Mexican wrestling, also known as lucha libre, incorporates colourful characters, outlandish storylines, loosely enforced rules and colourful costumes. The wrestler’s mask is a key part of his costume and it keeps his identity a secret. In fact, it would dishonour the wrestler to have his mask removed in a fight. Dress up like a luchador for a costume party by making your own Mexican wrestling mask.
Decide what kind of look you want to capture with the mask. Luchador masks can represent characters as varied as superheroes, warriors, skeletons and devils. Choose the look that best fits your character’s persona. Gather the appropriate decorations to transform a plain mask into a work of art.
Cut the T-shirt in half by using scissors. Start at the armpit sleeve and cut the material down to the bottom of the shirt. Do this for both sides of the shirt, but leave the shoulder and neck material intact.
Measure the height of your head, from your chin to your crown. Also, measure your head from the centre of your forehead to the back of your skull. Add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to each measurement. Sketch out a paper template of the shape of your head, using these measurements.
Lay the paper template to the T-shirt with the chin part of the paper about 2.5 cm (1 inch) away from the neck hole. Pin it in place through both layers of the T-shirt.
Cut out the material according to the template. Be careful when cutting so you don’t cut the neck of the shirt. When you are finished, you should be able to unfold the T-shirt and have two rounded shapes on each side of the neck hole. It should resemble an open clam or an oyster.
Put the right sides of the shirt together and stitch around the mask, using a sewing machine or needle and thread. The finished result should look like a head-sized bag with the neck hole as the opening.
Turn the mask inside out and pull it on over your head. The opening should fit snugly around your neck. Adjust the mask so the seams are comfortably placed over each ear. Using a pencil, carefully mark where your eyes, nose and mouth are on the mask.
Remove the mask and cut out the eye, nose and mouth holes to the size and shape you desire. Hem the holes by 6 mm (1/4 inch) to prevent tearing or unravelling.
Decorate the mask using a variety of items. Try stitching sequins around the eyes, or appliquéing felt pieces like stars or flames on the forehead, ears and cheeks. Feathers, glitter, beads and fringe can turn a basic mask into a unique piece of your character’s costume.
Although you can purchase Mexican wrestling masks online, when you make your own, you can customise it to suit your costume needs.
Wearing a mask may limit your vision and hearing, so take extra precautions when doing activities like crossing the street.