Tutorial: Superhero Eyemasks for Costumes

how to make masks for cosplay

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Creating a superhero eyemask for cosplay is a fun way to immerse yourself in the character of your choice. Whether you’re aiming to replicate the iconic look of characters like Batman or Robin or crafting an original creation, the eye mask is a central feature of many superhero costumes. 

The process of making your own superhero eyemask is surprisingly simple. By selecting the proper materials and understanding the basic steps, you can create a custom mask that fits comfortably and looks great. The key is to tailor the mask to the contours of your face, ensuring it complements your costume without sacrificing functionality or comfort.

To start, you’ll need to consider the material that best suits your needs. EVA foam is a popular choice for its flexibility and ease of molding. By heat-forming EVA foam, you can achieve a snug fit that follows the unique curves of your face. Once your mask has taken shape, securing methods like spirit gum or elastic bands can be used to keep your mask in place as you display your superhero persona with confidence at any cosplay event.

wearing a superhero eye mask

The best way to make a fitted superhero eye mask is to use EVA foam. You can heat-form foam so that it will bend around your nose and the contours of your face perfectly. Once you’re finished with the mask shape, you can attach it directly to your face with spirit gum or use elastic. This type of mask is pretty simple to make, so you’ll be able to do this pretty quickly even if you’ve never used EVA foam before.


Drawing the eye mask
Measure the width of your face, eyes, and the bridge of your nose and make a rectangle marking these lengths. Then draw your design using these marks as guidelines. Test the paper mask on your face and make any adjustments that are necessary.
cutting EVA foam
Use a sharp razor to cut the craft foam. Folding the foam in half can help you make a symmetrical mask.
  1. Measure the width of your face and your eyes. You want to measure the width that you want the mask to cover (for example, from temple to temple). Also, measure the height that you want your mask to cover.
  2. Measure the length of your eyes. You also want to take your tape measure and check the space between the inner corner of your eyes so that you can set the eye holes on your mask accurately.
  3. Make a rectangle and make marks for your eyes. Draw your design within the boundaries of the rectangle and eye marks.
  4. Cut the mask out of paper and make any necessary changes. I made my eye holes a bit too big, so I corrected the mask before cutting it out of my foam sheet.
  5. Cut your mask out of craft foam (or EVA foam). Trace your mask onto the 2mm foam sheet and cut it out using a sharp razor. Then, sand the edges if necessary.
  6. Heat-form your mask using a heatgun. Wave the heatgun over the front and back surfaces of your mask until it softens slightly. Then place the EVA foam against your face and hold it in place. As the foam cools down it will retain its shape, giving you a custom-fit eye mask.
  7. Prime and paint your mask. Now, all you have to do is paint your mask however you like. I recommend using a flexible paint to avoid the chance that the paint will crack over time since the foam remains flexible.
heat forming the mask
Heat up the plastic foam. Then hold it against your face, pinching the area around the nose until the foam cools down.

How to wear your superhero mask

Now that you have your mask, you may be wondering how to get it to stay on your face. You’re going to have to glue it, but don’t use just any glue. You’re going to need to use spirit gum, which is an adhesive that’s safe to use on skin and can easily be removed when you’re ready to take the mask off. Don’t put spirit gum on your eyebrows or in your hair, it can get stuck and painfully pull at the hairs.

elastic with the eyemask
You can glue elastic to the eye mask. If your wig covers the temples of your face, the elastic isn’t too visible.

If you don’t want to use an adhesive directly on your face, then you’ll need to attach the mask using elastic or strings that you can tie. Depending on your wig, you can sometimes hide the strings fairly easily, so it won’t detract from the costume. Alternatively, you can find clear elastic or use skin-tone paint to make the attachments stand out less.

using eye makeup with the mask
If you want to create the illusion of a mask going directly to your eyes, use eye makeup or body paint in a matching color.

The other step you might want to take when wearing your mask is coloring your eyelids and the area just under your eye to match the mask. In anime and cartoons, the mask will often be directly flush with the character’s eyes, leaving no skin between the eyes and the mask. Reality doesn’t work the same way, so to get the same effect you’ll need to use eyeliner, eyeshadow, facepaint, or a similar makeup product to cover the gaps and create the illusion of a mask going smoothly onto the eyes.

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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