Things You'll Need
- Paint brush
- Coat hangers
- Wheat flower
- White glue
- Duct tape
- Masking tape
- Hair dryer
There is no reason to limit yourself to a white sheet with eye holes. Ghost costumes can come in many different styles. You can use an easy design for a ghost mask sure to frighten and entertain your friends this Halloween.
Cut a piece of cardboard to the size of your face or a little bigger. Leave room for any strange or creepy facial features you might want to include. For example, if you want an elongated face with a spooky, howling mouth, make the mask a little longer.
Cut holes for your eyes and, optionally, nose. The eye holes should be big enough to comfortably see through, and the nose hole should be adequate to help the mask sit closer to your face.
Make facial features out of cardboard. Rough, bulging eyeballs, bulbous chins, and gaping mouths are all good features for a ghost mask that can be easily approximated with cardboard. If you have cut out a hole for your nose, you can use a bent piece of cardboard to make a three dimensional nose that will fit over it well.
Attach the cardboard features to the mask. Either masking tape or duct tape will work. Don't worry about how it looks, since you will be building over it with paper mache.
Prepare paper mache. Paper mache can be made by either combining equal parts flour and water, or by mixing white glue with water. In the case of the latter recipe, the proportions will vary depending on the glue. You want the mixture to be slimy but fairly thin.
Tear up newspaper into strips 1 to 2 inches in width.
Dip the strips one at a time in the paper mache and paste them on the mask. Use them to round and fill out the facial features.
Use rolled up wet strips of newspaper to build up three dimensional features more quickly. Put the wads of paper on the surface, then cover them over with more strips of paper.
Let the mask dry for 24 hours in a warm dry place. If you want to speed up the process, you can put it in the oven on a low setting or use hair dryers to dry it out.
Paint the mask. Usually a grayish white is a good base for a ghost mask.
Add shading. Small patches of mottled gray and brown will give your mask a dingy, deathly appearance. Traces of blood, bright green eyes, black lips, and other details can also enhance the overall appearance of your ghost mask.
Bend several coat hangers to create the back of your mask. They should attach at either side and be the right size to hold it securely to your head.
Tape pieces of foam to the sides of the coat hangers to fit it securely to your head. This will give the mask a more snug fit, and stop the metal from digging in to your head. Either duct tape or masking tape should work.
Cut up a wig and tape it to the back of the mask. Long, dark, stringy hair works well, but whatever looks creepy, strange, and disheveled will work.
Reinforce the underside of the wig with duct tape. It needs to be securely taped to the back of the ghost mask so that it does not fall off.
Be sure to get all the lumps out of your paper mache. If you can't get it to dissolve fully, add more water. Add salt to the paper mache to help stop the growth of mold.
Don't start this at the last minute. Even with the help of hair dryers, it takes time to dry the paper mache.
- Be sure to get all the lumps out of your paper mache. If you can't get it to dissolve fully, add more water.
- Add salt to the paper mache to help stop the growth of mold.
- Don't start this at the last minute. Even with the help of hair dryers, it takes time to dry the paper mache.
Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.