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Plaster Mask Making With Plaster Bandages

Plaster Mask- Making a mask out of plaster bandages can be a fun activity for a school project. We compiled a list of how to make masks out of plaster bandages. If you need plaster bandages have a look at www.orthotape.com for a low cost high quality plaster gauze bandages. Below is an easy how to instructions, on plaster mask making and the links below have others links to plaster mask making as well.


Plaster Mask Making with Plaster of Paris Face Mask

Supplies List

The primary supply needed for the base of the plaster mask is the Plaster of Paris gauze bandages.

You can purchase plaster impregnated gauze bandages in rolls at www.orthotape.com

    * a volunteer

    * 2" or 3" plaster cloth bandages (1 roll per adult face or 6 strips)

    * bowl of room temp water

    * vaseline any brand

Now to begin making the plaster cast mask!

This project can be cover a period of days and is great for classrooms or summer camps.

Day 1 prepare the plaster mask.
Day 2 do the first layer of decoration on the plaster mask-- smoothing it out or adding contours with other mediums. Day 3 you could paint and put on the final details.  Or you could do it all in one day.

   1. If the person has long hair pull it back with clips

   2. Put a liberal coating of vaseline around the hair line, including eyebrows

   3. To begin with use plaster bandage strips that are about -3" in length. Start by dunking the plaster bandages in a bowl of room temperature water, and squeezing out excess water. I find it easiest to start at the top of the face and work around the perimeter first, overlapping the strips as you go.

   4. Fill in and thicken the face.

   5. When you have a couple of plaster layers, you can build up certain areas of the face. The nose should be reinforced. If you want, the cheeks can be built up. Use smaller strips if necessary.

   6. After about 30-40 minutes the subject will feel the mask pulling away from their face. At this time, the mask can be taken off. Examine it to see if there are any areas that you think are too light.

   7. Put on more plaster gauze if necessary.

   8. It will probably take about 1 day for the plaster casting mask to be completely dry.

   9. Do not fiddle with it while it is drying.

On to Decorating the Plaster Mask!

Now comes the really creative part.

Do you want the mask to be its natural color but protected?

Use a clear acrylic sealer such as Plaid's "Mod Podge"(available in either matte of gloss) or Liquitex's "gloss medium" or "matte medium."

Do you want to paint it, but feel like you want to prime it first to smooth out the texture?

Use gesso first, then paint it with acrylic paints. Use the sealer after for a protective coat if necessary.

Do you want something more than just paint?

Glue feathers, sequins, glitter, buttons, bits of paper, ribbon, magazine pages... to it.

For things like feather and sequins a glue gun will work well. For other things, consider using acrylic paint as your glue.

So you are intrigued by the gauze but you don't want to do a regular mask? Lots of pregnant women like to do a cast of their torsos at different stages. (Our best guess is that for a belly you would need between 2 and 3 packages... depending on how pregnant you are I guess....) Or start with your face, but build it up to look like a bird, a bat, a monster etc...


Featured video making a mask with plaster bandages.

Facial Life Casting

Mask Making with Plaster Bandages w/ photos.

Mask Making with Plaster Bandages.


Mask Making Ideas and Instructions.
Mask Making Lessons.
Face Casting Using Flex Wax.
Face Casting with Plaster bandages.
Face Casting with Magic Cast
Plaster masks for Halloween.
Plaster Cast Face Mask
Spooky Alien Masks
Plaster Mask Lesson Plans
They Put on Masks, Lesson Plan
Face Casting For Mask Making
The Greatest Face Mask

Quality Plaster at outlet prices 2", 3", 4", and 6" rolls available.


Here is another great way to make a plaster bandage mask.



A plaster bandage mask consists of both an inside and outside.

Here are the items your will need to make your plaster bandage cloth mask:

  • petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  • plaster bandages, fast setting (4" wide are good; "fast setting" is about 4 minutes) 
  • Get them at www.orthotape.com
  • water (and containers for water)
  • scissors
  • comfortable and safe environment

Creating the Environment:

It is very important to create comfortable and safe environment for the individual whose face you will cast into a mask.

It you are making the mask of a child, we suggest you have the parent the plaster bandage mask making session ; at times the plaster will be covering the eyes, nose, etc. of the child and it is comforting to have a parent's touch and to hear their voice. It is good to have an assistant help you as well to catch and help with any messes from the plaster mask making. 

Place pillows or a sleeping bag on the floor; cover them with a sheet or blanket; the child can lie down and get comfortable before you begin. Cover the child with a blanket and have some cloth towels or paper towels nearby to use during the process.

If you are working in a classroom setting - slide two desks together to create a "table" for the child to lay on. Children can work in pairs.

Be sure to give a good explanation regarding the entire plaster mask making process.   What you will be doing, how long it will take (approx. 30 minutes). You can also play some relaxing music to to help everyone feel calm during the process.

Ok, Now on to what to do!

  1. Prepare before the session even begins by cutting the plaster bandages into strips that are proportionate to the size of the face of the person who the plaster mask is for. (students in a classroom can do this step themselves). Cut strips in various lengths and sizes as you will be overlapping them to form a sturdy surface -- the plaster mask itself.
  2. Apply an ample amount of petroleum jelly over the entire face (the "plaster mask person"); be sure to cover eye lids, lips and especially eyebrows!

    click for   larger image

  3. Dip the strips of plaster bandages into water to wet fairly thoroughly; begin putting the strips on the child's face, starting with areas that do not cover eyes, nostrils and mouth. Overlap and smooth the plaster bandages as you work. The child can decide if they want their eyes, nostrils and mouth covered as this is optional.

  4. When all areas that the child wants are covered with plaster and there is a nice firm covered surface, let the plaster mask dry for about 4 minutes or until it is firm enough to the touch to pull it off without the mask falling apart.
  5. Pull the mask off the face by having the child make faces ... smile, frown, wiggle etc. so that the mask simply pulls away from the face.

    click for   larger image

  6. The mask can be further smoothed out, added to, patched etc. before letting it dry completely. Add plaster bandages around edges (the edge of the mask; the eyes, mouth or nostrils, for example if they were not covered with plaster) for a nice, finished look. This also strengthens the mask so it will not fall apart.

  7. When the mask is completely dry, paint and decorate as desired.
  8. Display, use and enjoy!

A compilation of everything related to plaster of Paris casting.