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Making A Green Man Mask

Updated on April 17, 2015

A Green Man Mask

How do you make a Green Man mask? The Green Man is a figure of European mythology and folklore and has a spooky appearance. We thought it would be fun to show you how to make a special Green Man mask in time for Halloween.

Mask making is an all year round hobby though, and you can use the techniques here to make a mask for any celebration. The keys to success are time, patience and imagination.This little project grew and grew and with the help of artist and sculptor Oliver Tadpole (that is he behind the mask!) eventually the mask was complete! The techniques you will learn in this lens could be applied to making any papier mache mask, including Frankenstein or an old man mask.

This page tells the story!

The photos are my own and are copyright. Please do not copy!

Drawing and Measuring

Measuring to make a mask

It is vital to draw a mock up of the wearer's face first. This is so the mask will fit and the wearer can both breathe and see where he is going!

The Materials

What you need to make a papier mache mask


When you make a papier mache mask, the first job is preparation, and Mew, as always, was available to oversee the purchase and ordering of materials for the job.


Trying to prevent Persian involvement in any task is impossible, so you just have to be aware of their presence and keep them away from anything toxic or unpleasant. Mew was just curious, so no harm done!

Materials and Preparation - How to prepare mask making materials

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mew inspects the plasticine!Mew inspectas the commercial papier mache mix that will be used in the later stages of modelling.Plasticine is needed to model the base. This ensures it stays the right shape during the whole process.The artist needs to measure and model a human face accurately so the mask will fit its wearer! Here we see the finished plasticine mock up ready for the applique layers.The mock up is not completely solid of course. Newspaper is used to pad it.Tearing the newspaper into long strips along the edges where it is plain.Tearing the newspaper into pieces for the applique. Tearing works better than cutting.Basic tools at this stage, a bowl of newspaper scraps in water and a modelling area.The first applique layer is put on without glue to make release from the mould easy. It is useful to make this layer from paper that is not printed so that you can see where the next layer begins.Once the first plain layer is on, further layers are applied with glue, first printed, then plain, alternately to ensure even coverage.
Mew inspects the plasticine!
Mew inspects the plasticine!
Mew inspectas the commercial papier mache mix that will be used in the later stages of modelling.
Mew inspectas the commercial papier mache mix that will be used in the later stages of modelling.
Plasticine is needed to model the base. This ensures it stays the right shape during the whole process.
Plasticine is needed to model the base. This ensures it stays the right shape during the whole process.
The artist needs to measure and model a human face accurately so the mask will fit its wearer! Here we see the finished plasticine mock up ready for the applique layers.
The artist needs to measure and model a human face accurately so the mask will fit its wearer! Here we see the finished plasticine mock up ready for the applique layers.
The mock up is not completely solid of course. Newspaper is used to pad it.
The mock up is not completely solid of course. Newspaper is used to pad it.
Tearing the newspaper into long strips along the edges where it is plain.
Tearing the newspaper into long strips along the edges where it is plain.
Tearing the newspaper into pieces for the applique. Tearing works better than cutting.
Tearing the newspaper into pieces for the applique. Tearing works better than cutting.
Basic tools at this stage, a bowl of newspaper scraps in water and a modelling area.
Basic tools at this stage, a bowl of newspaper scraps in water and a modelling area.
The first applique layer is put on without glue to make release from the mould easy. It is useful to make this layer from paper that is not printed so that you can see where the next layer begins.
The first applique layer is put on without glue to make release from the mould easy. It is useful to make this layer from paper that is not printed so that you can see where the next layer begins.
Once the first plain layer is on, further layers are applied with glue, first printed, then plain, alternately to ensure even coverage.
Once the first plain layer is on, further layers are applied with glue, first printed, then plain, alternately to ensure even coverage.

The GreenMan on Amazon - Search for the Green Man here

You can use this search box to find masks of the Green man, books about him or anything else of interest.

