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DEMONIKUS was created for the June 2010 entry into The Mad Lab monthly prop building contest which required the construction of a Halloween prop from any kind of hat. My concept involved using an old plastic hardhat, recycled cardboard and papier mache to create a demon-like skull. The resulting piece is 22 inches long and 17 inches wide.

The skull lies flat and is light weight making it suitable for hanging on a wall or incorporated into a haunt display with the addition of a body.


The build started with a quick concept sketch that was used a a guide for the basic shape of the armature. The eyes were drawn on the plastic hard hat with a black felt tip marker then cut with a jigsaw.

Recycled cardboard was used to create the shape of the skull, the photos illustrate the process. This process is very much trial and error, the concept sketch was a good guide to getting the proper shape.

The horns were created by hot gluing together a series of consecutively smaller cardboard rings, each ring was slightly angled to curve the horns in the desired fashion.

The horns were reinforced with masking tape prior to the papier mache process.

The cardboard armature was covered with several layers of heavy brown paper soaked in papier mache paste, the brown craft paper proved much stronger than typical newspaper.

Additional detailing was added to the snout and the gaping mouth including nostrils and extensions to the sides of the mouth.
The teeth were cast in plaster clay from molds made from plaster of paris.

Homemade papier mache clay was used to cover the sculpture adding dimension and texture, the papier mache clay also makes the piece very tough and durable.

Once dry, the entire skull was painted with DRYLOCK Masonry Waterproof paint, then black exterior latex paint, then dry brushed with white primer and finally colorized with Old English scratch remover giving it a sepia appearance.

As of this post I’m not entirely sure of DEMONIKUS’s final use, possibly this piece will be the starting point for a new creepy and evil scarecrow.