The fantastic Arlena Fae partnered with us for her Blood Moon Katarina build, and she shared the process she used to make her mask with us! If you’re looking to make a similar design, check out her video below!
Childe’s Foul Legacy Mask – Genshin Impact
Childe’s Foul Legacy design is certainly striking, and we teamed up with Winterstar Cosplay to create a tutorial for how to make your own mask from that design using Worbla’s Black Art, some EVA foam, acrylic paints and simple tools! You can see how it came together, and the video following the whole process below!
Childe’s Mask from Genshin Impact
If you play Genshin Impact you’re probably familiar with Childe’s iconic mask from his default outfit. We teamed up with Winterstar Cosplay for this build, supplying the Worbla as she created this tutorial on how to make your own mask from Worbla’s Black Art, some EVA foam, acrylic paints and simple tools! You can see how it came together, and the video following the whole process below!
Owl Mask with Pearly Art
A great project to learn the basics of working with Worbla, this build uses Pearly Art but can be done with any of the standard sheet types.
Step 1: Create your basic template on paper, then when happy with it transfer it to 2mm foam (craft or EVA foam). For the second layer of foam, cut circles and tack down with glue or double sided tape, then cut out eye holes using a craft knife. Optional: Heat seal the foam by heating it with the heat gun for a few seconds. Only do this if you have a well ventilated area.
Step 2: Cut a piece of Worbla larger than the foam. Heat the Worbla until it is soft and pliable. If it is too hot to touch, let it cool slightly before working with it. Place your foam template (raised layers down) onto the Worbla, making sure there is excess at all sides, then flip it over. Using a sculpting tool or your fingers, press down on all the edges. (Use water to help your fingers or tools glide over the Worbla.)
Step 3: When you’ve finished pressing the Worbla around the foam, let it cool then flip it over. Cut relief triangles all around the outside excess, saving the scraps, and stopping before the foam edge. Heating one section at a time, fold the tabs over and press together where they meet. Worbla is self adhesive and will stick to itself when warm. If you have an area where you mis-cut or have too large a gap, use your scraps to patch the opening. This is known as the ‘folding method’.
Step 4 and 5: Flip the mask over and heating one side at a time, use a tool to further emphasize the foam layers and smooth the curves where the ‘tabs’ may have created a slight bump or angle. Allow the mask to cool before using a craft knife to cut a horizontal and vertical slit in the eyes: do this while the plastic is cool, not warm, as when warm it may tear. Once you’ve made the cut, heat the eye area and press the eyes open, folding the edges under. Now you have a finished base.
Step 6: If you want the mask to have a specific curve and intend to keep heating it to add more details, you’ll want it to rest on something once you shape it. This is a piece of cardboard bent in a V and held by a piece of tape. If you want a curve instead of a sharper V, bottles, tailors hams, bowls, or even crumpled paper can be used to support your form. Heat your mask and shape as you’d like your final form to take. Add loops for your ties with some Worbla scraps on the back here if this is to be worn.
Tip: You can shape your mask as the last step instead of now, but the more layers you add to your Worbla, or the more details that are not sitting flat to the mask, the more heat it will take to warm the Worbla all the way through to shape later. Shaping later can also cause raised details to ‘deflate’ and need to be adjusted. We suggest shaping here for best results.
Step 7: Details! You can heat and sculpt into Worbla, being careful not to tear it away from the foam base. Metal or wooden tools work best, with water to help prevent them from sticking. Additional layers can be added – the V detail was made with 2 layers of Worbla heated together first then cut to shape for more body, while the feather/scale details are just single layers of Worbla cut from the scraps. Always make sure you heat both the mask and the Worbla you want to attach to each other. Both need to be warm to create a strong bond!
Tip 1: Heating too much can create air bubbles if your foam off-gasses. You can press many down with fingers, but stubborn ones can be popped by 1) letting the Worbla cool and pressing a sharp pin through the plastic where the bubble is and 2) reheating and pressing the air though the pin hole.
Tip 2: If you’re not sure about placement, you can heat a detail until it’s just warm and then press it in place on a cold mask. It will stick, but not bond, allowing you to play with placement and design elements until you are happy.
Step 8: Paint! Worbla products all have some surface texture and Pearly Art has something close to a fine grade sandpaper. If left as is the texture will be obvious through paint. Priming can smooth the texture easily. The beak, gold feathers along the beak, and V forehead were all primed with 2 coats of Flexbond, our favorite primer for Worbla. (Our gold paint let us down a bit on the brush stroke department however.)
You can see a close up of the difference in texture between primed and unprimed in the second image above.
