Midsummer Mask-Making Part 3

Nothing has the same alluring mystery as a filigree mask, does it? It’s iconic, but the endless possibilities of lace make each disguise unique.

Thing is, I don’t know how to make lace. And I certainly don’t have a laser cutter to whip-up a metal mask.

Fortunately, there is hot glue.

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 You will need:

  • A hot glue gun/ hot glue
  • Pencil and Sharpie
  • Paper
  • Disposable baking sheets or wax paper
  • Measuring tape (optional)
  • Spray paint
  • Ribbon and/or elastic
  • Beads (optional)
  • Super glue (optional)
  • Foam head/plastic mask (optional)

First, you need to plan your design. There are hundreds of excellent mask patterns online from various crafting and DIY sites, so if you want to keep things simple, you can start with one of those.

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Or, you can develop your mask from scratch. Simply measure the bridge of your nose, divide the resulting number in half, fold a piece of paper in half, and use the divided number to measure inward from the crease (for instance, if there are two inches between your eyes, you measure in one inch from the crease). It’s all a game of halves, because we’re making one side of a mirror image. Once you’ve found your mark, draw the shape of the mask’s eye hole with a pencil (I suggest measuring your eye to ensure a proper fit). Cut out the negative space, reverse the fold in the paper, and use the first eye hole to trace the second. You can then build your mask freehand.

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There is a third option, which is to print off an existing pattern, trace the eye holes onto the back of the paper, and then design your own mask around those crucial marks. Personally, I believe this is the best way.

If you drew your own pattern, flesh out the lines with a Sharpie. The bolder, the better.

Take your finished pattern and cover it with a transparent baking sheet or some wax paper. You should be able to see your mask outline through the cover. Trace the pattern with hot glue.

Once the hot glue has dried, you should be able to peel it off the baking sheet. Wax paper won’t come off right away, but I suggest going ahead and ripping off the excess chunks, otherwise they will quickly become a nuisance.

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Next, it’s time to shape the mask. Hold the mask under hot water, pressing it over the face of a foam head, a plastic mask, or any round object. You could even use a two-liter bottle. However, if you don’t use a face-shaped object (a foam head or mask), be sure to keep a finger under the nose section of your hot glue mask. If you don’t, the mask will not fit well. Remember, the idea is to mold it. Once the mask is the proper shape, run it under cold water to reset the glue. If you used wax paper, it should come off under the hot water.

DSCF5026Dry off the mask and paint it. I used a flat black base and then added a partial secondary coat in silver. Spray paint is quick, easy, and adheres well to the hot glue.

I chose to add beads to my mask, and I attached them with super glue. You can, of course, use more hot glue, but I’m partial to my super gel.

Fix ribbons and/or elastic to the sides.

You’re finished.

Stylish. Sexy. Simple.

M. Leigh Hood is a rare beast of the Cincinnati wilderness typically preoccupied with writing, nerding, and filming The Spittoon List. For more articles and stories by M. Leigh Hood, look HERE.


 

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