Make your own Zombie masks for Halloween – fun for all the family.
To start off making the masks I first got some paper masks from the local hobby store. This sort, quite cheap and nothing to be scared of when you decide to chop them up, if they go wrong.
I test fitted them on the kids, they were a bit big for both of the kids. My daughter complained that there was loads of room for her nose, so I squashed the nose of the paper mask to take advantage of the space, and have the end bitten off on the mask.
Nice when kids are little and still have button noses.
Next I decided the mask needed to have an open mouth, so I cut the jaw off with the idea of hinging it, or reattaching it with flexible latex so my daughter could open the jaw when she had the mask on. Sadly I failed with this idea and it wont move.
I drew a rough plan on the mask, spread white glue on the squashed nose around the eyes and the upper lip and started squishing paperclay onto the mask, and sculpting the shapes with coffee stirrers and fingers. Getting my daughter to squish the paperclay around and help.
I chose to use paperclay in the hope the it would be lighter when dry than air drying clay, to keep the finished weight of the mask as light as possible.
The teeth are cheap false fingernails in a variety of small sizes pushed into the clay , then re-glued in once the clay is dry. A pair of toenail clippers is useful to jaggedly cut them to look like worn and chipped zombie teeth.
Now my son saw this and decided he wanted a zombie mask too. This proved to be really good as he didn’t want to do it with me.
Freedom to play on my own at last !!
So I quickly had a plan and decided my sons mask would be a jaw-less zombie, with hanging flaps of skin over the cheeks and a black painted chin to give the illusion of a missing chin and make the edges ragged as if it was ripped and torn skin.
I added flaps of “skin” to join the lower jaw. I used tattooists practice skin latex which i had hoped would make it stretchy but it was just too thick. I stuck this with superglue, and then repeated the process on the other mask for the missing jaw.
I tried to blend the latex sheets into the mask with paperclay, adding wrinkles and scars and a bit of surface texture.
My daughter found a silicon tongue from some old magazine, which had a thorough washing and they both decided it would look good on my sons mask….
I backed the teeth with paperclay to support them and put a wash of colour on both masks to try to show the detail up to see where it needed more sculpting.
Next was mold, scabs and under skin texture. My daughter loved this bit.
White glue mixed with a little paint, and chuck in some rolled oats, stir it all up in a big bowl of coloured glue porridge and the put in on the mask in places as desired, then put it aside to let it dry, this is where doing two comes in handy, kids still need to learn patience as it take a long time to dry.
The lip-less mask needed to have some skull showing, so the plain mask was painted an “old bone” sort of colour. A big sheet of latex was cut to cover the forehead of the mask, then a big chunk was bitten out of it and the skin ripped and the underside covered in porridge glue where it would show. It was shaped and left to dry before gluing on the forehead of the mask. The fake tongue was superglued to the mask, so it wobbles well.
Then came the fun bit – painting.
Washes of brown, beige with some red and black, dark red in the open wounds. Touches of green for mold. Some gloss varnish over the mucky teeth and fake blood sprayed, dripped and generally let the kids have fun with bottles of fake blood – but outside and in old clothes.
The last thing to do is on the night, makeup to hide the skin colour under the mask, buckets of blood and (if their Mum will allow) white makeup on the eyelids so they can shut their eyes and look really freaky.
Have a go yourselves, its not expensive, the kids can have fun helping and in the event of a zombie apocalypse you are halfway to having your own tribe of “Whisperers”.