Making a Superhero Mask

Making a proper mask is tricky. Here’s how I made mine.

Choose your material wisely. I use scrap of bicycle inner tube, which is fitting for SCUL’s style of heroism.

Cut the material for the mask into a long rectangular piece that’s long enough to wrap around your head, with extra for tying in a knot, or to attach whatever fasteners you may decide upon. Make sure it’s wide enough to suit your needs. If you plan on sewing the edges, leave extra material.

Wrap the piece around your head. Take a pen and poke yourself in the centers of your eyes (gently, you’re not a superhero yet). Remove the mask and cut very small holes. Put the mask back on: now you can see what you are doing! Look in the mirror and draw the smallest holes you think may work. The eyes are the tricky part: If they are crooked, or the spacing is off, or they are too big, the mask looks real funny. Cut the holes, and try it on again. Repeat the drawing and cutting steps until you are satisfied. I suggest taking your time with this step. The holes need to be small enough so you don’t look excessively ridiculous, but large enough to not lose too much peripheral vision.

With your marking pen in hand and the mask on your face, draw the outer edge of the mask. Again: be conservative. Once you have your shape, fold the mask in half and carefully cut both sides at once. This assures the mask will be symmetrical. You may have to adjust if your face isn’t symmetrical like mine (twice broken nose).

I find that the curve around the nose is tricky: if you have too much material, it tends to bunch up the mask so it’s sits oddly. Take your time on this part.

Sew the edges of your material if needed. Consider adding some flair.

When donning the mask, be mindful that your peripheral vision is slightly compromised, even for a well-fitted mask. Some materials such as inner tube rubber doesn’t breathe well: it will make your face sweat. Remember to wash your mask so you don’t get some sort of alien acne breakout. Some heroes darken around their eyes with makeup; if you decide to go that route, you will not be very inconspicuous if you take the mask off.