Introduction: How to Make: a Masquerade Headpiece
I have always been intrigued with bizarre and extreme fashion. For example, I am mesmerized by the work of Alexander McQueen. I can spend hours on Pinterest or Google looking at fashion shows, masquerades, cosplay and anything out of the ordinary. I have a passion for crafting and creating. I spend many of my weekends in the basement tinkering with projects and redesigning things. I am a user, believer and supporter of DIY projects. I hope this instructable empowers someone else to venture out and make a mask of their own.
Step 1: Supplies
I gathered any supplies I thought I might want to use. Below is the list of supplies that I ended up using in this project.
1 Bag Preserved Forest Moss
1 Bag Ashland Mixed Moss
1 Bag The Moss Collection
1 Box Large Butterflies
1 Box Small Butterflies
1 Coiled Wire
1 Pot Hanger Frog
1 E6000 Adhesive
1 Bunch of Orchids
1 Bunch white Bell Flowers
1 Bunch Ivy
1 Bunch Hanging Greens
3 Small Cabbage
1 Green 24 gauge wire
1 Bunch of Fern
1 Bunch Lace Fern
1 Birds Nest
1 Bag Bird Eggs
1 Hair Clip
1 Twig Branch
Most of these ideas can be found at your local craft stores. I collected these items from Micheal's, Craft Warehouse and Joann Fabric. These stores frequently have sales and almost always have coupons for at least 40% off one item. I also commandeered a few small pieces of bark of a huge cedar tree in my yard. You will not use the full three bags of moss for this project but I wanted to have a variety. I knew I would end up using the rest sooner or later in other projects.
Step 2: Adhere the Foam Holder
I started by gluing the foam pedestal holder to the left upper portion of the mask. I used E6000 to adhere it. I waited approximately 30 minutes before coming back to the project.
You may use whatever glue you like. I strongly suggest E6000. Its does not set as fast as super glue and will come off your fingers. It has a nice tackiness and still sets relatively quick. You don't have to worry about burning yourself like hot glue. It has a good hold after an hour and holds extremely well after 24 hours. It does have a strong odor and I would only use in a well ventilated area.
Step 3: Around the Eyes
Smear your adhesive around the top of the eye. Tear off bits of moss and press it into the glue. Continue smearing the glue around the eye and pressing moss into it. I find it helps to periodically go back and gently press on the areas completed.
Once the first eye is completed, add adhesive around the foam base. This is just to add extra strength to its adhesion to the mask. Continue on to the opposite eye and complete like the first.
Step 4: Eyelashes
I wanted to give the eyes an appearance of eyelashes. I trimmed off pieces of a lacy fern since they progressively got smaller.Dip the end of the fern stem in adhesive. Starting with the outside of the eye, working towards the nose, glue the little fern pieces around the eye. You will want to nestle the stem into the moss already around the eye. Use the longest pieces for the outside so that they get smaller towards the inside. Do the same for the bottom eyelashes. Repeat for the other eye.
Step 5: The Nose
To give a little more time for the eyes to form a good bond I moved onto the nose. Starting with the bridge (top) of the nose, smear glue to small portions working down the left side towards the tip of the nose. I would cover about 2 square inches with adhesive followed by pressing different sizes and kinds of moss into it. Every so often gently place your hand over the newly covered area and apply light pressure for a minute or two. Continue this process until the nose is completely covered in moss.
Step 6: Bark
I wanted to incorporate some bark into the mask which I added at this point. I played around with a few pieces placing them in different spots till I found a configuration that I liked. Once you know where you want them, put a line of adhesive down the back and nestle into the moss. You will want to give these about 5 minutes also allowing the nose some more time to adhere before moving on.
Step 7: Fill in the Face
Starting at the middle of the forehead and working out to the side, continue gluing and covering the mask in moss. Work around the foam holder, down the cheek and around to the nose. When you are satisfied, repeat the process for the opposite side. Complete the next step while the adhesive is still tacky and not set.
