How to Make a Burlap Mask

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The burlap mask made famous by the Scarecrow character in "Batman Begins"
The burlap mask made famous by the Scarecrow character in "Batman Begins" (Image: Warner Bros.)

A burlap mask is a great scary Halloween costume and is fairly quick and simple to make yourself. One of the best examples of this type of mask can be seen in the 2005 movie "Batman Begins," worn by the Scarecrow.

Things You'll Need

  • Burlap bag or fabric
  • Head armature or newspaper
  • Glue
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments

Mix up a batch of papier-mâché using 2 parts glue to 1 part water.

Cut a piece of burlap from a bag or piece of fabric purchased at a craft store that will cover the entire head when draped over it.

Soak the burlap with the glue and water mixture.

Drape the wet burlap over a head armature. An armature is a reusable form. A head-shaped armature might be used as a stand-in for a real head by special effects artists, sculptors, wig makers or hat makers. Some are adjustable and there are a variety of sizes available. Take a head measurement so you will know which size of armature to buy. Otherwise, make a form out of wire or just wads of newspaper. Just make sure that whatever form you use is big enough so the final mask will fit onto your head.

Allow burlap to dry on the form for 24 hours.

Remove the burlap from the armature when dry.

Cut holes for your eyes and mouth so that you can see and breathe.

Embellish your mask as desired. For a scary mask, try stitching on the mask with a needle and brown thread. For a more lighthearted mask, use feathers, beads, ribbon, paint or anything else that you can find at your local craft store.

Tips & Warnings

  • A quick and easy alternative to using papier-mâché is to simply drape burlap over your head and secure it loosely around the neck with cord or rope. You can purchase an armature from special effects materials suppliers and craft stores or online.
  • Kids should only do this project under close adult supervision.

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