I have been making masks for several years, and only last year, being on a more stringent budget, I decided to use cardboard for the major part of the masks I had been making. It is such a flexible material in terms of usage, and it's free! I just go to the grocery store at 5am, and the night crew is finishing up with their stocking so am able to get all the cardboard I want. I keep my eyes open as I drive around and usually find cardboard of all kinds just lying on the ground by stores that have opened their boxes and not disposed of them yet. For this instructable, I will make a Swami, but please look at the other pictures in this step.
Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed
All the usual arts and craft tools, scissors, craft knife, ruler, paint, pencils, etc. Some construction paper is used for various parts of the face: eyes, nose, mouth, etc. And of course, one of my favorite materials: Cardboard!
Step 2: Start With a Template
I use the templates available from[http:// fellersartsfactory.com] For this example mask, I will use a previously cut template, but when you get the kit(s) they are printed on a full sheet of heavy stock. Place the pieces on the cardboard, arranging them so that the best use of your material is accomplished.
Step 3: Cut Cardboard Pieces on Bandsaw
I use my bandsaw for this task. The cardboard can be cut with scissors or craft knives, but I have found this method so much faster and neater.
Step 4: Make the Features
For the most part, heavy construction paper is used to construct the eyes. I did cut the beard, nose, feather, and ear ring out with cardboard, and just painted them as shown in the next step.
Step 5: Paint Pieces Using Acrylic Craft Paint
I use regular craft paint to paint the features with. Since I have the paint and cardboard, I am saving the cost of buying expensive construction paper, and it helps recycle the materials. And, the painting doesn't have to be perfect, you just want to lay down the appropriate colors...and those can be anything you choose!
Step 6: Glue Cardboard Pieces Together
I have been using regular white glue, school glue, tacky glue, wood glue, etc...any water based adhesive seems to work fine. Place parts together according to the template and or picture of the finished project. Try to be fairly accurate in the placement of these parts, as it's difficult to re-glue parts after they have dried. The white glue dries rather rapidly, but sometimes, I will weight a piece or pieces with a brick or other similar material. Leaving the pieces to dry completely assures no separation later.
Step 7: Attach Mounting Pieces to Back of Mask
A number of different methods can be used to mount your mask. I have used construction paper, cardboard, drilled holes in the cardboard to nail to wall, etc. Whatever works for you. You do want the mask to hang straight, so I hold the mask at the top lightly, and let gravity swing the mask in my grip. Knowing how it hangs in my hand, I can locate the mounting piece by gluing it at that center point.