Of all the things I’ve posted to this site, nothing has generated more traffic than the discussion about making halloween masks based on the character “Rorschach” from the graphic novel “The Watchmen.” Last year I posted a picture of myself in the mask I made waaay back when (click on the pic to enlarge it), and people started writing to ask how they could make one of their own. I asked people to send pictures of their own Rorschach masks and the whole thing snowballed.
As my original instructions were in a comment on one of the postings, I’ve decided to repost it here to make it easier to find. If you’ve got tips for improving the mask-making process, leave a comment.
Happy St. Rorschach Day!
Instructions: You will need…
- A pair of small, white dance tights, the kind that completely cover the feet
- One sheet of cardboard cut from a cardboard box
- Paper that is thin enough for magic marker ink to bleed through
- Black magic markers (best to use the brand “Sharpies”)
Cut out a piece of paper in the shape of your head as seen from the front. Fold the paper in half down the middle of the “face.” Now draw your Rorschach pattern on one side with the Sharpie. The ink should bleed through to the other side, though you may have to touch it up so that both sides are symmetrical.
NOTE: Your final product will be more convincing if the black splotches cover the eyes on the face. Place the paper on the cardboard and trace the outline. Cut the cardboard so that it has the same shape as the paper.
Glue or tape the paper “face” onto the cardboard. Cut the bottom of one leg of the dance tights so that it forms a blank white mask. Stretch the mask over the cardboard. You should be able to see your Rorschach pattern through the mask. With the black Sharpie, trace the Rorschach pattern onto the mask. Fill in all the dark parts.
Remove the cardboard. Try on the mask. If you’re filled with Rorschach-like feelings of misanthropy and misogyny, you know it’s working! If not, use the other foot of the dance tights and try again.
NOTE: I am not responsible for anything you do while making or wearing your mask. That includes injuring yourself or contracting some disease. Use common sense. Safety scissors are your friend. If you can’t see with the mask on, don’t walk around in it. Strike a brooding pose and stay there all evening. Be safe and have fun.