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Workbench Creations is the place for conversation and discussion about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This DIY blog will feature projects completed by its owner as well as projects completed by other do-it-yourselfers. Workbench Creations is the place where DIYers can discuss ideas, learn about what others have done, and share their expertise.

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Mask Making for Halloween

Posted October 16, 2012 11:47 AM by Dark Shadow

With the upcoming and awesome holiday Halloween, some people would like to know how to make their own mask or just to learn how it is done.

To make a prosthetic piece with great edges you need a two-piece mold. The better the edges are the better it will blend into the skin. To maintain what you sculpted, accurate plasters are used. You don't want ones that expand too much or the ones too brittle like "Plaster of Paris". The plasters used here are White Hydrocal and Ultracal 30 Gypsum plasters.

The bust has been sealed with gloss paint. The gloss paint is more resistant to damage and as it is applied it fills in the imperfections to achieve the gloss finish. This will provide a sealed surface.

Water based clay is applied around the head. The clay is approximately 1/2" thick. I just sprayed PAM cooking spray onto a counter top. I then slammed a mound of clay on to the table until the thickness was achieved. The ends and edges of the clay were cut with a straight edge; then this is applied to the plaster bust where you want the final casing to end. The clay is CAREFULLY pressed onto the bust, trying to keep the edge flat and perpendicular to the surface. The area is then sprayed, lightly, with PAM and using a dry brush, the PAM is evenly distributed over the area.

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The next procedure uses alginate. Alginate is mixed and applied over the area to a thickness of ¼ to ½". The thickness is kept to a slightly runny consistency. The happy medium needs to be not too thick to trap air, and not to runny where it is being scooped up and reapplied. As the alginate is starting to set, cotton balls are pressed into the alginate for 3-4 minutes. Once the alginate has set, the cotton is carefully pulled leaving some of the fibers imbedded in the alginate. These will the keep the alginate in the mother mold. The mother mold is made with plaster bandage from an art supply store. The ones I used are 4" wide and 2 layers think. The entire head is covered with 4 layers and the outside edge has 6 layers. The edge needs to be a little thinker to take the abuse of removal.

Here is a shot of the inside of the alginate mold after is has been pulled off the bust.

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Hydrocal plaster is added to the mold. The first coat is applied very thin with a brush. I blow hard to make sure the plaster is in every nook and cranny to make sure there is no trapped air. More layers are added carefully until the layer is at least ½". This needs to set for 1 hour.

After it sets, remove the plaster bandage and alginate. The new casting needs to have the imperfections taken care of. Sanding works best when using drywall sanding cloth or a rasp. There are plaster knifes out there that also help.

Once the casting is clean, it needs to be sealed. Again using gloss spray paint, apply even coats over the plaster casting. Once it is sealed I added a few inches of clay to the bottom to allow for the overflow. A coat of PAM is sprayed and spread evenly with a dry brush. Alginate is applied again as before and backed up with plaster bandage.

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This time Ultracal 30 is applied into the mold. A thin layer is added with a brush to the thickness of 1/8". Any deep areas are filled in, i.e. nose and lips. Once the plaster starts to set, it will become warm to the touch and firm. The second layer is then applied with burlap dipped into plaster until four even layers have been added. I also used 2 smaller strips to secure the handle into place. A third batch of plaster is mixed and applied over the burlap layer. This layer is known as the finishing coat. As this coat sets up a spare piece of burlap can be used to buff out imperfections before it fully sets up. It will take a full hour before the plaster is set. This piece should be left in the mold for as long as possible. The longer left in, the harder the surface will become. I prefer to leave it overnight.

This positive is pulled out and is all ready for the sculpture. A thin layer of petroleum jelly is applied to the cast to help the clay stay in place. Now it's time to sculpt. I use Roma clay because it is oil based and never dries. Once the sculpture is complete it is covered in a layer of cap material: thinned down plastic used to make bald caps. Kryolan crystal clear spray can also be used.

From here, the sculpture is molded in Ultracal 30 plaster and is done the same way as before. A thin layer is applied to get all of the detail. That is allowed to set up. Then a second layer with soaked burlap is applied over the entire sculpture. Finally, the last coat is applied to keep the outside smooth so it is easier to handle. This is allowed to setup overnight. The two half's are separated and cleaned. I use acetone to help dissolve to plastic remnants.

You now have a two-piece mold that needs to be filled. Depending on the product you choose, find out what sealer to use, if any, and what to use as a release agent.

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Here is an example of two different test pulls from the mold using different materials before painting. This is a general idea of how it's done; just testing the waters. If there is a high interest in this, I can get into more detail on further DIY's..

Suppliers:

Alcone - http://www.alconeco.com/

PolyTec - http://www.polytek.com/


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#1

Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/16/2012 12:12 PM
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#2
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Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/16/2012 4:56 PM

I doubt they will.......

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#3

Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 3:52 AM

I just buy these

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#4

Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 4:47 AM

Nice write-up.

I'd like to know if/how I can model my own face. Honest, I really would !

A long time back, a girl I knew wanted to practice theatrical make-up on me. It didn't half hurt the first time because she hadn't reminded me to have a close shave ! The job she did only involved latex (or whatever it was) below the eyes. You can take it as said that I wouldn't want to shave my eyelashes or eyebrows. Call me vain, but I'd love to try making a mask or cast of my own face. It would be a riot of laughs to make multiple copies of myself and get a bunch of people in on some kind of gag.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 5:54 AM

Don't all squirrels look the same, though?

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#6
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Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 6:45 AM

No, that's steam trains.

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#8
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Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 11:30 AM

Oooooh, below the belt.
Del

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#9
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Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 2:45 PM

That's settled it.

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#10
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Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 5:02 PM

Settled what ? My genius ? You can have one of my masks for free, so long as I get to the next ER flashmobbing with my free ER mask .

For a mo, I thought you were aluding to Atticus fans (easy to get the wrong end of the stick, dontcha know, old gal ).

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#11
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Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/18/2012 5:19 PM

Daddy's gonna buy me a mocking bird...

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#7

Re: Mask Making for Halloween

10/17/2012 7:10 AM

Presumably sales of laxative chocolate are now on the rise in readiness?

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