Making the Green Man Mask

Basic Modelling Techniques

The basic modelling of the mask is what takes the longest as adequate drying times need to be observed. Basically, expect it to take around two to three weeks and start well in advance of when it will be needed.

The Green Man Card

Source

Making our Green Man Mask - Mask making process step by step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here is the mask during the applique stage showing the plain and printed layer technique.Mew supervises as the final layers of applique are applied.Tadpole models the mask with commercial papier mache mix, preparing a first layer as a base.Here we see the base layer of our green man mask is nearly ready for the more intricate leaf modelling.Here Tadpole begins to model some foliage on the mask. It is a long and messy job, hence the plastic.The mask is now well underway with its oak leaf motif.The finished mask with leaves modelling in the powdery commercial papier mache mix. It is possible to make your own mix of course and Tadpole has a secret formula which no amount of bribery will currently encourage him to reveal, but it is easier to
Here is the mask during the applique stage showing the plain and printed layer technique.
Here is the mask during the applique stage showing the plain and printed layer technique.
Mew supervises as the final layers of applique are applied.
Mew supervises as the final layers of applique are applied.
Tadpole models the mask with commercial papier mache mix, preparing a first layer as a base.
Tadpole models the mask with commercial papier mache mix, preparing a first layer as a base.
Here we see the base layer of our green man mask is nearly ready for the more intricate leaf modelling.
Here we see the base layer of our green man mask is nearly ready for the more intricate leaf modelling.
Here Tadpole begins to model some foliage on the mask. It is a long and messy job, hence the plastic.
Here Tadpole begins to model some foliage on the mask. It is a long and messy job, hence the plastic.
The mask is now well underway with its oak leaf motif.
The mask is now well underway with its oak leaf motif.
The finished mask with leaves modelling in the powdery commercial papier mache mix. It is possible to make your own mix of course and Tadpole has a secret formula which no amount of bribery will currently encourage him to reveal, but it is easier to
The finished mask with leaves modelling in the powdery commercial papier mache mix. It is possible to make your own mix of course and Tadpole has a secret formula which no amount of bribery will currently encourage him to reveal, but it is easier to

Sculpture And Modelling - Resources for sculpture and modelling

Painting the Mask

Adding colourful decorations to your green man mask

Of course we knew what the mask should look like, and hoped to provide a few more "in progress" shots. Sadly at this point the camera was lost along with these pictures.


We only have a few painting shots to show you, but you will get the idea I am sure and besides, painting the mask (once thoroughly dry) has to be individual anyway!

Painting and Adding Tapes - Finishing and fastening for masks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here the plasticine is removed from the dried mask.We can the the mask in reverse now!Here the mask is painted a basic shade of green.The painting is now complete. Jack in the Green, or the Green Man, in all his glory!Adding the tapes is quite complicated. Here you can see there is a tag, a piece of card and a piece of gauze to make the fastening.The card is pasted.Then it is folded over the tag.The gauze is pasted.Then folded in two over the card.The complete assemblage is now pasted onto the left side of the mask. That is repeated for the right side too!
Here the plasticine is removed from the dried mask.
Here the plasticine is removed from the dried mask.
We can the the mask in reverse now!
We can the the mask in reverse now!
Here the mask is painted a basic shade of green.
Here the mask is painted a basic shade of green.
The painting is now complete. Jack in the Green, or the Green Man, in all his glory!
The painting is now complete. Jack in the Green, or the Green Man, in all his glory!
Adding the tapes is quite complicated. Here you can see there is a tag, a piece of card and a piece of gauze to make the fastening.
Adding the tapes is quite complicated. Here you can see there is a tag, a piece of card and a piece of gauze to make the fastening.
The card is pasted.
The card is pasted.
Then it is folded over the tag.
Then it is folded over the tag.
The gauze is pasted.
The gauze is pasted.
Then folded in two over the card.
Then folded in two over the card.
The complete assemblage is now pasted onto the left side of the mask. That is repeated for the right side too!
The complete assemblage is now pasted onto the left side of the mask. That is repeated for the right side too!