Step 9: Not really a step – we just added more shadows and details. Note: You can still shape your Worbla even now. Keep in mind your paint needs to be flexible if you do so, or the Worbla will shift and your paint may crack or wrinkle.
Remember to always save your Worbla scraps. They can be reused in new projects!
Octopus Mask with Worbla’s Black Art
Amanda from Elemental Photography and Design created this outlandish octopus mask using Worbla’s Black Art, and shared the process with us below!
Step One: Make a paper template and size it to fit. You can use an online template or freehand.
Step 2: Using the template, cut the shape from 2mm EVA foam or craft foam.
Step 3: Cut two pieces of Worbla larger than your mask, heating both with your heat gun until they are soft and pliable. Press the foam shape onto one piece of Worbla, and then lay the other overtop. Keeping the Worbla warm, use a sculpting tool or your fingers to trace where the Worbla meets around the outside of the foam, pressing firmly to create a bond. This is called the ‘sandwich method’ of working with Worbla.
Step 4: Cut around the mask where the edges meet (making sure not to cut too close to the foam). Use a craft knife to better cut the holes for the eyes. A Dremel or sand paper can be used to smooth areas that seem exceptionally rough, or areas can be heated and smoothed manually. Heat and shape mask as desired. If shaping on your face, make sure the Worbla is cool enough. Never press freshly heated Worbla to sensitive skin. A good rule of thumb is that if you can hold the Worbla against your thumbs for several seconds comfortably, it is cool enough for other skin, but always be careful.
Step 5: To create the octopus, take your scraps from cutting out the mask and heat them together. Blend and roll – the Worbla at this point will behave as a dense clay. Sculpt the body and arms of the octopus.
Tip: If you have thick seams, heat the Worbla until it’s very warm, then useing a smooth tool (such as a sculpting tool or spoon) and water to prevent sticking, burnish the area with the seam until it is flat. Seams will still be visible, but usually won’t show up through paint: always check if they are raised by using your fingertips.
Step 6: Worbla is self adhesive. Heat the mask and sculpted octopus where you intend to join them until they feel slightly tacky, then press together with firm pressure. Adjust the arms as needed to make for a comfortable fit.
Step 7: Loops for ties can be added with more scrap Worbla on the back of the Mask. You could also add a dowel to hold the mask by hand instead. (This mask ended up a bit too heavy for one side and worked better as a handheld design after these photos.)
Step 8: Paint! Black art has a slight texture that was left for this project, but if you’d like a smoother surface, prime with your favorite primer. (We suggest Flexbond!)
And there you go! Keep in mind a mask like this can be unbalanced, so if you’re tying it on you’ll need to plan to anchor it into your hair or wig. Another option would be to consider having one of the arms sneak across the top of your head to help support the weight.
Soldier 76 Mask and Gun – Video
Kat at HealtoDeath created a fantastic Soldier 76 costume, and shared how she made both the rifle and her mask with foam and worbla in these informative videos below. Check them out if you’re looking for a resource to get started on your own Soldier costume!
Making a Worbla Domino/Superhero Mask – Video
Debbamour Cosplay created this video tutorial for making a simple face mask that fits your face perfectly.
(Worbla.com note: This is my favorite method of making domino masks!)
Thank to Debbamour Cosplay for sharing this with us!
Maskmaking Examples with Worbla
We’re often asked about using Worbla for masks, and so we put together this page to showcase the numerous designs, tutorials and projects that have used Worbla for maskmaking. Take a look!
Looking to make a superhero mask? Aigue-Marine shares how she made her Robin mask here.
Vickibunnyangel shared with us this video on making a custom fit Worbla mask.
Axceleration created this great video showing how she made a Domino Mask from Worbla.
Want something more involved?
This Marrowak mask by Termina Cosplay has a detailed tutorial here.
How about more inspiration?
Blue Spirit mask by B3 Designs
Fairy Mask by Angela of FancyFairy.com
Sister’s mask from Kubo and the Two Strings by Elemental Photography and Design
Plague Doctor Mask by Lyn Sigurdson
Whether you need a last minute mask for Halloween or a Masquerade, or have a complex design you want to render faithfully – Worbla is a fantastic material for Masks and headpieces no matter the scope and size.
Marowak Mask from Pokemon
The lovely Termina Cosplay shared this tutorial on the making of a Marowak Mask, done entirely from friendly plastic and scraps.
Mask making with Worbla and Friendly Plastic! The Worbla I used to make my mask was 100% scrap. The same method can be used with any kind of mask, but my Marowak skull mask will be my example.
