Monthly Archives: May 2010

How To Make Your Latex Halloween Mask Fit Perfectly

How do I make my latex Halloween mask fit perfectly? This is another in a long series of questions that I’m frequently asked by mask enthusiast and Haunters alike at the many shows that Trick or Treat Studios attends throughout the year.  And again, what better opportunity to answer this question than with our Scary Halloween Masks Blog.

As you probably know, mask companies like Trick or Treat Studios, try to make masks that will work for everyone’s head size. This means that we have to work with averages and with all averages there exists a standard deviation around that average. The result of this is that for some people, the mask is either going to be too big or too small, but don’t despair, I’m going to tell you how to make every mask fit perfectly.

The average human head size ranges from 22 to 24 inches and since it is typically easier to make a bigger mask fit a smaller head, most of our masks run around 24 inches. So lets start by discussing what you can do if the mask is a little big for you and you want to make it fit more snug, which by the way, is how most people like their masks to fit, especially Haunters who chase people around and don’t want the mask to flop around, impairing vision.

Let start with how to make a mask fit a small head. We’ll start the easiest solution and than move to a more complex solution. The first thing you can do is get some plastic bags from the grocery store, turn the mask upside down and stuff them into the base of the mask. Stuff just enough bags into the mask until the eye holes line with your eyes and you can see clearly. You’d be amazed how well this works. In fact, I’ve employed this solution many times, since my head size is only 22 3/4″. Now for the more complex solution, however this solution is a more permanent fix. Go down to your local craft store and get yourself some soft foam insert padding and rubber cement. Now turn the mask inside out and line the mask with the foam inserts applying it to the mask with rubber cement. Don’t worry, the rubber cement will not hurt the mask, given that it is latex based. Give the cement overnight to dry and slip the mask on for fit. Add more padding if necessary and wallah, a perfectly fitting mask.

Now what can you do if the mask is too tight because you have a big melon? The best solution is extent the slit in the back of the mask. This can be done with an X-Acto Knife or preferably a small sharp pair of Scissors. Cut the slit up one half inch at a time and try on the mask until it fits. Once you’ve got the mask to fit comfortably, get yourself a paper or leather hole puncher and at the top of the slit, punch a hole, this will keep the slit from running any further.

Now for the next topic, eye cuts. Some people like small hidden eye cuts and others like big eye cuts, but since it’s impossible to make big eye cuts smaller, we always lean on the side of small when it comes to eye cuts. But lets suppose that you want the eyes a little bigger. All you need to do is get a small sharp pair of Scissors and trim the cuts a little bigger. I word of caution here, when your trimming eye cuts, always trim a small amount per cut, try on the mask and check the viability, if you still want them a little bigger, trim again and try the mask on. Always keep in mind, once you trim the eyes, there is no going back.

One last comment on eye cuts. Since everyone has different sized faces, there are times when a mask’s eye cuts can rub uncomfortably on your eye. To eliminate this problem, simply take a small pieces of foam inserts and glue them to the areas in the mask, using rubber cement, where your brow and cheek bone will touch the inside of the mask, this will push the mask forward away from your eyes.

Hope this Blog will help you make your mask fit perfectly.  And make sure to checkout our Scary Halloween Masks at trickortreatstudios.dev!

Chris

New Mummy Masks Are Now Available For Pre-Order!

Trick or Treat Studios is proud to announce the release of our new Mummy masks to our line of Full Head Scary Halloween Masks.

Eric Lubatti delivered three amazing paint masters for the Mummy.  Faced with the decision of which one to release, we decided to go with two.  The first is more of a traditional looking Egyptian Mummy that would come straight out of a dry Tomb in Egypt.  The second looks like a true magical Mummy that came right off the pages of an EC Comics, Tales From The Crypt story.  We think that both Mummies will appeal to Mask Lovers and Haunter alike.

Order your Mummy now, for early August delivery!


What Makes A Good Halloween Mask?

Once again, I’d like to use our Scary Halloween Masks Blog to answer a common question that I get a lot at shows, What Makes A Great Halloween Mask?

This is a topic that Justin Mabry, our Art Director, and I gave a lot of thought to when we were deciding on the line up for Trick or Treat Studios. Obviously, we wanted to incorporate all of the elements of what makes a great Halloween mask.

First and foremost is that the mask must display well. As collectors and connoisseurs of Halloween masks, we like to look at our masks for more than a few hours one night of the year. In fact, we like to display them proudly in our houses year round. So in order to display well, the mask has to have some key characteristics (by the way, these were discussed in detail by Justin and I in our interview with Rotting Flesh Radio, see the news section for the link):

1. Sculpted eyes – This is key to the mask having life while on display. When the mask has sculpted eyes, it looks back at you from all over the room. Plus the presence of eyes catches your eyes, and it presents a focal point for the mask. Nothing is more fun than to go into a store and see a mask standout by looking at you saying, “Buy me! Take me home!”
2. Poppy colors – By this, I mean that the colors on the mask need to stand out. Nothing is more boring than a dull finish, so the presence of bright rich colors is a must!

The next set of features that a mask must have to be a great Halloween mask has more to do with costuming and wearability. To that end, the mask must be costumeable (if that is a word, if not, well I just made one up). By this I mean that you must be able to make a costume around it. So many masks are so over sculpted and finished that it’s very difficult to figure out what it is, much less how you’ll be able to dress up with it on. We like a mask that looks good with multiple costumes. For example, take our Shock mask. Ok I’m going to confess something, if you go to the contact section of our website, the person wearing Shock in the doctor scrubs is me, Chris Zephro. I think Shock looks great in the scrubs, but I could have easily put on an old torn up business suit and looked just as scary in it. That’s what is meant by costumeable.

The next attribute of what makes a great Halloween mask is especially important to Haunters, mainly the mask must fit snug and comfortable on the head. Nothing is more annoying then constantly having to adjust a super large mask that keep sliding all over your head when your trying to scare people. Justin and I did a lot of research on the average human head size and based our masks to fit that head size snug and comfortably. By the way, the answer is 24”.

Along the same lines as size, the latex on the mask needs to be flexible and not too thick. This allows the mask to move comfortably with your face. When a mask is poured too thick the mask losses it’s mask like feel and becomes quite stiff on the face. There is a fine line between too thick and too thin, because a mask that is poured too thin can rip or rot, so a lot of research and development went into us finding the right thickness for our masks.

Another attribute that our Haunter customers especially appreciate is hidden eye cuts. Sometimes the effect of a mask can be lost if you see the wearers eyes or flesh behind the mask, so it’s important for the wears eyes to be hidden, but at the same time, the wearer needs good visibility. A great Halloween mask will hide the eye cuts under the brow line.

And last, but not least, the final element that makes a great Halloween mask is an original concept / design, with a hint of familiarity. For example, take Trick or Treat Studios Gruesome mask. This Toxic Toon is about as original as you can get, but there is a hint of familiarity with him because he has elements of a skull, werewolf, Frankenstein and Vampire.

Again, Justin and I spent a lot of time developing our line of Scary Halloween Masks and we hope that you’ll agree that our lineup incorporates all of the elements of what makes a great Halloween mask.

Regards,
Chris