Emojis have transformed the way we laugh and cry, tell stories, give responses, and express excitement to get a drink after work — without any actual text required. Heck, in an incredibly meta move, the Oxford Dictionary even named the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji as their word of the year at one point. So how could you not want to be an emoji character for Halloween?
Emojis are everywhere. The ubiquitous symbols are already on smartphones, tablets, and social networks, so why not help them make the leap into the three-dimensional world of Halloween costumes? You could become your favorite emoji, or even dress up as your mood at the time! Your emoji would be more than a costume — it would be a statement about yourself.
Sounds awesome, right? There are some DIY full-body emoji costumes you can create for Samhain that'll be more emotive than scary, but they're likely to confuse some trick-or-treaters, as they aren't as obvious as actual emoji masks — so let's make some emoji face masks!
The following do-it-yourself guide below will show you how to print emojis that you can cut into simple "smiley" masks and props in no time. This really is a simple Halloween costume to make, and since it's so easy, you can make multiple masks and switch back and forth as your mood literally dictates.
First off, we need to clear up some confusion — an emoji is not an emoticon. Emoticons are comprised strictly of text and not images of any kind. The Guardian describes how the emoticon acquired its name:
Invented multiple times over human history, its internet-era genesis is widely considered to have occurred in September 1982, when computer scientist Scott Fahlman suggested to the Carnegie Mellon University message board that :-) and :-( could be used to distinguish jokes from serious statements online. Shortly thereafter came the name, a portmanteau of the phrase "emotion icon."
Meanwhile, an emoji is an actual picture:
In contrast to the grassroots creation of the emoticon, emoji were created in the late 1990s by NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese communications firm. The name is a contraction of the words e and moji, which roughly translates to pictograph.
Thanks to LeChuck80 over on deviantART, we can download all of the 722 emoji characters from iOS, WhatsApp, and other messaging systems that are available in the standard Unicode 6.0 character set. All of the emojis in this ZIP will be 160 x 160, which is good enough for printing them out into a large enough mask size without any quality problems.
To download the file, head to LeChuck80's emoji collection page on your computer and hit the "Download" button to get the ZIP file.
After you unzip the file, the emojis will be categorized into five folders: Emoji Smiley, Emoji Objects, Emoji Nature, Emoji Places, and Emoji Symbols.
Here are just a few of the many fun emojis you can print and cut out for Halloween masks or props:
Once you find the emoji(s) you want to download, simply print them. You'll probably get better results with photo-quality paper, as it'll be sturdier when used as a mask.
In your printer settings, make sure to select "Scale to Fit," then choose "Print Entire Image" to get the emoji to print in full-size. If you want to make it even bigger, you can select "Scale" instead and enter a percentage number.
Once you're done, cut them out, along with the eye and mouth sections, then poke holes to add string. An elastic band might also be better at keeping the mask snug against your face.
Now tell me that isn't the easiest Halloween costume ever?!
If you'd rather spend a little dough or save on printer ink, you can purchase Grin, Cool Guy, Crying, Evil Guy, Grin, Heart Eyes, Laughing, Laughing Tears, Moon Face, Poop, Rage, Shocked, Sleepy, Sly Guy, or Unamused emoji masks for $7.99 each over at EmojiMasks — or all 15 masks for $69.99. If you're so inclined, there's even a Poop Emoji Party Pack in five, ten, and 15-pack varieties, starting at $34.99.
These masks are molded with thin plastic and have more depth than our homemade printed ones, but again, you're limited to just 15 choices. Also, you have to wait for shipping, which is a no-go when it comes to desperate, last-minute Halloween costumes.
No matter what you choose, these emoji masks are good to go on their own — or you can scale up the fright factor by wearing a creepy hoodie or throwing in some red paint. Bloody smiling pile of poop, anyone?
Which emoji combination are you going to print out? Let us know in the comments below, or upload a photo of your outfit!