Homemade Big Bad Wolf Mask

by Alex Smith

The Big Bad Wolf is a famous fairy tale character, and is the subject of costumes every Halloween. Many stores sell pre-made wolf masks, but these all look similar and are not very original. A fun alternative is to create your own homemade wolf mask out of papier-mache.

Understructure

Begin by blowing up a balloon until it is slightly larger than your head. This will create a basic form that you can build your mask on. Cut ear shapes out of paper cups and tape them onto the top of the balloon, then make a snout out of another paper cup and tape it in place. The snout should be positioned just below the middle of the balloon so that it covers your nose and mouth.

Papier-Mache Paste

You're going to need papier-mache paste to dip pieces of newspaper into. Traditional paste is made with equal parts of flour and water, but you can also add one part flour to five parts boiling water and let it cool. This makes a good, inexpensive paste. A third option is to mix 3/4 parts school glue to 1/4 part water. Any of these pastes work for the papier-mache process; it's a matter of personal preference which you use.

Papering the Balloon

Newspaper works well for papier-mache because it is already fairly soft. It should be torn into thin strips, which are each dipped into the paste and smoothed onto the understructure. You can build up anywhere from four to six layers of papier-mache, bunching the outer layers to roughly sculpt details such as eyebrow ridges and teeth. This process can get pretty messy, so spreading a tarp on the floor is a good idea. After letting the papier-mache dry, you can pop the balloon and cut out neck and eye holes.

Decorating the Mask

The easiest way to decorate your mask is to paint it with acrylic paints. Most wolves are either brown or gray, making those good colors to use. Use pictures of real wolves as a guide while you work. You can also glue faux fur to the mask to create a more realistic wolf. A hot glue gun works well to attach the fur. Once the mask is covered you can brush all of the fur in the same direction, using hairspray to keep it in place if needed.

Photo Credits

  • Adam Taylor/Digital Vision/Getty Images