Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Upcycle a Costume Mask

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Original Mask
Recently I had the privileged to design a mask for a young girl who was attending High school prom, themed Masquerade. I had very little time because it was very close to the actual date. I asked her about the colour of her dress, her preferred colour, and basically things that I needed to know to design the right mask for her. I already have a gold mask with black base in stock. And i thought, great! just what I am looking for. So i set off to "Upcycle the Mask" instead.

Things required to Upcycle a Mask
Best thing to start with first is to plan how you want your mask to turn out. Once I did my planning on how I want to rip it off and put them back together again; I gathered my tools, paints and extra materials for embellishments:
Acrylic Paints
Ribbons and Lace
(Anything and everything you can think of that you need for your project upcycle mask)...

Ripping it Apart
It may sound easy to rip it apart just like that, but honestly, it's not that easy because I had to be careful in case I overdid it. At the same time, i noticed that the original mask was not properly made (factory made from China), it had some of the glue pieces sticking out and some of the gold embellishments was broken. Basically, the idea here is to remove it and "clean it up".
Scraping off the edges to remove it very slowly
Bottom part removed. Leaving the lace on.
And finally removed! I even trimmed the edges to remove the threads hanging 

Painting the Mask
Painting the mask requires planning of which base colour to come first; reason because I am painting on a plastic surface and colour usually differ when it has been applied on the acrylic surface. To ensure a solid outcome, I use Acrylic paints. Preferably Jo Sonja, my favourite paint brand to paint on wooden and plastic surface. For the mask, I used White as my base colour followed by Gold, which I would paint on top of it later on.
Adding a base before you paint your colour is very important.
Paint the base colour on the part that you think you would want to paitnt your preferred colour.
Adding the gold onto the white
Painting the other parts.
I am also using red to enhance the eyes part.
Adding more colours to complement the mask. 
Enhancing it and more.
Embellishing the Mask
While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I started on the embellishments instead- the extras to give an edge!
I painted the feathers with Jo Sonja's Opal Dust and use Gold for highlights
Did the same on the White feather.
To create a detachable feather, I wrapped it up with a ribbon
And add buttons to it...

After dealing with the feathers, I left it to dry and went back to the mask. I reattached back gold sash with glue and use pecks to hold it to dry. 

Then, I went on to embellishing it with stick-on diamantes and sequins...

I also used a gold outliner by Pebeo (another favourite brand of mine) to create swirls. After it was dried up, I used Pebeo's Gold gilding wax to highlight it, creating a metal-ish solid looking surface on the outliner.

My favourite finishing move- Gilding Wax in Gold!
Applied the wax on the outliner

Once everything was dried up and all in tack, I set off to varnishing it with a Satin varnish for a sleek and shiny result. I would've used a glossy varnish but I didn't want to get a plastic-ish look. And so, once I was done, the varnish dried up too, I attached the Feathers on it. The buttons are at the side.

And done! The finished work.
Another therapeutic crafty weekend! Have fun!

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