Decoupage is one of the simplest crafts one can do to spruce up a bland medium. With the proper materials and a little spare time, it’s easy to create a decoupage masterpiece. This Halloween, incorporate a fun decoupage project into your costume by covering a white plastic mask with rich texture and fun patterns.
Last year, I attended a Halloween party set to the theme of a vampire masquerade, so, of course, I needed a glitzy mask for the occasion. I shopped around, finding a few cheaper feathered masks at department stores, but most of them were of poor quality. And, as a college student, I couldn’t really afford the expensive Venetian-style masks available in Halloween stores. I decided to decorate my own mask for the occasion, instead of spending twenty to fifty dollars in a costume store.
There are several ways to decorate a craft mask, and most people opt to either cover the entire surface of the mask with feathers or to paint a color onto the mask and then cover it with decorations. I decided that I wanted to give my masks a pattern without doing the extra stencil work, so I purchased a few cheap pages of scrapbooking paper with appealing designs and pulled out my bottle of decoupage solution.
With a little creative cutting, the mask came out so perfect that I decided to make two. Here’s what you need to do this project:
A plastic mask–Cheap half-face masks or whole-face masks are perfect. These are available at costume and hobby stores for a few dollars. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby. I prefer masks with a matte surface because they dry quicker and are easier to handle.
A few pages of scrapbooking paper–It doesn’t necessarily have to be scrapbooking paper. You can use any scrap sheets with designs on them so long as the paper is slightly thicker than magazine paper. Make sure the color combination will match the rest of your costume, as well. Small, intricate designs are fun to use, as are repeated, cartoony patterns. I used a Victorian pattern for my full mask and a skull and crossbones pattern for my ‘kitty’ half-mask. However, the possibilities are endless. There’s a variety of seasonal scrapbook paper available for those who’d like to show their Halloween spirit, many pages of which are covered in illustrations of tiny pieces of candy, which could inspire a candy themed ball costume.
Decoupage solution–Liquid solution can be bought in most hobby stores; however, if you’d prefer to use diluted Elmer’s glue, it works just as well.
Newspaper/scrap paper to lay the mask on
A damp washcloth to clean sticky fingers
A sponge brush–A sponge brush isn’t a necessity, but I’ve found that it’s the easiest tool for applying an even coat of glue.
This is a project that should come together organically without any stiff rules. Begin by cutting out a few angular shapes from your scrapbook paper. Maneuver the paper against the mask, deciding how to lay the piece before applying the glue to the bottom. Once it’s applied and sat into place, smooth it down over the curved surface by applying another layer of glue over the top of the paper. Repeat this process, filling in uncovered spots on the mask and lightly layering the edges of the paper. By using triangular shapes instead of strips, you’ll be creating an interesting pattern as well as an engaging texture.
Once the mask is completely covered, begin trimming the paper off of the edges and around the eye-holes. Then apply another two layers of glue onto the covered mask. Allow to dry, then decorate with your favorite materials: lace, feathers, plastic gems, sequences, glitter, etc.
If you’d prefer the lines of texture on the mask to be even more apparent, I recommend smudging a drop of metallic paint onto the dried surface, allowing it to catch in the open grooves between the slices of paper.
To achieve a true masquerade feel, you might also consider purchasing a few thin wooden dowels to paint and attach to the bottom or side of the mask with hot glue. This way you can carry your mask in front of your face instead of wearing it.