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.