You are invited to a masked ball, you are about to play a masked character in a play or you plan to celebrate Halloween this year, know that it is very easy and inexpensive to make a plaster mask. All you need is a few supplies, a face model, and a little skill and patience. Once the mask is made, you can decorate it as you wish with paint, feathers, sequins, pearls…, your mask will be unique!
Part 1 of 4: preparing to make a plaster mask
Step 1. Prepare the workpiece
Choose a room where you can work at ease (workshop, kitchen, living room), which has a work surface and which is not too afraid of soiling. Lay old newspapers or a tarp on the ground. Have rags and paper towels on hand in case you need to remove unwanted stains.
Step 2. Find your model
You will see a need for someone whose face will support your mask. Choose someone who can devote half an hour to an hour of their time, patient moreover. Have him lie down on the floor with his back to the floor, or sit on a chair with a slightly reclined backrest, with his head tilted back.
Of course, you can mold the mask onto your face, although it might be a bit trickier, especially the first time around. In this case, you will have to sit in front of a mirror to see what you are going to do
Step 3. Equip your model
Have her put on an old shirt, secure her hair with a headband. To hold her hair, you can also use barrettes. Wrap his neck and upper bust with a towel to protect him from splashing plaster.
Step 4. Cut strips of plaster with a pair of scissors
They should be 5 to 10 cm wide by 7 to 8 cm long. Cut them to different lengths to cover different parts of the face. To cover the entire face in two layers, count about fifteen strips.
Place your plaster strips, flat on a clean surface and aligning them to see their lengths
Step 5. Coat the face of the model with petroleum jelly
This viscous material will allow easier mold release. Put it all the way to the hairline, don't forget the eyebrows and insist on the wings of the nose. Also put it on the eyelids, lips (it is not toxic), rounded jaws and chin.
Part 2 of 4: making a plaster mask
Step 1. Dip the strips in a bowl of hot water
Dip them one after the other as and when you need it. Put them in the water after washing your hands. After immersion, remove the strip and wring it out with your fingers, it should be damp, but not dripping.
Step 2. Cover the front of your model
Spread a first strip flat on the forehead with your fingertips.
Step 3. Put bands on the cheeks and chin
After the forehead, you need to cover the cheeks and chin. For your mask to be successful, the neighboring bands must absolutely have an overlap area of a few centimeters. Once the strip is applied, make sure it is flat on the face, smooth it with your fingers.
Step 4. Use smaller strips for the nose and the area under the nose
The most extensive parts of the face will be done after. The application of the bands on and under the nose is always delicate, because these are sensitive areas.
Of course, it is out of the question to put plaster in front of the nostrils, if you want your model to survive the operation. Stop your bands about 1 cm from the nostrils
Step 5. Cover the eyes and mouth
This is the delicate phase, but it is not compulsory. Of course, if this was the case, you would have warned your model, who will accept or refuse. For the eyes, your model should close their eyes and keep them closed until the end. Place several small strips and press very lightly to have the shape of the eye sockets. For the mouth, which will of course be closed, cover it with a single strip.
- Covering the eyes and mouth is optional, the model must be okay and it must match the mask you want.
- Mouth masking is not mandatory, especially if the model wants to express herself during the pose. The ideal, however, is that the model moves as little as possible.
- Likewise, eye masking is not mandatory, if the model prefers to see what is going on. However, opening the eyes is not recommended because of sagging.
Step 6. Lay at least two coats of plaster
You have laid a first layer of plaster, you must now apply a second, exactly in the same way. Again, the bands overlap and are smoothed flat. With two coats of plaster, your mask will be more rigid.
Step 7. Fill in the holes with your fingers
You have just applied the second layer of plaster, but there are still a few small gaps. Lightly dip two or three fingers in hot water, then fill in any holes and cracks with the plaster that has remained on your fingers. Work gently, the mask should be as smooth as possible.
Part 3 of 4: let dry and remove a plaster mask
Step 1. Wait about a quarter of an hour
Ask the person not to move during this time. The mask should air dry quietly. For the model, taking the plaster causes some tightness and other itching; this is normal and they will not get worse.
It is unnecessary or even detrimental to use a hairdryer or a fan to speed up the setting. All you risk is cracking your mask. As for the skin of the one under the mask, we'll let you guess
Step 2. Put your model to work
Before removing from the mold, check that the mask is dry to the touch. Ask your model to move the muscles of her face (mouth, forehead, jaws) to facilitate the release. If he manages to frown and wiggle his eyebrows, that's fine too.
Step 3. Gently peel off the mask from the face
Once the mask has been cleared on all sides, take it with both hands, preferably on the sides, and remove it completely from the face that served as the mold, the movement being perpendicular to the face. As you peel, slide your fingers closer to the center of the mask.
Do not pull off the mask sharply, you may injure your model. If you have applied enough petroleum jelly, the mask should come on effortlessly and without hurting
Part 4 of 4: decorate a plaster mask
Step 1. Put ties on your mask
Make two small holes, one on each side, at the edge of the mask, slightly below the eye line. Take two pieces of ribbon or string that you will secure in these holes. Then all you have to do is put the mask on your face or that of someone else and tie the two ties behind your head.
Step 2. Add a beak, horns or bumps
If you have plaster tape left over, you can, for example, make a beak instead of the nose, so you will get a bird mask. This is good if you are invited to a bird themed party.
- For a frenzied party, why not make a mask with Satan's horns?
- To make a scary mask, add bumps all over the place so that you have a completely distorted face.
Step 3. Paint your mask
First, to smooth it out, coat it with a layer of gesso. After the product is dry, you can decorate it with acrylic paint or gouache. You are free to accentuate a particular area, such as the eyes or the mouth. Nothing prevents you from drawing a pattern that you like either.
- If you have put a plaster on your eyes and mouth, then nothing prevents you from painting the eyes and mouth you want.
- Note that there are varnishes that can be applied at the end both to protect your mask, which is still fragile, but also to obtain a shiny finish.
Step 4. Decorate your mask
Decorate it with feathers, rhinestones, sequins … The feathers will be fixed with a classic glue or a little strong (but not too much). For a sparkle effect, you can put some glue on the mask and then lay it on some rhinestones or glitter. In fact, the only limit is your imagination.
Step 5. Let your mask dry overnight
Here is ! You have completely decorated your mask and you like it as it is. Don't touch it anymore! Lay it flat on a stable surface and let it dry overnight. After this time, you can use it to go dancing, to celebrate Halloween or more simply, you can exhibit it to admire it.