Make an old man's mask to scare your friends, dress up for Halloween or to add character to a play. This is a moderately simple task and is great for a group of children to work on together. Once the masks are made, they could wear them together and imagine what life will be like when they are elderly. The masks are long lasting and quite hardy if looked after carefully, and the method can be adapted to make many different masks.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Round balloons
- Soluble adhesive
- Paint and artist paintbrushes
- Small paint or paste brush
- Felt pieces
- Sticky hole reinforcers
Blow up the balloon, and tie it in a secure knot. Stand the balloon in a large bowl so that it cannot fall over. Rip the newspaper into pieces approximately three inches wide by the width of the page. Mix the water-based adhesive.
Cover strips of newspaper with the adhesive, and stick them to the balloon. Continue adding layers until half the balloon is covered. This will fit over the face and make the structure for the mask. Add layers of glued newspaper until they are about a quarter of an inch thick. Add extra thickness to create a nose, chin and eyebrows. Leave the mask to dry. This may take several days.
Paint the whole mask with flesh coloured paint. Let it dry. Push a needle though the sides of the mask. Make two holes at each side of the mask to go above and below the ear. These will be used to add string later. The holes can be reinforced with sticky reinforcers. Keep the balloon inflated, and add detail to the mask with felt eyebrows, a beard or a moustache. Paint details on the mask. Burst the balloon, and cut away any that is stuck to the edge of the mask.
Cut eye holes and use the needle to make nostrils. Trim any untidy edges. Paint the inside of the mask, and thread the string through the holes so the mask can be tied on.
Tips and warnings
- Use a wallpaper paste adhesive for best results. The mask must be completely dry before bursting the balloon or it will not hold its shape.
- The same method can be used to make a fun piggy bank. Instead of covering just half the balloon, cover the entire surface and add feet and face features before cutting a hole for coins.
- This is a simple project that can be easily adapted. If young children are making the mask, be sure to help them with cutting the eyes and string holes.