Department of Drama
Felix Morlock

Head Molding and Designing

This is one I did last year by gluing insulation together then cutting the rough form and following the steps.

When working in a budget there is just no funds to buy elaborate masks and honestly if your doing a haunt like ours then masks aren't always available to fill the need. Weight tends to be a problem if you plan animation, so we needed a really lightweight Head. Hence "Professor Gregor's" guide to cheap head molding. There are 3 unique styles but experimentation is always fun!

Style 1 Cut and Paste (The old stand-by)

Here's what you'll need:
...Some Rigid Foam Insulation (available at Lowes DIY centers or a Wigform (available at beauty supply shops)
...Paper-Mache (I use Celluclay because my wife won't let me boil paper)
...Elmer's glue....I use the carpenter's glue
...or liquid nails for gluing insulation sheets together
...A carving knife
...An X-acto knife
...1" Dowel Caps (these are wooden balls with a hole drilled into the center. I get mine at Wal-mart)

Another one done the same way

Style 1 Step 1
Find a picture of what your trying to create that has a front and side view. Figure the overall dimension of the head and neck (measure your head or a friend's head to get approximate measurements but be warned, wives get defensive when you come at them with a tape measure.)

Style 1 Step 2
With the approximate length, width and depth, cut the foam insulation into rectangles and glue together using a thin layer of Elmer's glue or liquid nails. Place some weight on the foam while it's drying (allow to dry at least 24 hours) If you plan on doing a lot of these go ahead and get the blanks done now since you have the materials needed.

This will give you a rought idea of highlight lines

Style 1 Step 3
Look at the pictures. get a feel for the diameter shape of the head and apply it to the top of the head using a magic marker. Now using the carving knife carefully cut away material from top to bottom creating a cylindrical shape. Remember to include the extra space for the nose, mouth and eyebrows. Ears can be added later.

Look at the pictures. On the front of the blank mark the major features of the face, forehead, nose, eyes, lips, chin, and neck. Mark the neck pattern on the side of the blank. Begin shaping the head. It only needs to be a rough shape. Don't worry if you make a minor mistake. We'll fix it later with Paper-Mache. If you have a Moto-Tool, you can refine the carving. Where the eyes will go, cut a circular hole and insert the Dowel Caps for eyes. The wooden balls have a hole pre-drilled half way through them. To facilitate the insertion of L.E.D.s if needed, finish drilling the hole, poke a coat hanger or small rod through the hole and out the other side of the head. Carefully run the wire through the hole.


Style 1 Step 4
When you're satisfied with the rough shape, it's time for the paper-mache. When mixing the Cellu-Clay add a little water at a time to get a consistency of really thick cookie dough. I like to put a thin layer over the whole blank then start refining the features. If you want "china doll like" skin, boil a roll of toilet paper, squeeze out the excess water and mix with Elmers glue to make a really fine Paper-Mache. Monster Mud also works to fill in the gaps and give a fine sandable finish. (Can't get Celluclay? Make your own. Mix Cellulose Insulation Fiber (Blown in Insulation) with elmer's glue and water 60/40.) When your happy with the result, set it aside and let it dry for 48 hours

Style 1 Step 5
Paint the figure. When painting is done, spray it with some clear satin polyurethane or paint it with Gesso. This will protect the head. Add accessories, wig, glasses, scars, Gelish nail polish, whatever and you're done.

Need some hair, without buying a wig. Use your leftover bag spiderweb fiber, shape it into a hair piece. Glue to headform. Mist lightly with a spray bottle containing diluted tempera paint and water just enough of a mist to color. works great for gray/white or salt&pepper hair. Style as necessary.  

Standard Wig Form

Style 2
A variation of Style one. Instead of using a carved form, buy a wig head form from Sally's Beauty Supply ($3.59) or other beauty supply. Draw any specific features on the form that you want to detail. Using straight pins dipped in elmer's glue, form the features on the head then cover with Cellu-Clay or a mixture of boiled toilet paper and elmer's glue. Complete the other steps as necessary. The wig head has the hole for mounting pre-drilled.

Style 2 Quick
Ok, so not everyone has the time to create an original, so here's a quick tip that's inex[ensive as well. Buy some of the 5 dollar halloween masks, get the ones where the latex is thicker. Place the mask on a wig form and mark the location of the eyes. Remove the styrofoam where the eyes would go, glue dowel caps for the eyes. Place the mask on the wig form . Fill in around the eyes and paint as needed. You can also make this permanent by using celluclay to fill in the voids under the mask and then feathering the edges with more celluclay, You can then paint the areas of the celluclay covered wig form to match the mask. Total creation time is less than 15 minutes.

Caitlyn's Way

Halloween is truly a family tradition in our house. Caitlyn is making her first Halloween Head for a Mummy Prop. The hair is fake fur that was covered in "Monster Mud" for that aged look, painted with acrylic paints and finished with a coat of poly.

Experiment, Failure, Modification, Success

Style 3

My Alien was made from paper-mache covering a balloon with a ring made from poster board for the neck. Modest facial features were added with paper-mache. Simple yet it got more comments than any other I did this year. The outfit was made from silver-gray trash bags. A plastic hose and two 2 liter Pepsi Bottles comprised the breathing apparatus.

The Pod Creature was made using self-expanding foam. It was what I thought a failure, but turned into a success. I used a mold of my face made with aluminum foil. A few sheets are necessary to give it support. The mold was then filled with self-expanding foam. At the end of the first day, toothpick size holes were punched into the mold where the nose, eyes and mouth would be. The old was set aside to dry for three days. After tearing off the aluminum foil and cleaning up the head, eyes and teeth were added. the head was attached to a dowel and placed inside an alien pod.

Time to get a Bite?

To make teeth for your creation, Get some Sculpyclay that you can bake in the oven. Take a small ball flatten it and mold it in the shape of a horseshoe about a 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch wide. This is the gum. Take another piece mold it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch high, 1/4 inch thick and long enough to fit over the gum. For the front teeth squeeze the clay to about 1/4 inch thick. If you want fangs, make them now. For the molars take a toothpick and make an X into the crown of the tooth. take the two pieces, mold them together then bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 425. Use sand paper and an x-acto knife to refine the teeth. When your happy with your dentures, cut a slot in your headmold where the mouth is taking away as much material as needed to fit. Attach the dentures with some liquid nails. Use some paper-mache to fill the area and create lips as needed.

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