How to Make a Snake Head Mask

by Gryphon Adams

A thin stocking cap creates the snake's head and face.

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • Discarded sunglasses with oval lenses, preferably amber (optional)
  • Eyeglasses screwdriver, if needed
  • Lightweight stocking cap in a snake color, such as green, gray or rust
  • Felt-tip pen
  • Scissors
  • Black permanent marker
  • Fabric glue or extra-strength adhesive

Whether it's for the theater or a fun costume night with friends, a head mask creates the crowning touch for a snake-headed figure or reptilian alien. Making a snake head mask that conforms to the head and face gives the costume the sleek contours that hides your hair and transforms your features. Make yourself or anyone else into a giant snake with realistic markings and customized eyes. This project requires only common materials and tools. It's suitable for all ages, although an adult should help children with making eye holes.

Step 1

Remove the lenses from a pair of discarded sunglasses. Loosen the screws, if it has them, or gently break the frames if it has plastic frames. Set the lenses aside. These will serve as the snake's slightly protruding, shiny eyes.

Step 2

Pull a stocking cap over your face, or over the head of the person who will wear the snake head mask. Adjust the cap so it hugs the head and covers the face. Move around and make facial expressions so the fabric will ride up if it needs to.

Step 3

Remove the cap and cut the eye holes, using the dots as a guide. Draw the shape of the eyes by connecting the dots with the pen first, if you are unfamiliar with cutting fabric. Cut a 1/2-inch slit on each nostril dot for the snake head breathing holes. Cut through both layers of fabric if the stocking cap has two layers -- but don't cut through the back of the hat.

Step 4

Try the mask on and look in all directions. Make sure the eye holes are large enough so that your vision isn't obstructed. This is crucial for safety. Mark the eye holes to make them wider to improve peripheral vision, if needed. Cut the holes to the larger size.

Step 5

Remove the mask and insert the sunglasses lenses inside the cap so they show through the eye holes. Lift one eye hole by the cut edges and carefully apply glue to the lens just below the fabric. Press the fabric down all the way around the lens and hold it in place for a slow count of 30. Repeat this process to glue the other lens in place. Leave the glue to dry for at least two hours. It may take longer to dry, depending on the temperature, humidity and type of glue.

Step 6

Draw the snake's markings on the cap once the glue is fully dry. The area around the eye holes will feel stiff and not sticky when the glue is fully dried. Outline the eyes with a thick black line to make them stand out more, and draw diamond-shaped snake scales or the specific markings of the kind of snake the mask represents.


  • Wear a thin stocking cap, such as a cotton knit, not a thick, sweater-type stocking cap. Drug stores and variety stores sell eyeglass repair kits that include a screwdriver that fits the small screws. Read and watch videos about snakes to get into character. Learning how they move their heads and bodies will help you bring the mask to life.


  • Don't use dark sunglasses for this project if you'll be wearing the mask on the street or anywhere that might have hazards, such as on a stage. The dark lenses can interfere with vision, especially at night and increase the risk of an accident.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.