Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to Make a Mask

Today I'd like to share with you how I made this fabulous mask for the Shine Masquerade Ball last Thursday. Oh, I know there are TONS of tutorials online that tell you how to make masks, but what do you do if you've got to wear glasses like I do? Well if you've checked out as many websites as I did, you may have come to the conclusion that you can paint your face or carry a mask on a stick. Neither are satisfying answers to me. So I got to thinking about it, and here's what I came up with!


Isn't it fabulous? I'd love to make more elaborate ones, and believe me, I have lots of ideas in my head... ~_^ But let me tell you how I made this one!

FIRST, find some cardstock, your favorite color or white. You'll be decorating it later. Put your glasses on the paper, front of the lenses down, and trace all the way around them, making sure to get the the nose piece and the little bumps where the arms stick out. Then put your glasses back on so you can see what you're doing again! XD


NOW you can roughly sketch out your mask; I sketched out where my eye holes should go first, then made sure the eye holes and tabs where the mask would be attached to my glasses were well reinforced. I just took one piece of packing tape and pressed it across the whole area right over my sketched marks. I had trimmed the edges where the tab would be and made sure to fold it over so the tabs would have extra reinforcement. (You can see it in the pics.)

NEXT I folded my paper in half making sure to line everything up so when I cut my mask, it would be symmetrical. You might prefer to have a more free-form mask; if so, skip the folding. Then I used a marker on the tape to draw how I wanted my eye holes to look and cut on that line with a craft knife. Then I used scissors and just cut random curls and waves around the edges. You might prefer to draw it out first, but I was impatient. ^-^ Be sure to make holes on the tabs for your mask to slip onto your frames! I used a 1/4" hole punch, but something a bit more rectangular probably would have worked better.

FINALLY you can decorate your mask however you want. I sketched out some feathery swirly shapes and things and used watercolor pencils and LOTS of glitter glue on mine. When we got to Shine there were some gems and feathers available, so I added some of those too. Whatever you do, make sure to leave the lower half not too much wider than your frames so they can be put on without mishap. (I learned the hard way and lost some feathers the first time I tried to put it on.)


NOW comes the tricky part: slipping it on your frames. Take your glasses off, and hold the mask upside down to your glasses, the insides facing each other, and slip the tabs over each of the ear pieces. Slide the mask down to meet then lenses and then you need to do a little finagling to flip the mask right side over on the front of your glasses. I hesitate to give more details here, because everyone's glasses are slightly different and it might not work the same. However, since it's made of paper, and has been well reinforced, it's capable of being curled and bent a bit to get it in place. Just be careful of your decorations!


Additional tips:
  • Mod-podge works awesome to keep everything glued on and still flexible.
  • If your mask seems to flop out from your face a bit too much, try gluing a popsicle stick or coffee stirrer across the inside of the brow to help keep it flat.
  • Have fun and send me pics!

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