clay on a lifecast armature
one half of the mold casting

How to Make a Realistic Latex Mask to Disguise the Face

By Carl Hose ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Oil-based clay
  • Lifecast armature
  • Sculpting separator
  • Scribing tool
  • Acrylic paints

Latex makeup has for decades been the primary special effects method used in movies. The process of making a latex mask requires some creativity as well as sculpting skills, but with a little practice it can be achieved easily. Latex is ideal for creating special makeup effects because it can be molded and sculpted well and can be painted realistically using acrylic paints. Creating latex masks is a fun hobby that can lead to huge profits. Learn how you can make a realistic latex mask to completely disguise a face.

Form the basis for your latex face with the clay. Apply the clay to a lifecast armature, which is a replication of a human face, neck and sometimes shoulders (see Resources). Work the clay onto the armature and begin manipulating it to achieve the facial features you want. Use a scribing tool, available at latex supply stores (see Resources) to etch the details of the face.

Remove casting clay when it has fully dried and separate the mold into two halves. Fill each of the mold casting halves with liquid casting latex, available from latex suppliers (see Resources). Allow the latex to dry several hours before peeling it off with a flat spatula.

Assemble the latex mask using cement glue. Once the mask has been assembled, you can apply acrylic paints directly to the material. Apply hair to the latex mask either by gluing it or using a stitching tool to sew it on by hand.

About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.