How to Make an Animegao Mask

Written by sylvia cini
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How to Make an Animegao Mask
Cosplay is a large part of anime conferences for fans and professionals alike. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Costume players, also known in the U.S. as cosplayers or kigurumers, are people who dress up as fictional characters.This practice is largely associated with the anime and gamer communities, and thus refers almost exclusively to characters from manga, anime and video games. One way that cosplayers adopt the appearance of a fictional character is by wearing a full-body costume and mask. The stylised masks worn in these instances are called "animegao," which means "anime face" in Japanese. You can make your own animegao mask from scratch using papier mache and plaster of Paris.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Paper strips
  • Papier mache paste
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Stirrer
  • Paint brush
  • Spray paint
  • Paint, acrylic
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper manga eyes
  • Découpage paste
  • Matt sealer spray
  • Varnish
  • Awl
  • Hand drill
  • Elastic
  • Glue

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a strip of cardboard that is 3 feet long and 1/2-inch wide.

  2. 2

    Wrap the strip around your face vertically from just under your chin to your scalp above your widow's peak. Cut the cardboard and staple it to form a loop.

  3. 3

    Add a strip of cardboard from one end of the loop to the other forming a horizontal bar that crosses over your nose. Continue adding strips to form an oval, dome-shaped frame.

  4. 4

    Wet paper strips with papier mache paste and apply them to the frame in a thin and even layer. Dry the mask completely by placing it in a well-ventilated area for 1 to 12 hours. Repeat to form a mask with 10 to 15 layers. Use crumpled pieces of wet paper to form the curve of the cheeks and nose. Extend the chin so that it forms an angular point.

  5. 5

    Mix plaster of Paris and water according to the directions on the package. Paint the mixture over the mask, working quickly before it dries. Ensure that the layer of plaster is no more than 1/4-inch thick. Smooth the mixture with a wet sponge. Dry plaster of Paris overnight.

  6. 6

    Sand the plaster smooth to remove any imperfections.

  7. 7

    Spray paint the plaster with a skin-toned colour. Hold the spray can 1 foot away and depress the button, moving the nozzle in a side-to-side, sweeping motion.

  8. 8

    Hand paint manga-style eyes on the mask. Alternately, print manga-style eyes from the Internet and use découpage paste to apply them to the mask.

  9. 9

    Add pink or red colouring to the cheeks and lips.

  10. 10

    Paint solid arched eyebrows over the eyes.

  11. 11

    Spray the mask with matt finish sealer and dry for 48 hours.

  12. 12

    Apply one or two layers of varnish to the eyes and lips to give these areas a wet glossy finish.

  13. 13

    Use an awl or hand drill to make a hole in either side of the mask parallel to the nose.

  14. 14

    Thread a 1/2-inch elastic through each side of the mask so that it can be worn. Knot the ends of the elastic and apply glue to the knots to hold them securely.

Tips and warnings

  • A wig or fringe can be applied directly to the mask or worn on top to complete the look.
  • True kigurumers expose no skin. Wear a skin-toned, full-body suit with your animegao mask for authenticity.

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