The history of the mask is inextricably linked with the carnival. During this originally religious celebration, people take to the streets in costume to celebrate the fasting and the start of spring. The fancy dress costumes include masks in all shapes and sizes. The design of a masquerade or Venetian mask is quite simple -- the mask covers the top half of the face and is sometimes attached to a handle. Follow these steps to make a masquerade mask.
Method 1 of 3: From paper or cardboard
Step 1. Choose a design for your mask
The standard mask runs from just above the eyebrow to the top of the cheekbone, but yours doesn't have to be.
A basic masquerade mask is an elongated horizontal oval with a bow in it for the nose. More intricate masks can cover more of the forehead or cheeks with protruding points on either side. Look on the internet or in a party store to get ideas. You also need to decide what kind of materials you are going to use
Step 2. Sketch or print the base of your design on a piece of paper
For a sturdier mask, use cardboard. You can also use multiple layers of paper to make it stronger.
The outline should be clear with enough space inside. Use A4 size paper or cardboard -- smaller than that is not possible and larger is a waste of paper
Step 3. Add details to your sketch
Doing this now will help give you a sense of whether you like the shape of your mask enough -- you can still tweak it or add details as part of your mask shape.
Adding flames or curls to the perimeter will make your mask more interesting. Or think of hearts, stars and geometric shapes
Step 4. Cut out the mask
Be careful! Use a good pair of scissors so you don't get rips or bites. Leave some space on the sides if you want to attach a band or elastic.
Cut the holes for the eyes a lot bigger than your real eyes. If you can see more, it is more pleasant, safer and it looks better
Step 5. Indicate how you will paint it
You'll be very glad you did this -- it won't disappoint when you paint it. Lightly indicate how you are going to paint it; it should not show through the paint later.
You can start painting your mask with different colors and textures. If you outline that in advance, you can keep the symmetry well
Step 6. Paint your mask
Be careful when holding it; if your fingers get into the wet paint you can smear it all over (or get it on your clothes). Paint multiple coats for a rich glow.
The color choice is personal, but traditional colors are deep reds and metallics. Use a thin brush to draw nice lines
Step 7. Let the paint dry completely
Be patient -- this may take a while. Place it on a covered surface and let it rest for a while.
Depending on the type of paint you used, this can take up to four hours
Step 8. Stick decorations on it
This is completely up to you, but keep in mind extra weight, protrusions and stickiness. Too much decoration can also make your mask overdone.
Masquerade masks are originally garish and flashy, so you can very well add shiny stones, glitter and colorful feathers. Stick to the theme you've come up with and don't overdo it
Step 9. Paint and decorate the handle to match your mask
You can use a chopstick, a sturdy straw or a very carefully rolled up piece of cardboard for this.
Traditionally, feathers were attached to the stick, but you can also use a beaded chain, leaves or other decoration
Step 10. Attach the handle to the back of the mask
The easiest way to do this is with a glue gun, although other methods work as well.
The location of the handle is not so important. Some masks have a handle in the middle, others on the side, some have no handle at all
Step 11. Let the glue dry completely
Hold the handle in place for 30 seconds to secure it. If it still moves, put more glue in between.
Wave your mask around a bit -- if it's firm, you're done
Method 2 of 3: Made of tulle or sheer fabric
Step 1. Print out your design
With this method, you can choose a template with a lot of details. It will take a little longer, but you can add as much detail as you want.
Put it on the table. Clear a spot much larger than the paper
Step 2. Stick a piece of plastic wrap on the design with masking tape
Make sure it is completely covered and that the design underneath cannot move.
If it's difficult, tape the edges of the design to the table first
Step 3. Tape tulle over the plastic wrap
It should be much larger on all sides than your design. It doesn't have to be perfectly centered; if it's bigger.
If you don't have tulle, use sheer fabric. Tulle is firmer and easier to work with
Step 4. Trace your design with fabric paint
If it's your first mask, stick to one color. Be careful not to lean your hand into the paint, as you will smear it out.
- If you're using more than one color, be careful not to let the colors overlap too much.
- Let it dry overnight.
Step 5. Cut out the mask
Carefully remove the tulle from the table, making sure everything is dry. Cut out the edges of the mask and the holes for the eyes.
Step 6. Attach ribbons to the sides
Cut two pieces of ribbon of 50 cm each. Put some fabric glue on the ends and stick it to the mask. Let it dry for 1-2 hours.
You can cut the ribbons shorter, but make sure you can still tie it around your head
Method 3 of 3: From plaster cast
Step 1. Put Vaseline on the part of your face where the mask will be
Make it nice and thick -- if you miss a stretch, it can hurt when you take the bandage off later.
You will not pull your eyebrows out with this method. Just put a thick layer of petroleum jelly on your eyebrows; you will be happy with that afterwards
Step 2. Start shaping your mask
Cut and wet the bandage, and put an 'X' on your face. Lay the first two bars diagonally across the bridge of your nose.
- Keep applying strips of plaster until you have the shape you want. Be careful around your eyes -- leave a little more space than you think you need.
- Smooth all pieces as you apply them. You will need a smooth base to decorate later.
Step 3. Remove the mask
You have to wait for it to dry completely. When it starts to itch, you know it's almost done.
Detach the mask by moving your face. Moving the mask separates from your face and the petroleum jelly
Step 4. Adjust the shape of the mask
This step is optional -- if you already like the shape, continue decorating. But if you want to tweak it a bit, go ahead!
If you want to add ears or other shapes, cut it out of a piece of cardboard and stick it on. Put some more plaster cast over it until it's smooth and let it dry
Step 5. Attach a handle
The easiest way to do that is with a chopstick. Glue it on and put a piece of plaster over the tip. Make it smooth again.
Basically any stick is good. Once you're done with the handle, let it dry overnight
Step 6. Take a piece of sandpaper
Sand coarser pieces nicely smooth. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you can get the grainy texture of the plaster smooth with it.
Buff off the dust with a cloth and spray a coat of clear paint over it as a base coat. Let it dry
Step 7. Start painting
Here you can do anything you want. It may be wise to stick to one color. Most masquerade masks have only one color.
You can apply a little glitter or a coat of varnish when you're done painting. That gives a nice finish
Step 8. Decorate your mask
With it you can hide the tip of your handle and make your mask look professional and stylish.
Think bows, feathers, ribbon and jewelry. And preferably a combination of all of this
- You can purchase a plastic face mask from a party or craft supply store, which will allow you to skip making a paper mask.
- If you make too much detail around the edges of your design, it will be difficult to cut out.
- If your paper mask is too thin, wrap it on cardboard and tape it to the back.
- Stay calm if things go wrong. You can restore it if you are patient.
- If you also paint the inside of the mask, it will not warp.