Paper Mache Gorilla mask!

Want to do a cheap gorilla mask? Paper mache will do the job! This was just a test, but it came out ok. I used a plastic mannequin head to sculpt the basic gorilla form in water-based clay. I covered it with plastic wrap so that the paper mache would come loose easily and also so that the mache wouldn’t absorb moisture from the clay. Just the basic forms are sculpted in as well as the separation line for the jaw.

I only did a half mask for this test, but you can do a full mask just as easily. But you will have to cut it in half to remove it.
I used heavy brown paper for the paper mache strip.  Any paper will do, but brown paper tends to build up strength in fewer layers. This is probably three or four layers of paper.

Once the paper strip is dried thoroughly, you can add a detail layer with commercial paper clay or mix your own paper pulp. I used Celluclay on this. I’m not a big fan of Celluclay, but I had some to use up! Once you have and even layer of your detail material, just sculpt in as much or little detail as you like and let it dry.

When it’s all good and dry, carefully remove the mask from the clay form and cut out the jaw. I used a block of Styrofoam for the tongue, which my chin sits on to operate the jaw. The teeth were also sculpted in paper mache. Make sure that all the paper mache pieces are well sealed with several coats of a polyurethane sealer to prevent the mask from absorbing any moisture. The jaw was attached and sprung just like in the Hollywood Gorilla Men tutorial, so check that out if you want to try it

The hair on this was really simply done. I cut a tube of material fur and simply hot glued it to the mask to fit. There’s just a single strap of 2” Velcro to hold it on and I put a small sheet of 1” polyfoam at the back to keep the mask from sliding around.

I’d love to do another paper mache gorilla mask. I know I could do a much better job and make it lighter and better sculpted, but for a quick test, this one at least proved the concept works. It’s also a lot cheaper and less hot to wear than a rubber mask, so it’s a good option for a low budget gorilla mask!