Finishing the Green Man Mask

Making a mask wearable.

As it was, the mask could not be worn. It was necessary to finish it off nicely to give it a more comfortable feel and a professional look. This preparation included reinforcing the inside of the mask and some sewing. The photos in the last section show some of these stages.

Finishing and Polishing

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Once both side tapes are added, the inside is reinforced and padded with more paper layers. If at this point the mask has loose areas, they can be built up too.Here Tadpole is adding a gauze layer to further reinforce the inside of the mask. The gauze is laid on in overlapping squares, much like the original applique was.Working on the fastening tapes.The inside has been painted an attractive red and now the webbing is sewed on to make the tapes more comfortable.The artist has now completed his mask and it is ready to wear!
Once both side tapes are added, the inside is reinforced and padded with more paper layers. If at this point the mask has loose areas, they can be built up too.
Once both side tapes are added, the inside is reinforced and padded with more paper layers. If at this point the mask has loose areas, they can be built up too.
Here Tadpole is adding a gauze layer to further reinforce the inside of the mask. The gauze is laid on in overlapping squares, much like the original applique was.
Here Tadpole is adding a gauze layer to further reinforce the inside of the mask. The gauze is laid on in overlapping squares, much like the original applique was.
Working on the fastening tapes.
Working on the fastening tapes.
The inside has been painted an attractive red and now the webbing is sewed on to make the tapes more comfortable.
The inside has been painted an attractive red and now the webbing is sewed on to make the tapes more comfortable.
The artist has now completed his mask and it is ready to wear!
The artist has now completed his mask and it is ready to wear!

Papier Applique and Papier Mache

Applique or modelling material?

As a child, I made a papier mache dinosaur. At least that's what I was told - and I thought it was! It was actually applique. When newspaper squares are glued on in layers, that is applique. Mache involves a mix that is possible to mould like clay.


Fine modelling is possible with commercial and special mache mixes that is not achievable with applique or the scrunchy stuff we made in art classes! It is even possible to make jewellery!


This lens shows the making of a mask that uses both techniques. To make a mask like this takes a lot of work and drying time, but the result is durable. Tadpole has also used these techniques to make large models including a lecturn with a vulture on a skull. The moral? All things are possible with effort and patience! Thank you to Oliver for doing the real work - the sculpture - that got me to lens 50!

The Vulture Lecturn - A large scale vulture sculpture with paper mache

Papier-Mache Treasures with Teena Flanner: Creating Your Own Vintage-Style Collectibles
Papier-Mache Treasures with Teena Flanner: Creating Your Own Vintage-Style Collectibles

As you can see, papier mache is a technique you can adapt to make virtually anything!

 

OK. I promised you something different, and here it is. Many years ago when Tadpole and Company were tredding the boards it was decided to make a lecturn. Basically this allowed Oliver to rest his flute whilst reciting and looked a little less amateur than a music stand. The lecturn was made in parts for ease of transport using guttering materials and - wait for it - papier mache. The antique metal finish is a secret I shall share another day!


Or indeed a treasure? If you have had fun with paper applique and papier mache techniques, please share it here. Thank you!


Have You Made A Monstrosity?

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    • strayspay profile image

      strayspay 7 years ago

      Amazing lens! I had never heard of the Green Man or thought of doing a halloween mask! Great job!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 7 years ago

      You actually teach us how to create a musk, great.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great lens Lisa and very well presented, step-by-step and I guess Mew learned a thing or two ;) - and congratulations on #50!!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

      This is exceptional! Love it! Blessed by an Angel!

      PS. Security word is: "splendid" LOL Good match!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What an awesome lens! Just this weekend at an Arts Festival I saw some wall plaques of the Green Man and now I find this lens...a little spooky I think. Marvelous Mask!

