View Full Version : To make or not to make?

04-06-2010, 09:16 PM
This will be my first year haunting and i was wanting to ask fellow haunters. Do you make your own masks or buy them? If you make them could you please inform me how and if you buy them could you tell me where thx so much!

PS like I said im new so you can expect alot of questions in the future lol

freak 'n' stein
04-06-2010, 09:38 PM
The man you need to talk to is Allen Hopps!! He MAKES them and is willing to tell you EVERYTHING he knows and he also sells them so you can buy from him!!!

Best of luck to you

Von Spooky Nachos
04-06-2010, 09:41 PM
I make my own masks, and you can too in a few easy steps.

Step 1: sculpt a mask out of clay.
Step 2: mold it with a gypsum based product.
Step 3: open mold, clean out and pour latex rubber into molds.
Step 4: when dry de-mold latex mask and paint it.

It's that simple.

But seriously, it's cheaper to buy them and at this stage in your mask-making experience, purchased ones will probably look better.

However, if you really want to make a latex rubber mask, there is a decent mask-making book available at MONSTERMAKERS.COM . They also sell mask-making supplies.

Have fun.

Allen H
04-06-2010, 11:29 PM
I make almost all of the masks for my show and my park. I make both latex and silicone masks. I make my own for several reasons.
#1 I do not want guests to break out of the world I create because they see something familiar "My friend got that at Spencers"
#2 most mask sculptors forget that people have to wear them. They have poor vision, poor ventilation and no holes for hearing.
#3 I often explore odd themes and the masks I need often just are not out there.
#4 quality- mass produced masks are often very thin latex, that has warped already by the time you get it. When you make a mask you can control it's thickness and construction techniques.
#5 expense I can make a latex mask start to finish for $75. The second mask from that mold costs about $16.
#6 No one out there has my haunt in mind when they make a mask, they do not know what Im going to do with the set, nor do they know the actor who is going to wear it has a huge nose, I do.
#7 I enjoy it. It is fun to me to have an idea in my head then see it walking around my show. I feel like Dr.frankenstein sometimes.
Im more than happy to help you in any mask making endeavors. Im not the best, but I have molded well over 100 latex masks (I stopped counting at 100, could be 200 by now). Pm me, email what ever. I actually plan on making a video that help haunters make the leap into mold making. Any time you need more than one of something for your haunt molding it yourself is a decent option. There is a learning curve and an information gap.
Since you also asked who to buy masks from I recommend these companies because their masks are very easy on the actors. Actors do not mind wearing these brands all night.
Von spooky is dead on accurate when he says how easy it is. It is even easier if you make a half mask, thats a one piece mold and can be done very easily. you just need the right materials.
A head form to sculpt on (could be a styrofoam wig head)
Clay to sculpt (I recommend water based clay, very fast for new sculptors) sculpt a bit bigger as latex shrinks)
Ultracal 30 plaster to make the mold
Latex to make the mask with (Gore-galore or Screamline)

Get there then we will talk painting. LOL.
I highly encourage you to make your own, if for no other reason than you asked about it. make one mask, one mold and see how it goes.
Allen Hopps

04-07-2010, 07:28 AM
For the last few years I have made all the masks for our haunt, but that is mainly cause no one really makes the kind of stuff I like to use in my attraction and I love to sculpt. The cost saving of making them compared to buying them is not that great. I make mostly foam latex stocking masks. They are more comfortable so actors tend to keep them on their head rather than riding on top their head, and you get a degree of facial movement in them that you don't get out of straight latex. It isn't as form fitting as silicone, but for a haunt environment they look great.
My advise for a new haunt is to try a variety of things starting out. Try some different masks and use make-up as well. For many years I relied on straight make-up rather than any masks. After your first couple of seasons you can see what you like best, and then decide if you want to make your own stuff or not.

04-08-2010, 05:12 PM
Thank you for all the help!

04-08-2010, 06:23 PM
Another mask maker here. I do it mostly for our haunt. I try to put together designs that are comfortable, close fitting, good sight and unlike anything off the shelf. Remember that you have 5 hours a night in that bad boy.

The only advice I'd like to give is to go with an indy maker if you decide to buy. Someone that put time into it. Something that people won't say "hey, I can get that at (enter chain store name)" Besides I know just about any of us would paint and accessorize to your liking.

If you decide to go from scratch then ask away. Plenty of help here.

04-21-2010, 07:27 PM
This will be my first year haunting and i was wanting to ask fellow haunters. Do you make your own masks or buy them? If you make them could you please inform me how and if you buy them could you tell me where thx so much!

PS like I said im new so you can expect alot of questions in the future lol

I'm guessing for your first year you're limited in two fronts: TIME and MONEY.
Time: you most likely won't have the bandwidth to make your own masks unless you have lots of prior experience. Many people here who make their own learned through years of trial and error --- you can't afford that if you're going to open this year.

Money: haunting can get very expensive, I'm sure you want to lower your initial investment. In that case, it's probably also good to buy: because you don't need to purchase materials, equipment, and there's also the cost of waste (let's say if you mess up a mask and need to start over)

Last year was my first year, we bought all of our masks --- and it worked fine. I'm buying masks again this year, but higher quality. Most masks we used inside the haunt were standard issue store masks, but ones we used outside were much higher quality and custom made.