These masks look much harder to make than they actually are, so your friends will think you're an artistic genius!
You will need:
Cereal box cardboard
scrap paper (for pattern)
Sturdy scissors (not fabric scissors)
Thin dowel (or elastic)
Bits of ribbon, trims, and tulle
Begin by creating a template. I made mine by folding a paper in half, and sketching half of the mask. I cut that out, then opened it up and tried it on. I did not get it right the first time. Experiment with eye placement, and give yourself room for your nose.
For each mask, cut two pieces of cardboard (the "inside piece" slightly smaller than the "outside" piece) and glue them together. It's important to use two pieces, because when you glue the two layers together, you will be able to shape the masks to fit the curve of your face. The moisture from the glue will make the cardboard pliable, and allow you to curve the cardboard without causing creases and bends.
I like to form my masks around a vase or pitcher that is roughly the right size. You can hold it onto your form with an elastic band. I check on it a couple of times to make sure the cardboard pieces are making good contact with each other.
When the masks are completely dry, give them a coat or two of gesso, if you have it. Otherwise, mix a little glue and paint and use that. This will give you a very hard, paintable surface.
Now, for the fun part! Grab some paints, or fabric, and trimmings, and decorate your mask to match your costume.
You can even add a "beak" for a Venetian inspired mask. I also decided to reinforce the cardboard at the bridge of the nose.
For the other mask, I added butterfly wing veining using hot glue, then gave the whole thing another coat of gesso to make it paintable. After your masks are decorated, add a narrow dowel to one side, using hot glue. Attach ribbons and trims, as well. If you don't want to use a dowel, punch a hole on either side, and attach a piece of elastic.
The masks turned out beautifully, and have received lots of compliments!
They are perfect for Halloween, but hang on to them for those Mardi Gras festivities, as well!
For another (not so) spooky project, try this lace applique owl!
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