STEP 1: MAKING THE BASE
First step is the easiest: Buy Supplies! To start, you'll need a simple craft mask and some instant papier-mache which you can find at any craft store. I would recommend Michael's since they constantly have coupons.
The next part is to mix up the papier-mache and put it on the mask, except over the mouth and nose. You will only need roughly a quarter of the papier-mache mix, if even that, so eyeball it closely. Something the magazine article didn't point out is that after it dries, the papier-mache CAN come off, so you might wanna get some spray glue as well.
STEP 2: ADDING THE JAW
Another piece of the puzzle you will need is a skull mask, more specifically, the jawline of it. Most Halloween and party stores carry them at this time of year, so finding one shouldn't be too difficult. Cutting it out however, was a chore! Scissors aren't very good on thick plastic. I'd highly recommend a scroll saw or dremel. You also have to cut out the mouth of the white mask, which scissors were effective on oddly enough. This is another part the magazine article wasn't very clear on.
With everything cut out, glue the skull jaw on to the white mask. This part is a little tricky as the jaw will NOT just fit on (Yet another thing the article neglected to say!). And there WILL be a gap in between the two masks. I used hot glue to set it on there and Gorilla Glue to reinforce it as the hot glue didn't want to stick very well. Also be aware of where the jaw lines up. Mine was noticeably off, BUT, it actually kinda worked as the aliens in the film are quite grotesque!
STEP 3: MOLDING THE CLAY
The next phase of making this mask is the best part! Shaping it! You'll need modeling clay and a little patience with this step. First, add clay around the jawline to A) Cover up the gaps between the two masks and B) Elongate the jaw to make it look more natural. Be sure to keep a bowl of water around too as you'll need to wet your fingers so you can smooth the clay down. Add more clay around the eyes, nose and cheek bones to form ridges. You'll wanna add ridges to the forehead too. The goal is to make it look like it's holding back rotting flesh, which is what the papier-mache simulates!
STEP 4: PAINT
And now we enter the home stretch! The first part of step 4 may well be the easiest thing you will do on this project: Priming the mask! Because you'll be using light colors, you'll wanna use a non-glossy white primer paint. No real primer preference here. It's a mask not a wall!
Once your primer dries, you can REALLY go to work! First up, paint the nose and eye sockets black. Then using red paint, make the fleshy parts red. This includes the gums between the teeth and ALL the exposed papier-mache. Because of the white primer, it may take a few coats, especially with the red as the papier-mache isn't a smooth surface and will have hard-to-fill grooves and cracks. You also wanna use acrylic paints for this step, preferably with a matte finish. Once again, I have no preference. Whatever is cheapest works just fine.
Now it's time to paint the bone ridges blue! You'll paint everything BUT the teeth and lower jaw a medium shade of blue, once again with acrylic paint. I used turquoise since it's the perfect shade of blue! With a VERY small brush, also take some black paint and get the lines in between the teeth and gums. This will really make those chompers standout, especially after the glossing step. It'd also be wise to pick up some white acrylic paint too, as the brush is going to smear while doing the lines.
STEP 5: TOUCH UPS, EYES AND GLOSS
This next step requires a bit more skill than most as you'll be adding highlights to make the mask really stand out! First, take some brown acrylic paint and lightly sponge it on to the red parts. It doesn't have to be heavy, but should be somewhat covering of the red paint. Basically, make sure the red paint is still visible. Next, add some water to the brown paint and lightly brush it on to the teeth and lower jaw, then wipe it off quick with a paper towel. This will age the teeth and make it look more sinister. You can leave the teeth and jaw white though. Totally your call!
And now we reach the last part! With some pink acrylic paint, faintly sponge it on to the brown and red fleshy areas of the mask. Next, use light blue acrylic paint and faintly sponge it on to the blue parts of the mask. These are merely highlights, so no heavy coat needed. To make the eyes, cut a ping pong ball in half, spray paint it silver and then cut a star pattern into the eyes. This is another one you'll need a dremel for as the curved surface make it impossible to use a knife or scissors. Once done, hot glue the eyes into the eye sockets of the mask. Once all the paint and glue is dry, take a glossing medium and lightly brush it on. The magazine recommended a medium gloss varnish which I did find very satisfying. Once again, this one is really more personal preference than anything else. A higher gloss may stand up to the elements better depending on the weather.
And there's your mask! The white craft mask will have straps already attached, but you may wanna replace them with elastic as the included straps only tie around and likely won't support the added weight. Anyhoo, that's my tutorial! I hope y'all liked it and didn't doze off while reading! I hope y'all will also be inspired to try even crazier variants! I know I am!
And that's all for today. I'll be back next time with some Halloween fun just in time for the spookiest night of the year! Well, save for Ozzy Osborne's birthday party! Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!