Tuesday, March 3, 2009


[Fear not! This has nothing to do with preventing aliens from reading my mind. Although the first picture may remind you of a scene from "The Signs"]

Recently, I saw that a dinner I’ll be attending is themed as “Mysterious”, and so, I made myself a masquerade mask. I have always been fascinated with masquerade masks, but they tend to get quite pricey and also, not so available locally.

Like always, I put together a couple of crafting tutorials and improvised them for making this mask. For moulding the shape of the mask, I used 3 layers of aluminium foil (those you use in the kitchen) and pressed it up against my face. Making sure I get those brows, eye sockets, nose & cheekbones.Then, I cut into the eye sockets in flaps and folded it to the back. I tried to check in the mirror once in a while until I get the desired eye opening, for one eye first.Close-up of the opening.
To get the (close to) exact opening size, I traced the first opening, cut it out, flipped it over (mirrored) to the other side and traced it into place. And, repeat the previous process for the eye opening.
After that, looking through both openings, I sketched the outline of the mask, by pressing it up against my face and in front of the mirror. Then, I folded the extra aluminium foil along the edges, to the back. This should also make the mask have a stronger and more defined edge.
I continued to mould it for a more 3D effect. Here’s the front & the back of it.
I chose to add another base to the aluminium foil, by wrapping it up in strips of masking tape. This also holds those loose aluminium flaps in place before applying the paper mache, using toilet paper & craft glue.
Application of craft glue and layers of toilet paper strips later, I finished it off with a final coat of water with diluted craft glue, and left it to dry.
Add ImageOn the dried mask, I glue on a layer of black tulle (salvaged from other sewing projects). I chose to not cut openings at the eyes, since there was visibility through the tulle. Since most of the garnish I chose was already in black, I also did not paint the paper mache finish, so I could get a bit of contrast with the tulle lined on it. Then I garnished it further with black sequins, black feathers, black lace trims and an elaborate ‘diamond’ button.
... and voila!

At this moment, the mask kind of grabs my face at the forehead and the sides. I may add ribbons to tie it to the back of my head, or a stick to the side at a later stage.