The making of each mask can take many days of detailed work. The first stage is the moulding of a plaster form to the size and shape of the actor's head.

On to this is applied many layers of papier mache in order to build up the character's features. For the best masks a special tissue thin paper (hand - made from a tree bark called "khoi") is used. Up to 20 layers of khoi paper are glued on to the form, then the surface is dried and smoothed.