How to Make a Sturdy Bird Beak for a Mask

by Steve Sparkes, Demand Media

    Make a sturdy beak for a bird mask so that you can reuse it for a variety of bird-themed Halloween and costume party outfits. A sturdy beak won't get crushed in storage. You can also repaint it, along with the mask, to fit each new costume theme. Allow for two days to prepare the beak because of the drying time required.

    Step 1

    Cover your workspace with newspapers.

    Step 2

    Form your chosen beak shape in modeling clay. If you are creating an open beak, shape it closed initially. Cut back horizontally through the center with a sharp knife and adjust it to an open shape.

    Step 3

    Cut a hole in the mask with the knife for the beak to fit through. Insert the beak through the hole from behind the mask. Spread some clay from the back of the beak around the hole behind the mask to hold it in place temporarily.

    Step 4

    Cover the beak with a layer of petroleum jelly.

    Step 5

    Cut plaster cast tape into ½-inch-wide, 3-inch long strips. Dip the strips into a bowl of warm water and wring out the excess. Apply the strips vertically for one layer and horizontally for the next. Join the beak and the mask where they meet with overlapping strips.

    Step 6

    Dig out the clay from behind the mask. Don't allow the clay to dry in place or else the mask will be too heavy.

    Step 7

    Leave the plaster tape to dry for 24 hours before painting it.

    Tips & Warnings

    • For open beaks, glue a felt tongue-shape on the bottom half of the beak.
    • Use acrylic paints to color the beak and mask.

    About the Author

    Steve Sparkes started writing professionally in 1982. He was a journalist and photographer for "The New York Waste" magazine for a decade. Sparkes has a diploma of art and design and a Bachelor of Arts in history of art from the South-East Essex School of Art. He also has a Master of Arts in photography from the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts.

    Photo Credits

    • Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images