Sunday, October 25, 2009

Making of Bubblehead Nurse - Mask

Girl known as rainman at had made an awesome tutorial for Bubblehead Nurse, but for some reason I can't find them anymore. I used them as a guideline with few alterations. (For those who look for a tutorial for the movie version nurse, check out this tutorial by MithriLady.

Bubblehead Nurse- Mask

First thing to do is to construct the base for the mask. This is achieved by building it from newspaper and glue on a wig head. Everybody knows that a wig head is notably smaller than a normal head, which means that it needs to be padded.

I took two measurements. One from top of your head to the under the ear and other around the head. Then I padded the wig head with scrap fabric according to my measurements. And remember that you have a nose! Pad the face up and amplify the features a bit. When you are done with the padding wrap the whole thing in plastic, so that the glue doesn't stick to the fabric.

Then I cut newspapers to strips and started overlapping them with adhesive around the head. There is no rules how to place the strips. I made four layers and I don't recommend less. I used all purpose glue, because that was all I had home. I added a drop of water to it, to make it more runny.

After the glue has dried cut a back slit and trim the neckwhole according to yours!

When it was all done, I left the head to dry overnight. The next morning I cut it open with carpet knife from the top of the head to the back of the neck. I pulled some padding out to make the removal of the hollow paper mask easier. I roughtly cut eye holes and one for the mouth because I'd really would like to drink when wearing the costume. I also made the neck hole little bigger. I didn't have to make the back slit bigger, but if you have problems putting the mask on, then it's recommendable. The slit will be covered later.

Add tricot so that it overlaps to make the "seams" more durable.

For some extra support I put the mask back to the wig head and covered it with basic white tricot and glue. I love using this tecnique. It makes the mask more sturdy, but doesn't harden it like clay would. This is done the same way as with paper. Cutted facric strips are glued to the mask.

Don't glue the gauze too close to the eye and mouth holes. This way you can move it aside if you need to drink or perhaps see properly.

Then I took gauze and glued it on to the mask. I had leftover gauze from my school work, so I used it instead of gauze that I had dyed in tea. It was dyed, but it was just moderately aged (read: too white!). After I was done with glueing I painted the mask. The result is quite harsh, but it doesn't matter, because I was still in the middle of the progress. I used black, yellow and red acrylic paints.

Be sure that you have enought glue ready when working with fabric, which really sucks it up.

After the glue and paint had dried I added the second layer of tea dyed gauze. I had two different widths. First I glued the wider one on the mask. Then I repeated the painting process. The point of doing two painted layers is to make it look realisticly oozed trought. I added glue in the inside the mask and turned all loose ends of gauze inside to finish the neckhole. Then I added vertical strip of gauze on the other side of the back slit. When you put the mask on you can place the strip over the slit to hide it. I tried to fit the mask in my head after wrapping gauze all over the mask, but it didn't strech enough. If you work with elastic gauze, then you can follow radical-rain's tutorial!

Less paint is better. Do it with left hand (if right handed) to prevent "painted look".

Then I just wrapped the narrower gauze over the mask hiding the right eye-whole and seams on the lower layer gauze which bothered me. Tah-dah! Mask is ready. I'm still going to add this interesting "goop" following radical-rain's recipe to make it look more disgusting.

Almost finished!


  1. What did you do to cover the seam? Or did you just leave it there

    1. The strip of gauze I mentioned in the post covers the seam. I added ribbons on the bottom of the back slit, so that I can close it tightly.