One of my hobbies is cosplaying and if it is feasible, minus the needlework, I make the props and other parts of my costumes like weapons, gadgets and the like.
This is the first tutorial that I’ll be posting in my blog. This is a very quick and easy tutorial on how to make a superhero mask. In my case I made Robin’s mask for my Damian Wayne costume.
This may or may not work for you, if not I hope it can give ideas on how you can create your own masks using available materials you can buy near your area or even stuff around the house. Here we go.
I. Materials (I’m using local prices here in the Philippines and just making an estimate in USD. The prices may be different in your area or country):
- Scissors – Average size but the bigger and sharper the better.
- Spray Paint (Php 90–120 or $2-3) – select the color that you would want to use. In my case grass green was the closest to Robin’s mask. One can is more than enough for a couple of masks.
- Pencil – for the drawing patterns. You can use other writing materials but this is better because it leaves a visible mark and you can easily erase it if you make mistakes.
- Mask pattern – You can get lots of pattern over the internet or even make one of your own. Or by copying the mask of the character that you want. I included a sample pattern I created which you can download (link in the instructions below) for your reference. It’s a PNG file, just resize it to fit your need.
- Sand paper (Php 5-10 or 25-50 cents) – you’ll only need a small portion of the paper.
- Opera type mask (Php 50–250 or $1-5) – I’m not sure if this is what you call them but that is what I think it is. Where I got it from, just says mask though. This is the main/important component and this is what makes the whole build easy. A whole or half face mask usually made from a cross between plastic and cardboard, so it is very durable and flexible. Mine has a thin fabric type cover as well. They have a standard size but stores may have different sizes. These are really cheap, if you would notice the gap with the price range is a bit big since it really depends on where you will buy it. If your budget allows you, get at least two so you can test out different patterns or if you make a mistake. You can get these kinds of masks in magic shops, party needs shops, book stores, or costume shops.
- Straps – Normally these are included with the actual mask that you will get. If you don’t want them or if you want a different one you can replace them.
1. Draw or print out your mask pattern on a paper, which is adjusted to the size of the mask and cut the outline. You don’t need to cut the eyeholes on the pattern since the opera mask already has them. You may need to resize or adjust a couple of times to make it fit to the mask or your face. There are two mask patterns I made, the one seen here that looks like a cross between Damian’s Robin mask and Nightwing’s mask and the second one is the original Damian Robin mask.
(Dowload the sample patterns HERE)
2. Get the opera type mask. The great thing about the mask is that it has the shape of a face already which is hard to do from scratch or without molding or rubber latex. Doing it with just a regular pattern will leave it flat.
Remove the straps for the time being. Now, place the Pattern on the opera type mask and draw the outline on the mask itself with a pencil or any marker. I directly drew the outline on the opera mask since I remember the pattern I liked. I added a point above the nose bridge since I like a Nightwing touch on my mask as well. Again it is better to use pencil since it is easier to adjust and erase.
3. Once the pattern is drawn check the proportions and make the necessary adjustments. Then all you need to do is cut the outline.
4. You will now have a super hero looking mask. Fit it and again make the necessary adjustments and cut them.
5. There will be parts and edges of the mask that will feel sharp due to the cutting. All you need to do is feel where they are while wearing or touching them and sand the parts as long as needed.
6. From here on you just need to paint the mask. It would be better to coat it with primer paint if you have one or if you have extra budget. Then coat with the main color. This would make the color stand out and make it last longer.
In my mask I just painted it directly with the green spray paint. To make better results try to make a thin initial coat and let it dry and then add a second or third coat if needed.
7. Wear your mask along with your costume and be the superhero your city deserves! Boom! Pow! Bam! Kapow!
III. The Mask In Action:
Photos taken from 11th Philippine Toycon June 2012.
Photo by Sammy Magsino.
Robin with Dana Troy. Photo by Anna Hechanova.
Robin riding the Bat Pod. Photo by Fidel Cana.
Robin with Red Hood. Photo by Fidel Cana.
Item number 7 is a figure of speech. The mask will help make you “LOOK” like a superhero but it won’t actually make you a real one. Well not instantly, lol. So please put them to good and responsible use. Don’t go fighting crime all by yourself. Don’t go on punching and kicking people you think are villains. If you see something wrong or ongoing crime, contact the proper authorities. Please don’t get shot.
Image source: Batman Wikia – Robin (Damian Wayne)