Introduction: CHEAP/Easy Masquerade Mask
My goal is to get what I want for cheaper ,than settling for " It'll work ". Then I love to show others how to do the same.
I will walk you through how to make a mask but you can choose what it will be. There are many sites online that provide free printouts. You can modify the design how you wish.
I also made a robot mask for my toddler, so the options are endless. For my toddlers mask I used a 2 liter bottle to form it for the forehead and then for the nose area I just taped a piece of cardboard to the bottle. Just something small enough to create a curve for the bridge of the nose. I followed all of the steps below (excluding step 2) and then glued aluminum foil to the outside.
Super cheap, durable, lightweight, custom and EASY!
Cost if you had to buy everything? around $3 -assuming you have a hairdryer, a hot glue gun and plastic wrap
** Mine is still in progress will post more pics later. Keep in mind this is my first mask ever. This one can come out a lot better with the magic that some of you crafters can do. **
Plenty of paper the color of your choosing I bought a pack of colored construction paper from the dollar store
A printout of the design you want
Model or foam head
Hot glue gun
Elastic straps, elastic string, ribbon etc - you can find ribbon at the dollar store but I had to go to the craft store for the elastic
Old towel if using model
Small paint brush for applying the glue
Embellishments or paint
Craft time: will vary I did mine in 4-5 hours not including drying time
Model time 10-20 mins
Step 1: Forming the Mask
Print and cut out your mask. then using the construction paper in the color of your choosing you need to cut out another mask. Use your printed mask as a template and cut the colored paper 1/2" larger than the template. Set colored cutout aside.
Now, you want to get some good music on and lay your model down on a towel.
Place the plastic wrap over half the face to the top of the upper lip
I only focused on getting the facial features right, not worrying about the sides of the mask at this point.
Position the mask on the model
Once I got a good coat of white glue around the eyes, nose and brows I started forming and folding where it was needed - focus on the bone shapes of the face - try to get a nice curve on the cheeks, brows, nose and forehead areas - Get your fingers in it so you can feel the bone shape of the face
Do one eye at a time, once you have it in the general shape you want, use the hair dryer to dry it in place. Do other side
This should only take about 10-20 mins so any teenager should be able to tolerate it. ;-)
Let it dry approx 30-1hr
** You do have to work the glue into the paper before it starts to be more soft and pliable. Once that happens it will be much easier to work with. Just keep brushing on coats until it starts to soften **
Step 2: Stiffening the Mask
You should have a flimsy but workable mask right now
Tear small strips of colored paper and paper mache it on with the glue
Don't form it completely flat - you want a curve in the center so it wraps your face - overall it will be more comfortable than one that just rests on your nose and ears
Ideas to try:
You can add details by gluing thin rope to the paper and then papering over that
You can add veins or designs by creasing the paper when it's wet (see image 3) I didn't do any creasing on mine until the last layer
You can also mold the mask better when its wet during the first few layers of paper mache
You can get longer points by wrapping strips in a spiral on the ends to make sure the spirals stay secured to the mask make sure one end of the spiral piece lays flat on the back side of the mask them spiral it around - the other end will finish at the tip of the spiral - Once your spiral has dried it may be a little weak so be sure to paper mache over it to add strength - you will be able to tell if it need more support or not
Once the paper gets nice and wet you can almost mold it like clay
You can hot glue wire into the mask for support for taller or wider masks, then paper mache over it - be sure to smooth out the hot glue while it's hot with a layer of paper - I suggest this method be used on the back side of the mask to hide it better
You can also use anything you can find that has a smooth round point or wedge to get more definition along the rope/bat wing veins - you want it to be smooth so it doesn't tear or cut the paper when your running it along the rope lines- gently used end of an old credit card perhaps?
Using different sizes of rounded smooth objects like the ends of paint brushes to get designs pressed into the mask -Use the rounded end on the backside to create an embossed look during the first few layers - you may need to press the design in on each layer
More detail will be in my last layer
I did 3 layers before the final layer - making sure it dried completely between layers
You will need to make minor adjustments to the mask such as curving the nose area - for that I found marker that was approx the width the bridge of my nose - re-glued the nose area to get it wet and then put the marker in place and let it dry to get a nice curve
** I did help this along by using a hair dryer while molding a curve in the wings, nose and any fine tuning. After forming it, I would then be sure let it dry over night too**
Step 3: Smoothing It All Out
In the first pic you can see the line of the paper.
If you want to smooth this out to remove any lines, then cut out another mask shape in the color of your choosing making sure it's approximately 1/4" larger than the mask, so you can wrap it around the edges - then glue it down in sections - smoothing it out as you go.
I cut out just the face section of the mask to smooth out mine. Then for the wings I did smaller sections, creasing it as I glued it down.
Step 4: Back of Mask
Figure out where you need your straps to be and mark it
I took black elastic string, braided it and hot glued it to the back side. Then paper mache over that. *Hot glue down as much string as you can but leave 1/4"1/2" from the edges or it will pull the sides of the mask too much.
Press the paper over the hot glue while it's still soft to smooth it out - BE CAREFUL!! IT's HOT!
Paper Mache the entire back with colored paper
Let dry and then paint it how you wish!
You can add a clear coat as a final finishing
I'm still embellishing mine with metallic pens, rhinestones etc.
If you choose a different style mask and have any problems let me know and I will be happy to throw some creative ideas your way so you can accomplish your goal.