I found a link with detailed pics of the movie DE masks. I use these for inspiration. I don’t have the skills for duplication. However, it’s nice to see what Hollywood cooks up.
But my fellow Death Eaters, do not despair because you cannot make armor! You can achieve a similar look, or your own unique look, in a mask by using very little skill and having a few basic supplies, along with using an eye for adaptation.
Adapt a Halloween mask:
I bought two rubber masks at a novelty store before Halloween. They were in the 50% off bin. I maybe paid 4 to 5 buck each. I don’t care for rubber masks, but the half mask is fully adaptable and comfortable despite the attached wig.
I painted the half mask silver but let the black detailing remain. I used standard acrylic craft paint. This mask used to be white, with heavy red tinting around the teeth and gums.
See the picture here:
Materials needed: mask, scissors, silver paint, a brush. Time- pretty darn quick, maybe 20 minutes or so. Degree of difficulty: “extremely easy”.
Adapt a blank white mask:
I adapted a plain white masculine mask as my first DE mask. It was originally just a prop that wound up being a costume. Plain blank masks come in male or female forms depending on the character/gender you wish to cosplay. Male forms are harder to find, female forms are available everywhere it seems. I chose a plastic “pvc” style with a matte finish. Some masks are glossy and I don’t know how well the paint would hold to that, my inner engineer thinks it won’t. I did not think paper craft masks for decorations would not stand up to sweat or traveling in luggage, maybe they do, but I went with the plastic because think of what would happen if the mask got wet or your shampoo burst all over it in your luggage. The plastic mask will flex, and that is the plus. But over time the flexing will weaken it.
Look at the plain mask compared to the finished one. The finished one was cut to fit the face of the wearer. This makes the mask a lot more comfortable. Note the eyes are cut larger, an opening in the nose was created, and the mouth widened. Widening the mouth is important, Death Eaters need to drink potion. These masks can be tough to cut. Start with the inner parts like the eyes mouth and nose, and then trim round the face. Don’t fret if you make a mistake, bigger openings are not a bad thing.
If you accidently cut the elastic, it is easy to crazy glue better elastic to the mask. Don’t fret about it. At my first con, I repaired my mask with a band aid (thank you schmoo) when the elastic detached from the side.
The decorative details were done by simply dribbling white or wood (yellow) glue on the mask. Make sure the glue dries and keep layering it until you are satisfied with the level of relief. The silver paint will diminish the relief visually, but we can compensate for that by using shoe polish or dark paint to "tarnish" the mask. You will need to put several coats of acrylic silver paint on the mask. Let each layer dry before painting the next layer. You want a few layers of paint to thoroughly cover the white.
This mask takes more time due to the drying intervals between each step, but the work itself is quick. Degree of difficulty- easy. Time- can take days due to the drying intervals. Actual work is an hour or so.
See the pics here:
Materials needed: mask, scissors, silver paint, glue, a brush.
Use craft or art grade “paper mache”:
Other Death Eaters reported using “Celluclay”, which is available at craft stores, to make their masks. I have not done this, but the principles are easy. Basically you take an existing mask, like the plastic white one and you build your de mask on top of it. Once the celluclay is dry pop it off the plastic mask. (I hope it pops off!) You will need to drill holes for the elastic that will hold it on, or you can glue the elastic to it. The appealing part of celluclay is you can use household tools on it: drills, files, sandpaper. You can add all types of decorative details to it or even impress designs in it when still malleable. There is no problem with painting it.
A package of celluclay is shown in the picture above.
I have heard cured, dried celluclay is moisture resistant and suitable for cosplay. Tell me if this is wrong.
There are other products similar to celluclay, I don’t know what they are.
Celluclay masks will not flex, but I am told they are durable. Death Eaters who have made a mask with celluclay or similar product are encouraged to add to this post!
Other methods of making a DE mask:
I cannot vouch for these methods.
Then there is the tin/aluminum foil method (use the dull side please) If you try this, please share the results.
The quasi-life casting method looks interesting. I think you could use Celluclay for this method, don’t know how or if the plaster bandages would hold up to airport handling. WARNING: plaster directly on the skin is a BIG NO-NO, it heats up, it hurts, don’t do it. If you try this method SAFELY, please share the results. This method is very similar to life casting but done on a smaller scale.
Buy a licensed mask:
Expect to pay about 20 to25 bucks for a licensed mask. It is cheaper to make your own!
Whimsicalley is cheaper at 19 bucks and also has DE costumes! If Whimsicalley is at the con, they will most likely have masks for sale there. They sell three types of licensed masks. Style 3 is cool. (They also sell temp tattoo dark marks)
Same styles (close up pics- please note licensed masks are latex)
Here is a FANCY one (at a UK site) that has built in electronics. Expect to pay a lot more, and of course the MORE expensive mask is marketed as Malfoy’s.