Tuesday, October 29, 2013

diy; halloween masks

Adrian and I decided a while ago that this year we wanted to make our own Halloween masks. We love the way paper mache masks look, but neither of us had ever really worked with paper mache before. I'm really excited with how they turned out! We were putting off this project for a while because we didn't know what to use as a base for the masks, until one morning Adrian thought of using a trash bag. We wanted to start right away and didn't have time to go out and get supplies at the time, so we used what we had around the house.

Supplies used: thin pliable paper (we used some wrapping paper we found at Target last year for $1), trash bag, tape, a medium bowl, glue (Elmer's or similar), water, a brush for mixing, computer paper, paint, paintbrushes, a cloth or newspaper to cover your work area, and an x acto knife.
First, mix equal parts water and glue in a bowl. You may need to mess around with the measurements depending on the thickness of your glue. You want it to be thinner than pancake batter, but not too thin and watery. Once mixed, set your bowl aside. Blow up your bag using a pump for an air mattress or something similar (you can also just blow it up yourself, this just saves some time) and tie off the bag. We then shaped our bags into the shape we wanted, mine was a cat and his a Jack O' Lantern. The Jack O' Lantern was definitely easier. I then taped my bag as needed, for the ears etc. Once our bags were in the shapes we wanted we started with our first layer of paper. You want to use the wrapping paper for your first layer and the computer paper for your second. Cut the paper into thin strips, about an inch or so wide and 2-3 inches long. One by one, dip each strip into the glue mixture and place in onto your bag. Make sure to smooth it out. Do this with each strip, overlapping the edges, until your bag us fully covered. Set aside until fully dry, about 3-4 hours.
Once dry do a second layer of paper in the same way as the first, this time with computer paper. If it still feels too thin you may need to do a third layer. Once your second layer is fully dry cut a hole in the bottom large enough for your head to fit through.
Remove the bag and cut any other holes needed, like eye holes with your x acto knife. Adrian also cut a mouth hole for his Jack O' Lantern. You're now ready to paint! Both of our designs are based off of vintage candy buckets which I think are super creepy!
I can't tell you enough how happy I am with how they turned out! These masks are probably one of my favorite things we've ever made. I definitely plan to make more masks in the future. Paper mache is so much fun!!

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