paper mache masks.

to me there is something magical about paper mache. i just love it. whenever i think of paper mache i am taken back to my friend catherine and the fun we used to have. we used to use it for every halloween, every school project and just everyday fun. funny how one projects reminds you of someone - this has always reminded me of her.

i have been waiting with batted breath to engage in this craft with my kids. waitng in the shadows until they were old enough to grasp the concept and run with it. that time has come.

we decided, since it's the season, to make halloween masks. we had a blast. we used balloons to shape our mache, to adhere it to something rounded like our faces. we then let them dry overnight, popped the balloons inside, painted them out white and let the kids go wild. i think they turned out rather smashing!

great halloween craft and i can't wait to do them in future years and watch the evolution of the designs. that's going to be something rather precious.

to make:
first thing you do is gather your supplies. you will need:
all-purpose flour
exacto knife
paint brushes
embellishments (optional)
willing subjects.

number one is cut out strips of newspaper. long, short, whatever. better to have more than less - hard to cut out in the heat of the moment and especially with paste fingers!

then you make your paste. mix flour and water together and create something that coats your fingers but is still quite liquidy.

blow up your balloon to the desired size. place a strip of paper in your paste coating both sides then run your fingers down in a pinching fashion to wipe off the excess. then drape your paper over the balloon smoothing it down. repeat process covering as much of the balloon as you want, remembering to overlap your pieces of paper so no balloon shows through and you want your finished product to have at least two layers of thickness to it - go more if you want a sturdier masks.

hang up your balloon in a spot where it touches nothing and leave it overnight.

punch out your balloon and then cut up your mask to your design. cut the sides down if you want, cut out eyes, nose, mouth. this is your design so have fun with it. i found it easier to cut out the eyes and mouth with the exacto and the outside shape of the masks with the scissors.

now paint out the masks white (optional) so you have a cleaner base to work with. now you are ready to create! this is the part where you paint, add embellishments - let your creativity shine! go for it - have fun!
cut small slits on the sides of masks at desired heights and thread some string through for wearing.

what you are left with is a creation your friends will be jealous over - a one-of-a-kind by you!

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