Introduction: Masquerade Mask

A quick guide to make a plague or bird style masquerade mask. I made mine for a wedding I was going to.

Step 1: Materials

Most items you can find at your local craft store or hobby shop. If you have problems finding wire mesh you can go to a hardware store and use wire screen. 

Items Needed

Wire Mesh(you can use cardboard or poster paper)
Half mask form
Flour and water to make paper mache paste(or you can use a paper clay)
Glue Gun
White glue or mod podge or spray adhesive
Thin wire(can be found in jewellery section in craft stores)
Sharpie or some other type of marking device
Any other supplies you would like to use to decorate your mask

Step 2: Creating the Beak

Scissors/ pliers
Wire Mesh
Thin wire string
Hot gule gun and glue

I created the beak in three sections the two sides and the top then connected them with thin wire you can also use hot glue to connect the pieces just be careful not to burn yourself. I placed paper on the surface I was using to help catch any wire clipings.

For the sides: Cut a section of wire mesh roughly the length and double the width you want the beak to be, then fold in half. With a sharpie draw a rough outline of the shape you want.  Make sure you add ¼ inch extra to the sides of your drawing and about a ½ - ¾  inch extra to the bottom. This will help when connecting  the pieces and will help with creating the bottom. 
Cut out the shape you just made.

Lightly press on your mesh to make a rounded form within the lines that you marked.  Place the two sides together and at the top there will be a opening. On the bottom fold the pieces and lightly bend to create the bottom. If there is extra metal you can trim it off once you have the shape you want.

For the top: Cut a piece of mesh in roughly the shape and size(plus extra to connect) of the top opening that was created when the sides were added. Now once again lightly shape the mesh.

With your metal wire cut little pieces about an inch long and with your two sides of mesh together place them threw the holes and twist the pieces at the top to connect the pieces. Do all along where the metal joins, once the sides and bottoms are connected add the top piece and do the same. Helpful hint: I made a bunch of thin wire strips and bent them in half so it is easier to slide them into the pieces you want to connect.

Now that you have everything connected you can adjust your shape to exactly how you want it and cut off the extra mesh and any long bits.

Once all the excess mesh is cut you are going to affix the beak with to your half mask with hot glue careful not to burn yourself.

Double check that everything has been trimmed and that there isn’t a large glue lump as when you cover with the Paper Mache the less clean it is now the more layers you will need to smooth it out unless you want the lumps and bumps.

Step 3: Paper Mache and Gesso

Or if you can find it you can use cello clay

Create your paper mache glue, I made mine the following way:
You need 5 parts water to 1 part flour. In a pot heat your water to a boil, while waiting whisk your flour into a little warm water. Then add it to boiling water. Cook for 2-5 minutes you want it to be the consistency of a thick glue if needed add a little more flour. Make sure there is no lumps.
Allow to cool and now you have your glue. 

While your glue is cooling rip up bits of newspaper and a white paper(optional I layer mine so you don’t miss any spots but you can use all the same paper). Tearing the paper by hand is better then cutting with scissors as it gives a nice feathery edge.

Now the fun part, dip a piece of paper into your glue mix and layer onto the mask covering it all. Once covered in a single layer allow to completely dry. Cover and put glue in fridge while not in use. When you first layer is dry add your second with the other color of paper and allow to completely dry. Follow this process until you have a fairly  smooth surface. I did four layers.

I created a more pronounced ridge on the top of my beak my boiling water and newspaper together till it created a mushy pulp then I ran it quickly threw my food processor, then drained the excess water and allowed to dry. Once dry I mixed in the glue and added to the beak and shaped how I wanted and let completely dry.  You could also use cello clay for this and it is much easier. I added the ridge onto the first layer.

If you are using cello clay when it dries you are able layer and sand to create a smooth layer. I could not find cello clay till after I made my mask so I just made sure my layers did not over lap paper too much and that everything was very smooth.

Priming the paper mache:
Once completely dry paint a thin layer of Gesso on the entire mask. Allow to completely dry and then sand. Repeat process till you have a smooth surface.

If you put a thick layer or Gesso or do not allow it to dry completely the finish will crack.

Step 4: Paint and Decorating

Spray paint
Mod Podge or adhesive of your choice
Glitter Paint

Spray the mask with spray paint make sure you have a even layer.
While the paint is drying take about 1/3 cup of mod podge and add glitter to it mix then paint onto the mask. While the glitter glue layer is still tacky shake more glitter onto the mask. Allow to completely dry.

If you don’t want to mix glitter with mod podge you can just use spray adhesive spray the hole mask then sprinkle the glitter on.

I then took purple glitter glue and lined the eyes. I added rhinestones and added some feathers to the mask with hot glue.

Decorate to your own taste.

Step 5: Liner, Ribbon and Finished Mask

Glue gun

On the sides of the mask make a hole that is just large enough to put ribbon threw.
Cut a length of ribbon so that it is long enough to tie. Tie a knot in one end of the ribbon and pull threw the hole you just made. I add hot glue to the hole to keep the ribbon in place.

Take your felt and cut pieces to fit on the inside of the mask and hot glue into place. Trim away any felt you can see from the front side of your mask.

Now all that’s left to do it wear your awesome mask.

Halloween Props  Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Props Contest