The materials for this fun mask making project include:
- large bowl
- craft paper (cut into 1 inch by 6- to 9-inch strips)
- paper maché paste (you can make by mixing flour and water mixture)
- craft knife
- white computer paper (torn into strips)
- decorations: acrylic paint, feathers, glitter, crystals, buttons, etc.
- gold and silver leaf (I like working with this for venetian style masks)
- petroleum jelly (to protect your face)
- straws for the nose (if you are making a full face mask)
Before getting ready to start to make your venetian mask, you should clear a clean work surface with a layer of newspaper or an old dropcloth that can get soiled. This project involves a lot of sticky stuff that makes this quite the messy project.
Making the Paper Maché Paste
In preparation, make sure you have plenty of torn craft paper strips that measure about 1 inch by 6- to 8-inch. The more jagged the edges, the better.
In order to hold everything together, a paste made from flour and water is required. Combining one part flour with five parts of water creates this mixture, which is then placed in a pot on top of the stove and brought to a boil.
Next, you should simmer the paste for three minutes. In order to prevent the formation of mold, you should add one or two tablespoons of salt to the paste. In the end, the mixture should be the same consistency as glue. The last step is to cool the mixture and then place it in a plastic container.
Coat the maskers face with plenty of petroleum jelly before you add the paper maché. Make sure that the paste is cool and made as directed before applying the paper mache.
Layering the Paper Maché to Form a Mask
To add strength and body to your mask, dip newspaper strips into the paste to coat, and then place on the milk jug in a horizontal pattern. Add strips in a slightly overlapping manner, continuing across the entire jug. Remove any excess material before applying to the 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 takes each layer 24-48 hours to dry, so place leftover paste in the refrigerator. To revamp the mixture for the next day, simply place the paste in the microwave for one minute. Make sure that it is cool enough after the microwave before you start working again.
When it comes to the second layer, you should angle the strips in a horizontal pattern, still overlapping. This will be the final layer, but this time you will use torn strips of white computer paper so you will have an easier surface to paint and decorate.
Decorating Your Homemade Paper Maché Mask.
Allow the last layer to dry before decorating. You may make venetian style masks one solid color, 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 to attach feathers buttons, trim tassles and whatever else you would like to have on your custom made venetian style paper mache mask!