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.