Making the Mask

November 2, 2010

Alternate title: Making a Mess

When we went out looking for Halloween costumes, we spotted a couple of really cheap masks that we thought would be fun.

Unfortunately, they didn't fit too well.

In fact, it was downright bad.

I quickly suggested that we make our own mask to fit Andrew's face. Back in elementary school (or was it daycare?) we made masks using plaster bandages. Right after I suggested it though, I realized how little time we had and we didn't even have the materials!

Luckily, we quickly found what we needed at Michaels. Good ol' Michaels!

The night before Andrew's work dress-up day, we put Nathan to bed and got to work.

With a picture on hand, I set out to mark up Andrew's face.

Looks kind of like a lung, doesn't it?

And we covered the marked off area, hair and all, in Vaseline.

I started off following the instructions - it says to make an "X" over the bridge of the nose for support and go outwards from there. Made sense... except that we were only doing half a mask.

So I made the base layer and let Andrew get hydrated as it dried a little.

Put on the second layer with some ridges for added character.

Then, after the third layer we let it dry and waited for it to fall off his face (with a few gentle tugs).

At this point, we had to do some re-constructive surgery. I shaped up the edges with scissors but I really didn't like how the gauze showing through so much. Paint didn't help and Andrew preferred the original colour.

So I set out to put two more layers on, using larger pieces of bandage and making sure to smooth out the plaster. We dried it in the oven, and Andrew tried it on. It was perfect. Except that we hadn't figured out how to keep it on his face. With 5 layers of plaster, it was a little on the heavy side.

Wanting to look as "natural" as possible, I wanted to use clear elastic string but I couldn't find it. So I pulled out the next best thing - clear bra straps! I knew they would come in handy one day... However, attaching the straps to the mask proved to be another difficult task.

"After much deep and profound brain things inside my head" (guess where that quote's from, hint: it's a kid's movie with lots of animals. African animals.) I decided to plaster a strip of fabric to the mask and hook the straps on to those instead of trying to make the metal hooks stick.

And voila!


Elizabeth said...

HAHA clear bra straps, ingenious! The costume looks great btw, very sophisticated :)

So does this mean you got a new camera??

Bernice said...


No, it means we're very carefully using the dSLR and Nathan's no longer allowed to take pictures with it. At least until we figure out whether the other one can be repaired.

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