We all love dressing up because we can hide behind the costume and get away with playing the fool. What’s even more fun, though, is to put on a mask and really get into character. We’re going to show you how to make a standard mask here but you can make a mask to support any theme you like – it might be a Halloween party, a sneak commando attack on your friends (with Spec Ops masks) or you could make a set of cartoon masks for your little sister’s party – there’s lots of Brownie Points from the parents with that one!
This isn't an especially dangerous activity but there are a few points that you're going to need to keep in mind:
- Connecting some of the card and paper in this activity is much easier using a stapler so make sure that staples are always used with the pointy ends away from the head and face. It’s a good idea to cover both sides of any staples with a couple of strips of masking tape too.
- Eye holes and mouth holes should be made with the mask lying on a table, not when it’s on the head. NEVER poke a pencil or scissors through a mask when it's on somebody's head – it's a scarily easy way to blind or deafen somebody so DON'T do it.
- If you use a glue gun remember that they get very hot and that melted glue is both HOT and very sticky – a particularly painful combo.
Our simple yet effective masks are made up of a headband and a faceplate – the headband goes around the head like a sweatband (ask your parents to show you a picture of a couple of old tennis players called Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe). The faceplate is attached to the headband and covers the face – simple eh?
Measure your model’s head from temple to temple and cut a strip of card to match, with an overlap of 4cm. Staple the ends together but remember to leave the staple ends pointing on the side of card not facing the head. This stapled joint will sit at the back of the head when the mask is completed.
Measure and cut two more strips of card for over the top of your model’s head. One of these will run from ear to ear and the other will run from forehead to the stapled joint at the back.
Staple them all in place.
Draw the mask outline onto a sheet of card – don’t use card that’s too thin or your mask won’t stand up. If you're stuck for an idea why not make up a scary Halloween mask – make sure it's got a scary, tooth-filled mouth, drooping eyes and a crooked nose.
Cut around the mask drawing and decorate it with paint, glitter and bloody gore!
Attach the faceplate to the headband using paperclips and put the whole mask on.
Gently use your index finger to place a small piece of masking tape over each eye. REMOVE the mask and carefully create eye holes.
Attach the faceplate to the front of the headband using a glue gun or more staples.
- Use plastic vacuum formed blank masks as the basis for more complex carnival masks – you can buy these at craft shops or online in multi-packs.
- Really colourful masks can be made using foam sheets and gluing the shapes together. You can either cut the shapes out yourself or you can buy a ready cut selection.
- Use a digital camera and take pictures and video of you and your friends in your new masks. Get your parents to share the images on the Freaky Rivet Facebook page.