Midsummer Mask-Making Part 5

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Some masks make a statement. Some are downright sexy. Some protect superheroes’ identities. And some are barely there at all.

If you want to create an ethereal appearance, or you want to get some really funny double takes, try making an invisible mask. It’s a very easy bit of wizardry.

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You will need:

  • Tulle (1/4 a yard or a wide scrap)
  • Super glue
  • Glitter glue (optional)
  • Hair clips
  • Charms/jewels/etc. to suit your fancy
  • Wax paper

DSCF5047 (2)First, find your material. If you’ve ever gone shopping for foundation, you’ve probably stuck your hand under some little slide with different shades of make-up. Selecting the right tulle is pretty much the same process. It’s up to you which color you use (bring on the purple!) but if you want the invisible look, try draping the fabric over your hand before you buy it. Since my family and I would be nearly impossible to find in a snowstorm, I used a basic white tulle.

Due to the fact that the material practically vanishes on your skin, the exact shape is of little consequence. The two easiest ways to get the mask to the proper shape, however, is to either base your measurements on an existing mask, or to measure your face (hairline to nose; end to end (with spare fabric at the ends for the clips). I suggest cutting the mask a little large if you’re worried about getting the proportions right and then modifying the tulle once you’ve seen how it fits your face.

DO NOT CUT EYEHOLES. While you’re welcome to try, the fabric tends to hold its shape better – and the illusion is strongest – when the fabric is a solid strip.

DSCF5048While eyes are not required, you can use any printed pattern or the shape of an existing mask for the shape and location of the eyes. Put a layer of wax paper between the pattern and the tulle, then go over the eyes (and any other desired vines/patterns/whatever) with glitter glue. You’ll have to lift the tulle up (carefully) once or twice during the drying time and move the mask to a clean section of wax paper so the glitter glue doesn’t get fixed to the wax paper.

Once the glitter glue is dry, you can attach your clips to the outer edges of the mask. Remember to glue them to the back, and remember which way the clips snap.

DSCF5053 (2)All that’s left is to add further decoration. This is where your imagination has its chance to shine. You can add as much or as little to the mask as you like. You can have nothing but floating eye marks, an explosion of sun rays, or the map to El Dorado – it’s entirely up to you and your muse (couples counseling is not available here, sorry). I chose two charms that reminded me of tears and kept the overall design pretty simple. The wonderful thing about working with tulle, is that charms hang very well on it.

Once you’ve finished, go out, have fun, and turn some heads.

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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