Make Your Own simple masquerade Mask

Making paper maché masks is a great way to pass the time when looking for fun and interesting activities to enjoy with the kids or to make your own distinctive design. Not only is it quite easy to create paper mache masks at home, but it also uses common household items in the process.

A black Venetian mask  having Swarovski Crystals applied

tHE MATERIALS FOR THIS FUN MASK MAKING PROJECT.

Large bowl
Craft paper or newspaper cut into 3cm by 15-23cm strips
Paper maché paste (wallpaper paste or pva glue is good)
Scissors
Craft knife
Balloon
Decorations: acrylic paint, feathers, glitter, crystals, etc.
Gold and silver leaf (very good for venetian style masks)
Petroleum jelly (to protect your face)
Straws for the nose (if you are making a full face mask)

GETTING STARTED

Before getting ready to start to make your venetian mask, you should clear a clean work surface & cover with a layer of newspaper or an old table cloth that can get dirty. The mask making involves a lot of sticky gluing! Prepare plenty of torn paper strips (the more jagged the edges the better) & the paste. Start by applying petroleum jelly to the face or balloon then dip the paper strips into the paste & apply. To add strength and body to your mask add strips in a slightly overlapping manner, continuing across the entire mask. Next, wrap short strips about the eyeholes from the front to the back of the mask. Then, allow the first layer to completely dry. You should know that it could take each layer a few hours to dry. When it comes to the second layer, you should angle the strips in a horizontal pattern, still overlapping-Keep doing this until you have the thickness & shape of mask you require.

A mask being made in  a Venice shop
A homemade masquerade mask being decorated

DECORATING YOUR HOME-MADE PAPER MACHÉ MASK.

Allow the last layer to totally dry before atempting to decorate your mask. You may make venetian style masks one solid colour, and then add details as you go. You could paint rings around the eyeholes, or include stripes or spots in your decoration. Use hot glue or a strong adhesive to attach feathers, gems, trim tassels and whatever else you would like to have on your custom made venetian style paper mache mask - Let your imagination run wild! 

CARE & MAINTENANCE OF YOUR MASK

Use either a feather duster or a dry soft cloth.

Do not use any detergent or chemicals.

Keep away from heat, humid conditions or direct sunlight.