The refaced or cutout masks should cost less (even much less) than a commercial mask, while mold-make masks will probably cost more (even a lot more, depending on what you make it from) unless you are mass-producing them, but they are more durable. If you decide to mass-produce masks from a mold process, once you have any start-up equipment already, along with bulk purchasing of supplies reduces the cost of each mask, even the molded ones.
Find almost any Halloween or other mask, at places like thrift/second hand stores, or specialty costume, party or hobby stores. Spray paint it the desired skin tone, then stencil or free hand one of these designs with a black magic marker or paint, then rub a little lipstick or blush on the cheeks and lips. Be creative!
To reface a ski mask, use one of the stencils below, with black spray paint or acrylic over a lighter skin-tone pullover ski mask, or cut the light parts to spray/paint on over a darker skin-tone mask. Add the blush and lip color as above, with a little blush or lip gloss.
Any fabric can be stenciled with one of the V stencils below. Eye, nose and mouth openings may need to be sealed with something like rubber cement so they don’t unravel. Some ideas: a scarf that can be wrapped around the face, a stocking cap, etc.
#protip: to mask eyes, cut a dark colored lightweight fabric such as black stocking nylons into two oval shapes. Tape or glue over eye holes on the inside of the mask. You can use dark colored cellophane but it can get foggy so the fabric is better.
These are the fastest, easiest and cheapest masks to make. One great way to make a paper mask more durable and somewhat waterproof is to lay a layer or two of wide clear packing tape over both sides of the image before cutting out the mask. After cutting, a coat or even several light coats of spray polyurethane sealer will improve the appearance and waterproofing. If this is done on the 3-D paper mask below (which is 3-D) it will look almost like the commercial ones.
Note: other materials can be used, such as plastic, foam or vinyl.
Right-click images for a full sized version
The disadvantage with this one is it takes longer to cut out and put pieces back together, but it is 3-D and looks more like the plastic ones, especially if you do the tape and spray steps, below. If you print out and assemble all the pieces but the nose you can then reprint that as a unit, and assemble and insert the nose afterward. This is a lot easier, as there will only be a few pieces to cut and tape after printing.
Another alternative for a more durable and better looking mask is to print the image out on a clear contact sheet and apply it to a heavier material like a sheet of heat-moldable foam before cutting it out (hobby stores). Also stiff fabrics are suitable, like a vinyl tablecloth, or other cloth. This can also be sprayed or silicone-coated to make it retain shape and look better.
Use your imagination and share your experience, this one is made from leather.
These masks will be more durable, but take longer and cost more to produce. There are lots of interesting materials at hobby shops for making masks, either with a mold or sculpted free-hand. Consider any of the following possibilities:
In this case, the commercial mask is used directly as the mold, eliminating the mold making time, effort and expense. You still need one mask, unless you can sculpt pretty well.
The first one shows a technique using a V mask for the a mold, but he’s not using the correct (epoxy) clay that will make a durable mask. Also you probably won’t have time to make neat little balls, just use pinches of clay and smooth them together, because depending on the room temperature and how you mix the epoxy you might not have time before it starts to harden.
The second video uses the epoxy clay but he’s using his face as a mold (definitely not recommended, if nothing else, it could be identifiable). Another consideration is to use disposable gloves to avoid getting fingerprints in the clay or paint… not to sound to paranoid but it’s something to consider.
Between the two it should be pretty easy to figure out how to do it. Use some oil to coat the form mask so that the clay mask will be easy to remove (vegetable spray or vaseline).
NOTE: Applying the clay to the OUTSIDE of the mask will make a slightly larger mask with a rougher visible surface. Applying the clay to the INSIDE of the mask will make a slightly smaller mask with a smooth visible surface.
Other mask-making videos using various materials including clays, silicone, paper and aluminum foil are linked.
The silicone mixture mentioned below could also be used instead of the epoxy clay. Silicone is flexible which makes it less durable but it can be folded up and put in a pocket.
Instructions for making the mold
There are two main kinds of plaster or spackling: the standard powder you mix with water, and an ultralight ready to use spackling compound which is MUCH easier to use, faster to set up, and less prone to breaking than traditional plaster-of-paris. If you can afford to spend extra definitely consider this instead.
Instructions for making the mask
epoxy clay* mask
*Note: this is NOT the oven bake clay, that material is probably unsuitable for making a mask, since it will shrink significantly. Epoxy clay comes in two packages which are mixed and used immediately, just like liquid epoxy.
Above image source >> http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b269/askaboutrpickles/c515f9e0.jpg
This one doesn’t show well on our site because it’s transparent. Also useful as a window decal. Above image source >> http://www.clker.com/cliparts/8/n/Z/d/o/K/guy-fawkes-mask-hi.png
Above image source >> http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/562/egfbw3ol5.jpg