The advantage of mixing when it's wet is that the paint won't flake when the latex stretches, but you'll want to do a test to see how the color you've mixed will look when it's dry. Painting the latex after it's dry will allow you to do more detailed painting, but it can be prone to some flaking. You can also apply makeup to latex, as it is generally porous enough for the makeup to stick.
TechniquesThe easiest way to make a latex mask is by starting with an existing stretch cloth hood and coating it with liquid latex. You can tie a cloth around a balloon, use a ski mask, beanie hood or something similar. Whatever you choose to use, make sure that you stuff the inside of the hood (cloth scraps or newspaper is good) so that the cloth is solidly in the correct shape to be big enough to pull over your head; the latex will stretch once it's dry, but not very much.
Coat the cloth in latex. Be sure to use several layers, allowing each to dry before adding the second. Once you've finished the last layer, you can begin adding the features that will make your mask interesting; but first, you'll need to dry the mask on and add some eye and possible nose and ear holes, depending on what you're comfortable with. For safety's sake, be sure to mark the places for the holes while you're wearing the mask, but remove the mask while you're actually cutting them.
If the latex is sticking to itself at this stage (latex will often do this when it is freshly dry and clean), dust it with some powder or corn starch.
After you've made eye holes, you can start to build other facial features. One good way to do this is to soak materials like gauze or paper towels in latex, then use them as a sort of rough modeling clay to sculpt features. When the latex dries, the features will be rubbery and protrude from the mask.
A good way to do more detailed facial features is to sculpt them in clay, then paint several layers of latex over the surface of the clay (except for the back). Use an air-dry clay so that as the clay starts to dry (don't let it dry fully), it will shrink and pull away from the latex. This will leave you with a hollowed latex model of, for example, an ear or a nose that you can attach to your mask as it is (use another blob of liquid latex as glue) or stuff with some latex-soaked paper towel if you need to give it more body.
Hair is easy to add to a mask. Simply buy some craft hair or use parts of an old wig. The hair can be glued in place using more latex or a tacky craft glue.
Other horrifying features can be added during any stage of the mask's construction and are up to your imagination, but they might include scars and scabs (check out your costume store's makeup counter for great materials to make these), stitching or just gruesome features rendered in latex.