One of the oldest Halloween traditions is dressing in costume, so knowing how to make Halloween crafts and how to make masks is a handy skill whether you’re heading for a party or helping your kids get ready for a night of Trick or Treating. There are several techniques–some simple, other quite difficult–when it comes to mask making. Here’s a step by step guide on how to make a basic masquerade type mask that can be decorated to fit any costume.
Things you'll need:
- Plastic half mask
- Newspaper, flour and water (for papier-mâché)
- Feathers, beads and other accessories
- Cardboard (optional)
- Tape and/or glue
- Buy a half mask The hardest part about making your own mask is getting the shape right. No one wants to wear an uncomfortable mask or a mask that keeps falling off all night. To avoid this fashion hazard, buy a cheap, plastic half mask at a party or costume store. These usually run less than two dollars a piece.
- Plan it out Before you begin, take some time to brainstorm. If you want protrusions from the mask–horns, for instance–consider cutting out cardboard in the shape you want and taping it to the mask. If you plan to add a lot of papier-mâché to the mask, it may end up being too heavy for the head band it came with. Consider adding your own head band with a length of elastic.
- Preparing the papier-mâché Rip up a few pages of newspaper into strips approximately an inch wide and a foot long. Mix water and flour in a container to form a papier-mâché paste. For a simple mask you probably won’t need more than a cup of flour. Ideally, the consistency of the paste will be a little thinner than glue.
- Get to work Pick up a piece of newspaper and dip it into your papier-mâché paste. Run your fingers along the strip of newspaper as you pull it out to remove any clumps and place it on the mask. If you added cardboard to the basic half mask, make sure you put extra papier-mâché where it attaches. Cover the entire front of the mask. You can create texture by rolling upward on newspaper and putting papier-mâché over it.
- Finishing touches After you let the papier-mâché dry completely, you can paint the mask or add other decorations such as feathers and beads. Once complete, the mask transitions from a prototype to an accessory for the perfect costume.