How to Make a Papier-Mache Mask

How to Make a Papier-Mache Mask


How to Make a Papier-Mache Mask. Make a papier-mache mask for Halloween, a
masquerade party, Carnival time, or anytime! You will need An old tablecloth A work smock
A clean, empty plastic gal. jug, labels removed Strong scissors A craft knife An elastic band
Newspaper White computer paper Unbleached flour or glue Acrylic paint and decorations. Step 1. Cover your workspace with an old tablecloth
or sheets of newspaper, and wear something to protect your clothes, like a smock. Step 2. With strong scissors, cut the plastic jug
in half lengthwise. Turn the jug upside-down: The handle will
serve as the mask’s nose. Cut holes for your eyes and mouth with a craft
knife. Cut a small hole on each side of the mask,
at ear level, for an elastic band. Step 3. Tear newspaper and white computer paper into
strips about one inch by six inches. Shredding the paper by hand works better than
cutting it. You’ll need enough pieces to cover your
mask with three layers of newspaper and one layer of computer paper, plus some extra paper
for molding facial features. Step 4. Whisk two cups of flour and one cup of water
into a paste, adding a bit more of either, if needed, to reach a gluey consistency. You can also use glue thinned out with water. Step 5. One by one, dip a newspaper strip into the
paste, shake off the excess, and lay it flat against the mask horizontally, taking care
not to cover the holes. Overlap each strip with a new one. When you’ve finished the first layer, let
it dry completely before putting on the next one. This time, apply the strips vertically. If you’re putting away your project for
the night, store the unused paste in the refrigerator. The next day, microwave it for one minute
before using. Step 6. Apply the strips for the third layer horizontally. After you’ve applied three layers, mold
some of the newspaper strips into features, like cheekbones and eyebrows. Step 7. Make the last layer out of the torn computer
paper, applying the strips vertically. The white paper will give you a blank canvas
for creating your character. If you live in a damp climate, you can dry
the mask on a lightly oiled cookie sheet in an oven set to warm. Check on the mask after about 30 minutes. Step 8. When the mask is completely dry, decorate
it with paint, feathers, glitter, sequins, beads, fabric, rhinestones, or whatever will
make it your own! Did you know At 12 to 16 feet tall and several
feet wide, the Igbo _ijele_ mask is one of the largest ceremonial masks made in Africa.

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