Monday, April 16, 2012

DIY Mask

I don't remember doing fun projects like this in High School. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if we did. K1 is reading Romeo and Juliet in English and they are going to have a big party at the end with food and homemade masks. She's been really excited about this assignment and I have to admit that it's been one of my favorites.

There are lots of "ready to decorate" masks at the local craft store, but K1 wanted to make a fitted one.  I was hesitant at first, but it turned out to be a great idea. The plastic ones we could have bought just aren't that comfortable and don't fit well on every face. Making your own can be a bit messy, so be prepared.

All you need is newspaper, flour, water, and Vaseline.  It's like paper maché for your face. 

  • Cut newspaper into little pieces - we used 1-inch squares.
  • Mix 2 parts water to 1 part flour to make paste - we used 2 cups water and 1 cup flour and more than enough.  
  • Pull hair back and secure.  wrap a towel around shoulders to keep clothes from getting messy.
  • Cover face in Vaseline to keep the mask from sticking.
  • Dip newspaper in paste and slide between two fingers to remove excess paste.  You may need to mix the paste throughout the process as it tends to separate.
  • Place newspaper around face in the desires shape until you have the thickness and shape you want. We made our pretty thick because we wanted it to be really sturdy to hold the decorations.
  • She wasn't as unhappy as she looks.
  • Let dry on face.  If you remove and the mask folds at all, put it back on.  We used a hair dryer on the cool setting to speed it up.
  • Trim the edges - you can also smooth out the edges with sand paper.
  • Paint and decorate!
I love how it turned out. K1 chose to paint it silver and then applied black shoe polish to give it an antique look. With the slight texture of the newspaper, it ended up looking like pounded metal - awesome!
You can go overboard with the decor, so be warned.
Feathers are fun and there are tons of things you can add. We glued black elastic lace to the sides to tie on, but you could also punch a hole in the mask to tie ribbons or elastic. Or you can attach a stick if you would like a mask that you hold up to your face.
She's really happy with it and proud that she did it herself. This is one project I think we will probably do again. There are so many ways to wear masks and my girls just love to dress up.  Hope your weekend was as fun as mine!

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