How to Make Venetian Carnival Masks

Written by amy davidson
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A tradition that stems from Venice, Italy, Venetian masks are similar to masquerade masks, but are much more intricate and ornate in their beauty. Whether you are using them for a costume or decor, the creative possibilities in making one are endless. Begin creating your mask by starting with a basic white mask, which you can purchase at your local costume store. So grab your craft tools and good ideas and create your very own unique Venetian mask for your home or next costume party.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • White mask
  • X-Acto knife
  • Superglue
  • Latex acrylic paint (colours depending on your specific design)
  • Feathers, gemstones, glitter, buttons, etc (again depending on your design)
  • Puff paint (optional)
  • Shalaque or sealer (optional)

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    Making Your Venetian Mask

  1. 1

    Draw out the ideal final design you want for your Venetian mask, paying attention to what colours and decorations you would like to use. It's better to start with a mapped-out plan so that you will know what tools you will need, and to eliminate any possible mistakes.

  2. 2

    Cut the mask with the X-Acto knife to the shape of your liking if your design calls for a less-than-full-face mask. Venetian masks vary in shape and size, from full face masks to those that simply cover the eyes.

  3. 3

    Paint the mask in the base colour you've chosen, or you can leave the mask white. Draw your design idea onto the mask using pencil. Remember that there is no traditional design for a Venetian mask; some are symmetrical with swirls and bursts around the eyes, while others may be heavily designed on one side with the other side left bare.

  4. 4

    Paint your design in the colours of your choosing, using latex acrylic paint. One idea to help give the mask a rustic Venetian look is to employ gold or silver leaf foil, which you can buy at most craft stores. This foil is adhered to a surface and, when pulled back, leaves behind tiny flakes of gold, creating a lavish and intricate look. When you are done, wait for the paint or foil to dry before continuing.

  5. 5

    Adhere any embellishments to the mask with superglue. Venetian masks can be embellished with anything from feathers, gemstones and tassles to buttons and fabric. Puff paint is also a good embellishment tool; use it to trace over your design outline to give a textured, 3-D look. You can also use feathers on one or both sides of your mask. Costume gemstones are great to line around your mask, or design, to add flair. Many Venetian masks also have fabric lining the borders of the mask, or implemented into the design. Let any glue or paint dry completely before wearing.

Tips and warnings

  • To help prevent your mask from chips and dings, try spraying a layer of Shalaque, or acrylic, sealer over the final product.
  • Insure all paint and glue is dry before wearing your mask.

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