Barbara Maitland and Adam Maitland from Beetlejuice

Such ideas we had for how to create these masks... sculpting them first, making moulds from them and creating latex/rubber masks, but due to living in Greece  - where none of the materials needed are anywhere near easy to get a hold of - we had to resort to good ol' fashioned coat hangers, wire, cardboard, lots and lots of packaging tape and children's sets of modelling clay.
We started by creating rough skeletons of the masks using coat hangers and wire with cardboard stabilisers and tape as temporary "skin" to be moulded on later.
We managed the signature "rooster hand" by stuffing a rubber glove full of aluminium foil and squeezing it into shape.
If we had known how heavy the next choice of modelling clay would become when it can only rest on your head on wires, we would have probably given up here, but naively, we went on to sculpt the features on top of the "tape skin".
Then, as the modelling clay wasn't exactly durable, we covered most of the masks with cast (yes, more weight...)
Another layer of clay on top (oh no...) for detail and finally a tongue carved from styrofoam and a Halloween store wig to finish the masks. Well... actually, since Halloween stores weren't a thing in Greece yet, we had to settle for a red wig that we spray-painted brown.
After some careful painting, cutting of eye holes, attaching pantihose fabric on the inside of the eye sockets and throat and a couple of styrofoam balls painted in the best of Halloween traditions, the masks were done!
On to the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. This was a nice little arts and crafts project where we bound a book in appropriately brown cardboard (we spent way too long finding the right shade of brown), found a decent copy of the cover image and touched that up a bit using Gimp and Inkscape, cut out the letters and stencilled them on to the cover using white-out and glued everything together.
Time for a final test of everything together! Not quite the right dress, but one that's close enough for testing.
(observe how the coat hanger fatigue is already visible)
We hadn't made the finger eyeballs yet, but we had practice from the tongue ones so weren't too concerned about that.
Apart from a slight hair spill and the need to sew a new dress (we just couldn't find a matching one), the first couple test ended up pretty good.
And here's the final result with a brand-spanking newly made  dress.

And wouldn't you know it, we ran into an old, dead "friend" of ours,  the ghost with the most:

If it's not already obvious from this project and our two previous ones, we both have absolutely zero training or professional experience in making costumes, masks, props or makeup, but it's been a fun ride seeing how far we could get using nothing more than basic household materials! We hope you've found it fun as well :)
Sign In or Register to comment.