Make a realistic (highly detailed) mask in 2 evenings for under $20! Lightweight too!
-Photo of animal you want to make mask of (this example is a woodpecker)
-Base Paper mache mask ($2 from michaels, comes with elastic)
-Model Magic air dry "clay" by Crayola ($5 per color) Its lightweight "foamy" texture
-Thin cardboard (cereal box)
-ModPodge (or other Gloss coating)
-Toothpick, press in textures
-Accent acrylic paint (liquid type)
-Embelishmenets: Feathers or whatevs
Step 1: Building Your Frame
Design your silhouette- or outline of your mask. I added a "cap" to the top and "beak" to the nose. I cut a few tries from paper and tried it front of the mirror. If you are wearing this to a cocktail party, make sure you can drink with it on! I couldn't get my wine glass to tip under my beak and had to throw my head to get a sip! To make the accents symmetrical, fold a piece of scrap paper in half and cut out a half, then use that as a pattern on your cardboard. Then glue them on with tacky glue. Tape and clothespins help hold the pieces in place while it dries (20 minutes in warm weather, overnight to be safe.) Now you have a canvas to start building on!
Step 2: Shaping the Face
If you have multi colors- draw the outline delineating each color section on the mask with pencil. For me it was stripes.
Add your elastic band here, before you put on the clay. We just tied double knots.
Model magic as a material dries fairly quickly so keep the remains in a Tupperware while you use small bits(walnut sized ball) at a time. Start on the eyebrow and work your way around the eye, adding texture with toothpick or what you wish as you go. Do not spread it thin in layers, it dries too fast! So I would do the eye brows first, then side of eye, then below part. One color at a time. Let it dry in between colors- it is really easy to smush previous work.
Step 3: Painting and Accents
When the clay has fully dried (24 hrs) you can start painting accents. Once satisfied, if you would like it to be glossy- coat it with Modpodge gloss. It helps catch the light and show the texture (esp in a darker room). I added "shadows" on my red and white section with black watercolor to help add dimension.
Lastly, add your embellishments! Glue feathers on the backside, and taped them in place while glue dried.
-Paint backside of snout/beak. Once we arrived at our party, we realized the backside of our beak was showing with cereal box graphics from the side perspective.
-The clay does shrink a tad as it dries, and ours had minimal cracking, hardly noticeable.
-Do not use sharpie marker on the clay- it seeps through.
-The Model Magic clay adheres best to the natural side of cardboard (non gloss).