There is a very long description of all the steps below, but if you’re don’t want to bother with all those words, here is a short version:
Get form to mold mask over
Cover form with Worbla
Smooth out seams
Pull mask off form
Trim and shape mask
Add extra details
Use Friendly Plastic to build up and shape as needed
Cushion the inside of mask if necessary
Devise way to attach mask to face
Paint and seal mask
Form or Mold for your mask (I sculpted mine with clay)
Fabric, Leather Straps, Elastic, etc. (to attach your mask to your face)
Paint and paint brushes
Heavy Duty Scissors
Exacto Knife/Craft Knife
Cardboard or Foam Board
Primer or Wood Glue
These are all the materials I needed for my mask. You may not need everything that I used.
- Start with your mask form and cover it with plastic wrap Use a couple of layers to be safe. The plastic wrap will keep the Worbla from getting stuck to your mold, and make it much easier to pull off later. I made my form from scratch with wire mesh and clay, but you can use an existing form as well. Once your form is covered, start adding your Worbla. I used nothing but scrap for mine, but you can also use a full piece. If you are using scraps, lay the pieces over your form, overlapping them slightly and press them down as you go. Do this until you have a few layers worth of scraps on your mold. Don’t worry if your scraps go over the edge of the mold, you will trim that up later. If you are using full pieces rather than scraps, just make sure you are covering the entire mold, and use at least 2 or 3 layers. Make sure not to apply heat directly to your mold while the plastic wrap is still visible, the heat will rip holes in it, and you don’t want that.
- Next, you will need to smooth out any seams you might have, and if you’re using scraps, its going to be a lot. Take your heat gun and apply heat directly to the mask (the plastic wrap will be safe under the Worbla now). Don’t be afraid to get it really hot, even if it starts to bubble a little bit, thats ok. It will actually make it easier it smooth out that way, but whatever you do DO NOT TOUCH THE BUBBLY WORBLA WITH YOUR ACTUAL HANDS. It can burn you if you are not careful. Instead, take a spoon and some water, dip your spoon in the water, and smush all the seams flat with the watery spoon. You’ll have to get the Worlba really hot and smush really hard if you want to get rid of the seams completely, but since my mask was supposed to resemble bone, having a few lines left over wasn’t going to hurt. You can also use clay tools to help you get the Worbla to shape to the form properly (like if you have cracks or crevices you need to Worbla to get into).
- This is what my mask looked like after flattening the seams. You can still see where they were in most places, but it was very smooth to the touch.
- The next step is de-molding your mask. If you used enough plastic wrap, you should be able to pop the mask right off. As you can see, the inside is pretty ugly, but since no one will actually see the inside of your mask as long as you have it on, its not a big deal. Use this time to also trim up the inside of the eye holes.
- Next, trip up the edges of your mask into the right shape. Also use this time to try it on and see if it actually fits your face. You can still heat up your mask and reshape it if you need to, just be careful and use a lower heat setting so you don’t accidentally cave it in.
- Now is the time to add on any details that weren’t on your original form. I needed some horns on mine, so I cut the shape of the horn out on foam board. Cardboard would also work for this step
- Next, I positioned the horns on the mask and hot glued them on.
- Then, I covered the foam board with expanding foam. The brand I used is called “Great Stuff” and you can buy it at any hardware store. Make sure you are working on a surface that can get messy and stay messy. Expanding foam does not like to come off of anything it gets stuck to.
- This is what my horns looked like after the foam was completely cured. It normally takes a few hours to cure, but you can speed up the process by spraying it with some water. To test it, stick a knife into it. if it comes out clean, its done!
- Once it was completely cured, I carved the shape of the horn with a craft knife.
- Next, it was time for me to cover the horns with Worbla. I used smaller pieces of scraps for this, and built up around the base to give it a more smooth transition. I did not smooth out the seams at this point. If I were to try to smooth the horns as I did with the rest of the mask, it wouldn’t work. The foam I used for the horns is too soft, so doing so would just crush them. I will explain how I smoothed them later.
- I needed to add on a small detail at the sides of my mask (sort of like a jaw bone), so I cut the shape out of craft foam.
- I then tested it to see if it would fit right on my mask.
- Once I was satisfied, I doubled up a couple layers of Worbla, and used my craft foam piece as a pattern to cut out the shape.
- Then, I heated up both the sides of the mask and my new Worbla piece and added them on and shaped them into place.
