Pinbusted or Pintrusted: DIY Masquerade Mask

I love masks. Friends give them to me as gifts. I’ve made them from paper mache and fabric for various costumes. I covet the lovely artisan-crafted ones on Etsy and at various neighborhood festivals. So when a friend invited me to a 12th Night Fairyland Masque in the East Village, I had Big Plans.

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My Board of Good DIY Intentions.

Some of those plans involved spending money I didn’t have. So I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. The “Sprinkles in Springs Chick Masquerade DIY Mask & Template” looked cool.  I ordered the necessaries: black puffy paint, tulle, and ribbon. I already had Saran Wrap, scissors, and tape at home.

Pinbusted or Pintrusted: DIY Masquerade Mask Test Number 1

Setting up was pretty easy. I printed out the template from the website, taped it down, taped saran wrap over that, and then taped a length of tulle down after that. Then I got to work.

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DIY Puffy Paint Mask, Attempt 1. Photo: Fran Wilde.

All was going quite well until I touched the saran wrap accidentally and a half-hour’s worth of careful line tracing turned into a puffy-paint puddle.

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Disaster Strikes! Photo: Fran Wilde.

But I’d gotten the hang of it by then. Or the bug had bitten. Something. Because I laid out not only two more mask templates, but drew a few of my own. This time, I didn’t mess with the surface after I’d put the paint down.

Pinbusted or Pintrusted: DIY Masquerade Mask Test 2: 

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Photo: Fran Wilde.

I turned to Twitter for help.

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Never turn to Twitter to be talked out of an obsession.

So I drew the tentacle mask too.

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Art & Photo: Fran Wilde.

and it turned out really great.

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Photo: Fran Wilde.
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One of the masks, before I trimmed the tulle. Photo: Fran Wilde.

The toughest part was waiting for this whole batch to dry.  In four hours, it was dry enough to peel away, but the masks smelled very strongly of paint. I worried they might be intolerable for the party, which, given my careful planning skills, was only about 10 hours hence.

I used craft glue to attach ribbons to the sides and let those dry. Then I trimmed the tulle, making the eyeholes as wide as possible. First tests showed that the masks stayed on well, though I would have loved some fabric starch to add a little body to the tulle.

The real test for the masks was at the party–where they looked great and the smell had completely faded. However, with a lot of talking and movement, my mask shifted a bit too easily. Fabric starch might have helped that, but another guest suggested a dab of theatrical spirit gum would also have solved the problem.

I took my mask off after a while and laid it on a table. It had certainly passed with high marks for a homemade mask. It could also be that my alterations to the pattern left it less sturdy. A friend wore her mask (because I’d made several) all night, and she looked smashing in it.

So? Overall, this is a solid Pintrusted, with a recommendation for spirit gum. The project was a ton of fun.

You can check out other Pinbusted/Pintrusted posts here.

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Pintrusted! Photo: Fran Wilde.

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Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Updraft (Tor, 2015) is called 'Soaring' by Publishers' Weekly and Barnes & Noble SFF blog, while NPR Books says it was "one of the most original fantasy novels I've read this year." Her next novel, Cloudbound releases in September. Fran's short stories appear at Asimov's, Nature, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Tor.com. She writes for publications including The Washington Post, SFSignal, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, iO9.com, and GeekMom.com/GeekDad.com. She can also program digital minions, tie most of the sailor's knot board, and re-load a fountain pen without spattering herself with ink (usually). She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their tween-minecraft fanatic / book addict / budding Scratch programmer.