How to Make Silicone Masks

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No costume is complete without a scary mask.
No costume is complete without a scary mask. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Most silicone masks used in movies and other events must be sculpted in clay on a head form, then molded and cast in silicone. This process takes weeks to complete and can be very expensive. You can make a basic silicone mask through a process called building up, by constructing it from the inside out. These masks work well for zombies, monsters and other creatures that don't need smooth, flawless skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Head form
  • Hand soap
  • Paint brushes
  • Silicone - Parts A and B
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing buckets
  • Silicone pigment
  • Paint sticks
  • Silicone thickener
  • Silicone paint
  • Rubbing alchohol
  • Hair (optional)
  • Razor blade
  • Vinyl gloves (optional)

Cover a working surface with butcher paper, then set a head form on top. The form can be made of stone, plastic or any other material as long as the proportions are correct.

Brush a layer of hand soap onto the form with a disposable paint brush. This will act as a release agent. Allow the soap to dry, then buff off any excess with a paper towel.

Set the containers of a clear, rapid-setting silicone on the work table. These silicones are often sold in two parts, and are mixed in a 1:1 ratio by volume.

Pour 6 to 8 ounces of part A into a graduated measuring cup. Then pour this into one of your mixing buckets.

Mix a small amount of flesh-toned silicone pigment into part A using a paint stick. The amount you use depends on how intense you want the color to be, so add it in small amounts until you reach the desired appearance.

Pour an equal amount of part B into the measuring cup. Then pour this into the mixing bucket.

Mix the components thoroughly using another paint stick. Scrape the sides and bottom of the cup as you mix to ensure there is no unmixed product.

Spread the silicone over the head form with a paint stick or brush. Apply it to the neck, if so desired.

Allow the silicone to cure. The curing time will be listed on the label.

Mix a smaller batch of silicone with pigment using a paint stick. Add a few drops of a thickening agent, turning the silicone into a putty.

Sculpt features for your mask such as the brow, chin, lips and cheeks with the silicone putty using a craft stick or small brush. Work only in small areas at a time. When the silicone starts to grab the stick, you should stop and make another small batch.

Mix a final batch of silicone, with flesh color, using a paint stick and spread it onto the mask to form consistent-looking skin. This will help to disguise any lumps on the sculpted areas.

Smooth out the final layer with a paint brush dipped in rubbing alcohol as the silicone cures. You can also tap the silicone with the bristles of the alcohol-coated brush to create a rough-skin texture.

Allow the mask to cure for 24 hours.

Paint the mask with silicone-based paints.

Add hair to the mask, if desired, by painting a thin coat of silicone onto the surface and pressing wig hair into it.

Cut out the eyes and mouth of the mask with a razor blade, then peel the mask off of the head form.

Rinse any soap residue out of the mask before wearing it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to wear gloves as you work, make sure they are made of vinyl. Latex gloves can prevent some silicones from curing.

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