For my Hatate cosplay, I wanted to make a tengu mask to go along with her costume. So I set out to make a super cheap and easy mask. (I found a similar tutorial online, which is where I got most of my inspiration from.
- Blank Paper Mask (eBay for $1.5)
- Clay (Paperclay or Dry Clay)
- Fake Pinocchio nose (eBay for $1)
- Paint & Paintbrush (acrylic craft paint, foam brush, and detail brush)
- Sealer (I used Modge Podge)
- Glue Gun
- Hard Glue (I used Gorilla Glue, but it wasn’t the best)
- Scissors or Exacto Knife
- Sharpie or Marker
- Stiff paper (Cardstock was used for mine)
- Spray Base Coat (optional)
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Spray Sealer (optional)
1. Draw out your design
There are tons of reference images online if you type “tengu mask” on your search engine. Just pick one or several that suits your need and draw it on your paper mask.
2. Enlarge the eyeholes
The eyeholes of the paper mask it probably too small for the eye shape, so carefully cut if out.
3. Use the clay to create the 3D effect
Using the sketch as a guide start creating the facial features. You can use different tools, but I just used my fingers for my mask. Use water when the clay drys too much and to smooth it out. Leave it to dry for several hours according to the clay used. (I left it overnight)
4. Seal the gaps
After the clay completely drys, it’s time to permanently glue on clay to the mask. I used Gorilla Glue for mine, which didn’t make the final product look as neat. (It puffed up after a few hours) So I would recommend using a different glue (maybe wood glue). Take the glue and go over the seams of the clay.
Do a bend test on the mask and see if the clay cracks. (Take special notice on the side of the mask) Run the glue along the cracked portion.
5. Glue on the nose
Take the glue gun and glue the Pinocchio nose onto the mask (put the glue inside of the Pinocchio nose and place it on the mask). Afterwards, use the hard glue to seal the edges.
6. Seal in everything (optional)
Use a sealer to seal everything in. This will help the paint stick to the material (especially the nose). Brush on the sealer and let it completely dry.
If you’re planning to spray paint a base coat on, then this step is optional.
7. Create the eyeballs
I’ve made the eyeballs? after I sealed the whole thing in so it wouldn’t get too soggy. However you can also seal the eyeballs in, so it’s ok to switch 6 and 7 around.
Use the paper and cut it out into rectangles large enough to cover the whole eyehole. While the paper is under the mask mark where you want your actual eyes to go while wearing the mask.
Use hot glue to glue the paper onto the back of the mask.
8. Spray on base coat (optional)
While this step is not required, it does make painting the mask much easier. Before you spray it, run a sandpaper to smooth any bumps out. (I forgot to do that to mine…)
Add 3-4 coats of spray paint, drying it between each coat, and let it completely dry before touching it.
Alternatively, you can use gesso or something similar to prime it.
9. Paint and decorate it
Start painting the base coat. This will take several coats of paint to get a solid color. Just be patient and completely dry the paint between each coat.
After the base coat, grab a smaller detail brush to create all of the decorative lines. You can sketch out the design with a pencil before painting it. Just make sure not to make it too dark.
10. Seal everything in and finalize it
Grab a spray sealer and seal all of your beautiful paintwork in. The sealer would make the paint work last longer, and it can also give it a shine depending on what sealer you use.
Let is completely dry and thread elastic or ribbon if needed.