How to Make a Scary Gas Mask

Something about gas masks is just plain scary. Whether it's the idea of a post-apocalyptic future or the fact you just can't see the face of the guy who's wearing it, a home made gas mask can make a great costume addition.


  1. Image titled Make a Scary Gas Mask Step 01
    Identify which style or era of gas mask you'd like. Modern? World War II? Futuristic? Draw up a basic pattern or diagram with the features you want your mask to have.
  2. Image titled Make a Scary Gas Mask Step 02
    Find something to use as the base of your mask; an old hat, the inside of a helmet, or a balaclava. You can also make your own base out of straps which fit around the head. If your base is somewhat bare, cover it with a dark, distressed material that breathes.
  3. Image titled Make a Scary Gas Mask Step 03
    For the eye pieces, find a stiff but flexible material to form into short cylinders. For the lens, use anything transparent (i.e. plastic wrap or acrylic). Make sure you can see through them clearly. Tint them with something similar to car window tint film. Alternatively, you can use a pair of goggles already owned if you like the style.
  4. Image titled Make a Scary Gas Mask Step 04
    Use another cylinder or two (depending on your style of mask) for the mouthpiece(s). Use something like a painted styrofoam or plastic cup, a can, or a large shaker (like the ones used for Parmesan cheese in some restaurants). Affix the mouthpiece to the base with needle and thread, glue, or velcro for a less permanent fix.


  • You can install extras into your mask to enhance its scariness. i.e. a voice changer. Appropriate decorations can also be added such as blood spatters, glow-in-the-dark (nuclear-looking) paint, fake shrapnel, and so on.
  • Design the rest of your costume to match the era and design of your mask. If it's a WWII style, consider a soldiers uniform or era-appropriate civilian clothing. If it's futuristic or alien, get creative and design your own!


  • Make sure you can breathe with the mask on, and consider installing a snap button or velcro on the straps for an easy-off option.
  • Be very careful if you choose to use a tin can for any of the cylinders, if you cut them or poke holes into them, sharp metal becomes a hazard. Ask someone who knows how to handle it properly to cut and/or poke holes, and soften any sharp edges. A tin can is not recommended unless you know what you're doing.
  • Also make sure you can see clearly through the goggles.
  • Due to the possibility of decreased visibility while wearing this costume piece, it is not recommended as trick-or-treating gear.

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Categories: Costumes