Monday, October 19, 2009

Collage Corner: Halloween Masking

Usually I am masking my collage, today I decided to collage a mask instead! With Halloween just a couple weeks away, I decided to create some new customized wall art for my ghoul-gilded house!

What You Need:
- base plastic mask
- sheets from an old book
- various designer papers
- various Distress Inks
- gel medium
- paint brush
- poster board
- double-sided tape
- masking tape
- wire-edged ribbon
- feathers
- rubber gloves

The first thing I did was to choose my designer papers. I knew that I would be using them sparingly but I wanted to establish my color scheme before proceeding. I picked these great Halloween papers from Cosmo Cricket.

Then, I started the project by putting a base layer of paper on the mask. I wanted to use light-weight paper for this first layer as I thought it would mold better to the mask. I ripped out some pages from an old book I had, the Complete Prophesies of Nostradamus, but they appeared to be way too clean and white for the look I wanted. I applied some Ranger Distress Inks direct to the paper to give it a more aged and less fresh look. I started with Old Paper (big surprise), then applied some Antique Linen and a little Tea Dye. The result was a paper of similar color to one of the Cosmo Cricket papers.

Starting with the nose and eye area, I started placing small strips of the distressed pages onto the mask. I brushed gel medium onto the mask before laying down each piece and then applied it again on top of each piece once the paper was in place. I continued in this way until the whole mask was covered. I let the piece dry before doing the next step. Yes, sometimes I actually do wait for things to dry!

The next thing I wanted to do was add some color to the top of the mask with some of the designer paper. I tore this into fairly small pieces so that it would lie flat on the mask.

Again, I applied gel medium to the mask before placing the pieces and, once the piece was placed, again over top of the new piece making sure to brush well over the edges. Here's where I realized I was getting more gel medium on my hands than on the mask and went in search of rubber gloves. Next time, I will start with the gloves! Once I had some protection for my hands, I felt freer to burnish the pieces with my fingers as well as the brush.

Once I had covered the top portion of the mask with designer paper, I added two collage images to the lower portion of the mask. I set the mask aside to let it dry again.

Next, I decided I wanted to give my mask more height. The focus for October here at Gingersnap Creations is using natural materials in your art. I decided to use feathers to provide some height. To create this "crown" for the mask, I traced the mask onto a piece of scrap paper and then used the tracing to cut a semi-circle out of poster board a 1/2" larger than the mask. I then cut the inside a 1/2" from the tracing as well. I needed the crown to be able to be attached to the mask. Cutting small triangles from the inner circle to the mask outline, I created tabs.

Then, I added some double-sided tape to the outer rim of the crown. I pleated some 1.5" gold wire-edged ribbon around the outer edge of the crown using the double-sided tape to hold down the pleats.

To finish off the crown, I turned it over, adding more double-sided tape, and affixed some feathers to the back. I secured the feather quills with masking tape. When I used to do needlework, I would try and make my backs look as nice as my fronts but I know that when making wall art I can be a little messy on the back. After getting the feathers to stay in place, I secured the tabs I had cut to the inside of the mask.

That's it! Here's the finished piece:

Halloween Masquerade Mask
Base: plastic mask form (Zucker Feather Products)
Paper: Eerie, Macabre, and Gothic from the Haunted Line (Cosmo Cricket) - all double-sided!; pages out of an old book
Collage Images: girl with pumpkin (Artchix Studio); woman in cloak (Inka Stamps)
Ink: Old Paper, Antique Linen and Tea Dye (Ranger Distress Inks)
Adhesive: gel medium (Liquitex); double-sided tape (Stampin Up); masking tape (generic)
Tools: paint brush, palette, rubber gloves
Embellishments: feathers (Touch of Nature); 1.5" gold wire-edged ribbon (Michael's); piece of green harvest potpourri (no idea what it is but it looked good on the mask)

Hope you try one of these fun masks!


  1. How did I miss this Goulish fun? Awesome mask!!!!I know what you'll bre wearing this Halloween!

  2. What a fabulous and creative mask!

  3. this is absolutely gorgeous!!! I will definately try it for the Greek carnival!

  4. So fun and so pretty!! Great project!

  5. How creative!! Love it.

    the PaperTemptress

  6. Wow, Shar! What a wonderful project! And the mask is definitely 'artsy,' not ghoulish at all. It could be a year-round decor item. I love it.

  7. Sharon, our masks should meet...I think they would like each other! Love your layering and the feathers...perfection!


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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