How to Make a Duck Bill Mask

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many varieties of ducks in the world, but one trait that they all share is their distinctive bill. This specialised beak is designed to catch food in water, acting as a scoop and strainer simultaneously. If you are creating a duck costume but do not want to wear a full head mask, a simple bill mask will be enough to let people know that you are dressing up as a duck.

Cut a styrofoam wig head in half, following the seam on the side, using a saw blade or an electric carving knife. You can dispose of the back half of the head if you wish; you will only need the front.

Cover a work surface in newspaper and put the front half of the styrofoam head on it, face up.

Sculpt the rough form of the duck bill onto the face with modelling clay. This will provide a surface to build papier-mâché on, so you only need the shape --- don't worry about detail. The top of the bill should be at the midpoint of your nose, and the bottom should rest in the indentation between your lower lip and chin. It should be wide enough to extend out onto your cheeks.

Spray the clay with three coats of Crystal Clear, allowing each to dry completely between applications. This will seal the surface of the clay so that it does not stick to the mask.

Tear newspaper into strips 1 inch wide and 6 inches long.

Mix a paste for the papier-mâché in a large bowl. The mixture will contain three parts white glue and one part water.

Dip strips of newspaper into the paste, then squeegee off the excess paste with your fingers and smooth the strips onto the clay.

Cover the entire clay form with four to six overlapping layers of newspaper strips, depending on how strong you want your mask to be.

Allow the mask to dry overnight.

Remove the mask from the clay form and clean out any clay inside your bill.

Trim any rough edges off your mask using a sharp pair of scissors.

Cut nostrils near the top of the bill using a razor blade. These will help you to breathe when you are wearing the mask.

Paint the mask with yellow or orange acrylic paint. If you want your mask to be shiny, brush on a layer of gloss sealer after the paint has dried.

Punch two holes in the sides of the mask.

Tie a piece of string to the holes to act as a strap that will keep the mask on your face.

Things You'll Need

  • Styrofoam wig head
  • Saw blade or electric carving knife
  • Newspaper
  • Modelling clay
  • Crystal Clear
  • Container
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Scissors
  • Razor blade
  • Paint and brushes
  • Gloss sealer (optional)
  • Hole punch
  • String
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About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.