- At this point, It was time for me to switch over to Friendly Plastic. If you are not familiar with it, Friendly Plastic is also a thermoplastic (like Worbla) but it comes in pellets rather than sheets. It is much easier to sculpt with than Worbla, and it is perfectly smooth when you’re done. The only downside is that it cools down much faster, and so you have to work fast or keep heating it back up. To heat Friendly Plastic, I use a bowl of hot water. I boil the water in a tea kettle, pour it into a bowl, and then pour in some Friendly Plastic pellets. Once they are all gooey, I scoop them out with a spoon. During this step, I took globs of Friendly Plastic and applied them to my mask to build up the places that still needed some shape, like the jaw bone piece and around the eye holes. To shape it, I used my heat gun to reheat the plastic once it was on my mask and I used a combination of my fingers and a spoon dipped in water to smooth it (you need the water to keep the plastic from sticking to your spoon). With enough heat and pressure, you can make a perfectly smooth transition between the Worbla and Friendly Plastic.
- Here is my mask after being built up with Friendly Plastic. As you can see here, I covered both the horns with it, which is why I didn’t have to worry about smoothing them out before. Everything white is Friendly Plastic, and everything brown is Worbla.
- Once my mask was covered with enough Friendly Plastic, I added on all the extra details. I just heated it with my heat gun and sculpted them on. I added some cracks around the eye holes and the ribs on the horns.
- This is what my mask looked like after all these steps
- Now, after all your detailing and sculpting is done, its time to make your mask wearable. I needed to add some cushioning to the inside so it would sit up right. This also helped to make the mask more comfortable. Just put the mask on your face, and decide where any cushioning might need to go to make it sit where you want it to. The cushioning I used was regular cushion foam you can buy at any fabric store. I added some on the forehead and under the eyes. To attach, I used hot glue.
- Next is to devise a way to attach the thing to your face. I took some more Worbla scraps, made some little loops, and pressed them onto the inside of the mask at the top.
- Then I strung a strip of fabric through them and tied off the edges so they wouldn’t pull back through. I then strung another strip of fabric through the first, and wrapped it through my jaw bone pieces. You can use a number of different things (leather straps, elastic, etc.), but fabric worked well for mine.
- This is how my fabric contraption works. You can see the fabric runs over the top of the head, wraps through the jaw bones, and the ties off at the bottom. My mask ended up being a bit heavy, so the extra support was required. You might have to get creative with your attachments, depending on the complexity of your mask, but if your mask is light and simple enough, some elastic will do the trick.
- The last step is to prime, paint and decorate your mask however you want! Wood glue makes an excellent primer for Worbla and Friendly Plastic and can easily be sanded to make your finished piece extra smooth. Once you are satisfied with your paint job, seal your mask with a spray sealant to protect it. Since my mask was supposed to resemble bone, I used a matte finish, but you can use whatever kind of finish suits your project.
Thanks again to Termina Cosplay for sharing this with us!
Creating a Superhero Mask
How to make a Custom-made Superhero Mask
a Cosplay Tutorial by Aigue-Marine
Step 1: Gathering Material
To make your own superhero mask you need the following materials:
- 1 sheet of Worbla’s FinestArt
- 1 sheet of paper and/or crafting foam
- Hair dryer or Heat Gun
- 1 jar of acrylic paint in the colour of your choice
- Transparent varnish
Step 2: Creating a Stencil
Take the easy way out: Go on Google and look for mask stencils. There are plenty out there!
Choose the stencil you like best, print it and cut it out. Try it on and adjust the shape of the mask (e.g. eyeholes, etc.) if necessary.
TIp: Prepare a second stencil out of crafting foam and press it to your face. Crafting foam is more flexible than normal paper and gives you a better impression of what your mask will look like. A stencil out of crafting foam makes the adjusting of the shape much easier as well.
Step 3: Cutting out the Basic Form
As soon as you’re content with the way your stencil looks, copy it onto the sheet of Worbla’s FinestArt and cut it out. Round the edges of the mask with sandpaper.
Step 4: Shaping
After the basic form of your mask is finished you can proceed to the most difficult step : the shaping of the plastic.
Place the cut-out plastic on the floor (or another even surface) and heat it up with a hair dryer slowly. You know Worbla’s Finest Art is ready to use as soon as it changes its colour from caramel to light brown.
Llft the warmed up plastic off the ground carefully, place it on your face and press it into shape. Keep the mask on for a out 1 minute until the plastic has cooled down agaln. After this step the mask is basically finished.
Tip: in case that you’re not happy with the shape of your mask place it on the floor and heat it up ogain. You can change the shape of the mask as many times as you want to.
Step 5: Paintwork
After the shaping of your mask is done the only thing left to do is the painting. Depending on the colour of your choice you will have to apply between 2-5 layers of paint.
Make sure to use acrylic/paint/varnish. Poster paint wlll chip off. After the acrylic paint is dry apply 1 or 2 layers of transparent varnish to make your mask look shiny an cool!