autumn-impala said: I'm doing a cryaotic cosplay and I only wanted to do half the mask, meaning a mask broken down the middle. How would I keep it onto my face without just hot gluing it down and what material would you suggest I make it out of? Thanks!
Hi autumn-impala! This is Kates. Classic question—how to make a mask stay without ribbon, string, or bands.
Obviously, you need the right adhesive, but almost just as important is making sure you have a mask that actually fits your face well, preferably flush. Most store bought masks are not going to work well, as those masks are generic and will pull away from the face in various sections, creating tension areas for any adhesives that might be applied which they likely will not be able to hold.
If you (and you to the general public) are planning on using a store bought mask rather than making one, make sure that it at least sits flush with your nose. If it won’t sit on your nose, it won’t work on your face.
Oo, not the best picture.
If you are interested in making your own (again, also to the general public), I highly suggest using the methods Threadbanger suggests in this video. I’ve used this method twice and I love it (tip: for a smooth surface, modge podge some paper over your mask when it’s dry). A roll of plaster tape like that costs about $8 if I recall correctly, and it makes about 3 half masks. The great thing about making your own is that it fits your face exactly, and so it will partially (note the italics) sit on your face on its own. It won’t stay there long if you’re moving around, but the shape will help it stay in place.
Now on to what you were really asking about: adhesives. The first thing you must consider is what your mask is made out of. If it’s made out of plastic or fabric, you probably won’t have problems with any of the glues/tapes I suggest. If it is made of plaster, you will have to consider a strong glue because of the weight of the mask. If it is made out of paper mache, depending on how well it is sealed, you may have to consider if the glue will damage the mask itself.
Now, I have personally only ever used ties, but I’ve worked with body adhesives for other things. For lightweight masks, you can consider spirit gum or sock glue, both of which I consider to be standards in any cosplay kit. Technically, spirit gum is used for things like fake warts and elf ears, and sock glue is for, well, socks, but both are designed to work with your skin and remove either with rubbing or water. Of two, spirit gum would be a better choice. I have also seen eyelash glue, used for fake eyelashes, suggested. I haven’t yet ventured into that realm, so I don’t know how strong the stuff is, but it might be worth a shot.
If your mask is heavier, you’ll need something stronger. In my experience, sock glue is pretty strong stuff, so a medium weight mask could probably use it. For something heavier, I would try scrapbook tape. Yeah, I know, weird, but bear with me. This stuff can be very strong, and can still come off. It may not come off of your mask well, but it will come off of your skin when you want it to. Trying using two pieces together, one on your face and one on your mask.
If these methods aren’t working, just remember to choose a glue that will not be abrasive to your skin. Whatever you do, do not use Krazy Glue. Just don’t. You’ll be using flesh-eating acid to get it off. Or hot glue, for obvious other reasons. If you want to try a tape, try to stick with body tapes, as duct and electric and most any other will loose its power as soon as you start sweating.
When applying your adhesive, apply it along the top and center of the forehead, the crown of the cheek, and the bridge of the nose. These are the areas that will carry the weight of the mask.
If all else fails, for Cryaotic, you can position ties both at the bottom left side of the mask and at the top right side, having it tie around the head and under the ear.
Hope this helps!