How to make greek theater masks

Written by m. evans
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How to make greek theater masks
Be creative with your own Greek theatre masks. (mask - 2 image by Elena Bakhareva from Fotolia.com)

This fun and creative project is perfect for artsy people and theatre lovers alike. Make Greek theatre masks by using your own face or a friend's as a mould. Keep it traditional by painting on exaggerated facial expressions or decorate them however you'd like. This Greek theatre mask craft requires only a few materials, a creative spirit and a friend who is willing to get a little bit messy for art's sake.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Rigid wrap plaster cloth
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Shallow bowl
  • Hair dryer
  • Paint
  • Paint brush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Have your partner close their eyes while you apply a layer of petroleum jelly to his face. Make sure you apply it generously and evenly, missing no spots. The coat of petroleum jelly will allow the plaster cloth to glide easily off of your partner's face. It is not necessary to coat the ears or neck unless you intend also to include them as a part of the mask.

  2. 2

    Cut about 20 2- x 8-inch strips of plaster cloth and about 10 1- x 4-inch strips. You may need more, or there may even be some strips left over after your mask is complete. At this point, you will want to fill your shallow bowl with lukewarm water.

  3. 3

    Advise your partner to keep her eyes closed as you dip a longer strip of plaster cloth into the water. Slide the strip up between your pointer and middle finger, removing any excess water. Then, place the strip down your partner's nose, beginning at the forehead. Smooth it out, so there are no creases in the plaster cloth.

  4. 4

    Repeat step 3 with all of the strips until your partner's face is covered. Make sure you leave the nostrils or mouth free as it is important, obviously, that your partner is able to breathe.

  5. 5

    Use a hair dryer on medium heat to quicken the drying process. Rigid wrap plaster cloth is generally fast drying, but you don't want to remove the mask from your partner's face until you are totally sure that it is firm and completely dry.

  6. 6

    Remove the dried mask from your partner's face by carefully pulling on it from either cheek. If you've properly coated your partner's face with petroleum, the mask should slide off with ease.

  7. 7

    Decorate your Greek theatre mask using paints, glitters, glues, ribbons or whatever else you might like.

Tips and warnings

  • Traditional Greek theatre masks have exaggerated facial expressions. If your partner doesn't feel confident that he will be able to hold an exaggerated expression for the construction of the mask, take advantage of your paint and craft materials and create the expression yourself.

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