Step 8: Coil Wire and Frog
I wanted to add a little more detail to my headpiece. I had some coiled wire that looks kind of like vines. You can take the coiled wire and bend it around in loops with either your hands or with the help of some pliers. Add some adhesive to the part that will make contact with the mask and nestle into the moss. Make any adjustments to the moss and coiled wire in the first few minutes, before it has time to set.
I originally wanted to add some kind of bugs, slugs, snails or other small critters to it. I was having a hard time finding ones I liked, or any at all, for that matter. Fall is not really the season for those in the craft stores. The best time to find things like that would be Spring and Summer but I didn't really want to wait that long.
I did find a frog that hangs on the side of a planter pot at my local Michael's. I was a little hesitant to get it at first. It's arms looked funny as they were curved weird to hang onto the edge of a planter pot. In the long run, this actually ended up working perfectly to hand onto the top of the mask.
After gluing on the coiled wire, add adhesive to the belly and under arms of the frog and hang over the top edge of the mask. I used one leg of the frog to help hold the coiled wire in place. At this point, I would suggest taking at least a 15 minute break, giving the adhesive sometime to firm up.
Step 9: Side Floral Bouquet
I think of the whole project, this was my favorite step to complete. Hopefully, you will find it enjoyable too. You can use whatever greens and flowers you like for this step. It is helpful, but not necessary, for the plants to have wire in the stem. If they do, you will be able to better bend and manipulate them to your desired location.
Start by building a base for the design that inspires you. I wanted mine to curve over the top of the head and drape down over the shoulder. Continue adding greens and flowers till you are satisfied with the design. Typically your start by building a base of greenery, move to the point of interest or bigger flowers and follow with accent or fillers till happy. Have fun with this and don't be afraid to change your mind. The foam will be a little forgiving allowing you to pluck something out if you decide you don't like it and put something else in.
The foam pedestal holder I used is an oasis. Oasis foam holders are designed for fresh flowers. You soak them in water before making your floral arrangement. I could not find one that was made with dry foam for silk/artificial flowers. As such, the oasis foam will be softer and not hold the stems as tightly as a dry foam would. The issue of possible loose stems can be resolved by adding E6000 or floral adhesive around the foam and stems, once your design is complete. I would suggest completing the next step before or while the glue is still wet or you might have difficulty adding anything else into the foam. You can also add some moss in around the stems. The moss will also help hide the holder if your bouquet is on the airier side.
Step 10: Adding the Butterflies
The butterflies I bought at Michael's were pre-wired. If yours are not, you will want to add wire to the back of them. If they have a clip on the back, as many do, you may be satisfied enough to clip them onto your foliage. If not, carefully remove the clip and add a wire. A hot glue gun would make quick work of this task if you have one.
The wire on the butterflies I have is thin. I was unsure if the wire would hold adequately in the foam and easily support the butterfly. I also wanted some with more length than the wire offered. To resolve this, I used stems that I had trimmed off in step 9. All you have to do, is give the wire a few good wraps around the stem and then plug into the foam at your desired location. If you have some available to you, wood floral picks would also work great for this.
Step 11: Birds Nest Clip
I had originally incorporated this into the bouquet but didn't really like its placement there. There was not a great way to adhere it to the mask on the opposite side. Then it dawned on me, I could simply turn it into a hair clip to get it just preciously where I wanted it.
I start by gluing a small tuff of moss into the birds nest. The moss will help give the eggs a little more substance to hold onto. Put a dab of glue on the back of each egg and set into the moss.
You have two options for the clip. You can glue it to the back of the nest or wire it. I choose to wire mine. If you elect to do the same, you will need two short pieces of wire. Each wire should be a few inches long. Make a skinny U shape with your wire, sending it from the top of the nest to the bottom. Twist the wire around the top of the hair clip. You will want to be sure the ends of the wires are tucked away in a way that they will not accidentally poke you in the head.
Step 12: Final Project and Final Thoughts
If I had this project to do over again, I would have make a his and hers mask set. I would not have add the side bouquet. I would have made it with just the moss and bark, as a his mask. I would have made a second mask, that looks like the current one, but without the long nose. This would be the hers mask.
I hope you have found this instructable helpful and feel inspired to start your own creation.