Introduction: Decorated Carnival Mask

Decorate a mask using your stamps or cut outs from magazines or even photographs to personalize it. Use the mask for a carnival or display as a work of art. If you're really handy you'll even make a custom made mask to fit your face, but I used a bought one that can be found in hobbystores.

What you will need:

*glue (decoupageglue or similar. I've heard you can use woodenglue mixed out with some water) and strong glue for the bling and trims(ribbon)
*images - if you use stamps you'll need giftwrapping paper, the kind you get in a shoebox or when buying flowers. Use what you have is my motto
*some kind of colouring pencils or pens
*ink and/or paint
*pretty ribbons
*sewing machine and miniclasps to hold the ribbon while the glue dries (optional)

Step 1: Ink the Edges of the Mask

Start by inking or painting the edges of your mask. Don't ink the mask itself unless you know exactly where your images will go. After making the left side I thought I was done so I inked the right side with bright red. Then I realized I wanted another image to be the focal point. Unfortunately when I glued her on, the bright red shone through. That's why the fairy on the right is so red around her face. So learn from my mistakes :)

Step 2: Stamp and Cut Out Images

Set the mask aside to dry and stamp up your images on the paper (I only had light pink, a wrapping from a gift, but if you want your colouring to be more accurate you should use white. I used what I had). I tried to stamp where there were no creases to get a good impression. I also tried to choose stamps that could easily be cut out with no tiny details. Colour them carefully and cut out.

Step 3: Glue Images on the Mask

Now for the fun, and scary part! Gluing them on. DO NOT put the decoupage glue on the images. Since the paper is so thin it will rip. Put the glue on the mask instead and the image on top. If you have slightly more glue you will be able to smooth the image out properl and move it a bit. Put the images so they go outside the edges. Cut away so there is about 1/2 inch or less and fold it around the edges.

Step 4: Adding More Images and Sealing Them

Work this way one image at a time. Don't be afraid to use parts of an image to cover up any white parts. I used a wing to cover up a spot on the top for example. Use as many images as you like, covering the whole mask or like I did - just the left side, leaving the right with one image as the focal point.

When you're happy with the result fill in any white parts with ink or paint. When it's dry, brush on some decoupage glue over the whole mask to seal it and make it more durable (we wouldn't want the mask to get ruined in the champagne rain, right?)
Now the only thing left to do is adding the final details. I thought it looked great as it was, but something was still missing. I inked the rubber band, but didn't think it looked elegant enough, so I tried with different trims and lace I had until I found the best combo.

Step 5: Decorating Rubber Band

The trims I used were stretchy which was perfect for the rubber band/neck holder. It doesn't have to be perfect, just needs to stick. If you don't have any stretchy trims you could cut away the rubber band and attach long silky ribbon that you tie at the back of your head. I sewed mine on with a seam made for stretchy fabrics. Another solution is to pull the rubber band while you sew. This will make the ribbon you use to scrunch up when the rubber band goes to its original form, which means it won't break when you pull it over your head.

Step 6: Adding Trims Around the Edge

Glue a piece of  decorative trim around the edges. I found these mini-clasps a tremendous help while waiting for the glue to dry. Just make sure you don't leave them over night as they will glue to the mask!

Step 7: Adding the Final Touch

Finally glue on some bling around one of the eyes and check that everything is looking great.

Tadaa! You have the most wonderful (if slightly itchy around the forehead) mask on the whole carnival.