Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Devil Man mask with horns — part 2

Published by Manning on October 31st, 2015

The Devil Man -- horned mask

Okay, when we last left off, I’d finished the horns and the base for the mask. I neglected to take a lot of pictures of my process for putting the whole mask together, so I’ll explain all the remaining steps here.

After I’d chopped all the extra plastic off of the mask base (see part one), I covered the entire thing in a layer of paper maché. I’d planned on mounting a whole new mask shape on top of this ugly frame, and this layer of paper maché on the plastic base would give me a nice porous surface to glue the other pieces onto. I cut my new mask shape out of poster board — the simple pointy black/green shape you see in the finished mask pics — soaked it in paste so it would become pliable, and laid it in place on my mask base. When that was dry, I covered that part in paper maché as well, wrapping the outer edges of paper maché onto the mask base so the whole thing is nice and connected all the way around.

I made a simple nose for the mask using a folded-up pieces of poster board, with outer nostrils cut out of craft foam, and then wrapped the whole thing in paper maché. I then taped the nose onto the mask and covered the connecting area with a bit more paper maché. Easy!

I glued my hollowed-out paper maché devil horns (see part one) onto the thin posts at the top of the mask shape; I made a slit in the base of each horn with an X-acto knife, put lots of glue on the posts on the mask, and just stuck the horns on and added more glue around the slits.

When everything was dry, I finally had what I set out to make: a nice sturdy lightweight mask with horns that don’t wiggle or budge at all when I move around. It took a lot of work to get to this point, but it was worth it!

When all the paper maché and glue was dry, I took the whole mask/horns/nose thing outside and spray-painted it black.


Next: those mysterious pink sunflower ears (see the very strange description of the Devil Man in part one). I bought a bunch of fake sunflowers at the dollar store and chopped them open. When I snipped the wire stem just below the flower base, the whole flower fell apart into four pieces: The puffy center part, two separate layers of silk flower petals, and a green plastic base.

I took the silk flower petal parts (well, I’m sure they’re not really silk) outside, taped them to a piece of foam board to keep them from blowing away, and spray painted them pink. Since I had tons of extra flowers, I planned on using three layers rather than two layers of petals per ear. I painted about ten just to be safe. I painted them very lightly so they wouldn’t become too thick/heavy/stiff, and in doing so I didn’t perfectly cover them in pink. This is fine; the lighting in my party will be very low, and I think the little hints of yellow/orange actually look kind of cool.

I took the plastic bases of the flowers and cut them with scissors to remove the pointy bits all around; during a quick test they stabbed into my face a little bit. It was easy to cut them into nice smooth round shapes. I then glued the flowers parts back together — puffy middle part, three layers of petals, and the base.

Attaching the flowers to the earpieces of the mask was easy; I just lashed them on with some thin metal wire.

Getting there! Next, I painted the nose orange — I figure this makes it a little bit beak-like which goes nicely with the Devil Man’s “chicken eyes” mentioned in the description. I painted the eyemask part dark green; I plan on wearing green makeup on my whole face. I also added a mustache to the mask; this is just black poster board, coated in glue to make it a bit sturdier, and attached with wire.

The Devil Man -- finished mask

The mask is done!

The earpieces didn’t hold the mask onto my face as tightly as I wanted, so I tied a piece of string onto each one so I could tie that behind my head. This worked surprisingly well and the mask held on tight for the whole Halloween party. Here’s me wearing the thing during the party:

The Devil Man, Halloween costume

Oh yeah, I also made a baboon tail out of a fake fur hat from the thrift store, cut into a long strip, rolled up and glued shut. I didn’t even make an attachment for it; I just folded the top of it into the back of my belt and it held fine throughout the party.

I combined the mask and tail with an ugly old suit, some white fingerless gloves (dirtied up with watered-down black acrylic paint), green makeup on my face and black coloring in my hair, and a string of Mardi Gras beads.

Of course, no one at the Halloween party had any idea who I was, so I ended up explaining my costume all night, but the Devil Man makes for a good spooky Halloween story!

“…In September of 1938 there appeared in Algiers, on the other side of the Mississippi from New Orleans, a mysterious stranger who rode on the air, wrecked bars and homes and insulted women. He is described as having had long black horns, bright pink ears shaped like sunflowers and eyes like a chicken. He could make himself disappear or change into a baboon right before your eyes. And he announced he was the ‘Devil Man.'”

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