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 7 years ago

      great job on this, seems like something fun to try :)

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 7 years ago

      I like working with paper mache the gray material and the paper applique method. I have made many things with both methods. The Green Man is spooky - well done. 5*s

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My Survival: My Therapudic Artork: saved my life! to have a way to express without words the pain I survived from childhood abuse:

      As the GODDESS looks on the abused as her tears are flowing for their needless torture, suffering and pain of the Children . . . . She will not rest until there is no more abuse. I used glass which I had picked up off the streets in Minneapolis as I watched as children played jumprope in their little bare feet.

      http://www.care2.com/c2c/photos/view/188/212034259...

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
      Author

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Victoria. I checked out your artwork too :)

      [in reply to Victoria Kelly]

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      All these green men are beautiful. I've been doing the other kind of papier mache all my life and have never heard the term paper applique - possibly it's an English/US issue? I'm lensrolling this to a couple of my mask lenses and featuring it on my fan-club thank-you lens so - thank you!

    • profile image

      projecttamp 7 years ago

      Wow!!! Nice musk. I think it is so much creative job. I love to do such like job. Useful information supplied to the lens.

      Thanks for sharing a creative lens.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 6 years ago

      cool! I'll have to show the kids this and see if anyone wants to be a green man for Halloween! Thanks for sharing!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
      Author

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Tarra99: Thanks for that. It should be fun to do, but it does take some time! Thanks for visiting :)

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 6 years ago

      Green man unmasked is terrific for Halloween. Love the images! Blessed

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 6 years ago from London

      The Green Man lives for the summer here, looks down on us from nooks in churches, and fades into the green leaves as we walk through the woods. I love the idea of making a green man out of papier mache, thanks for the idea.

    • profile image

      ShamanicShift 6 years ago

      A monstrosity Green Man might be just as great!

    • MissyBrown LM profile image

      MissyBrown LM 6 years ago

      I love all the images and pictures, great lens!

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 6 years ago from Earth

      Great lens!!! Angel Blessed and favorited (for next Halloween)

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      :) wow. Interesting. I was thinking Green Lantern or whatever his name is mask. :) Nice lens!!

    • Alfiesgirl LM profile image

      Alfiesgirl LM 6 years ago

      Is it safe to apply papier mach to the skin (as a camouflage disguise maybe ?) Thanks in advance.x

    • Alfiesgirl LM profile image

      Alfiesgirl LM 6 years ago

      @Alfiesgirl LM: Using quick drying materials maybe?...plaster of paris or something?...I want to really put the Green Man Spirit into making your mask and try to bring him alive. Any tips and advice will be very much appreciated as to materials which would be suitable for this ...REALLY x

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
      Author

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Alfiesgirl LM: I think it is important to line the mask with something safe even though you are wearing it for only a short time. I would not apply papier mache directly to your skin. The glue or newsprint might be harmful - newspaper will contain mineral oil and inks if homemade, bleached paper would be bad too and the commercial paste would almost certainly contain antifungal agents and other nasty things.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think you and Mew have an awesome site here.

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 6 years ago

      I've become interested in Green Men recently

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 5 years ago

      Nice mask. Very creepy.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Really great mask and instructions! This will be a lot of fun to make. Angel Blessed!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Oops! I neglected to say, this lens will also be featured on Squid Angel Mouse Tracks in Crafts

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Spooky green mask will look great on Halloween.

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 5 years ago

      The Green Man is great for any time of year. I love the part about the Persian involvement!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I really loved this lens. I have dabbled a bit with papier mache, it is a great thing for an artistic, ADD mom with some kids that love being messy anyway. We made an enormous beetle, gave papier mache bowls as gifts, and made a huge volcano that erupted baking soda and vinegar. Very fun, cheap. You took it up one level, good for you! I love the Green Man image, the Earth and masculinity need him back. And masks in general are cool. I like your personal involvement in this lens. Plus papier mache is environmentally sensitive if you recycle paper. Angel Blessed!

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 4 years ago from America's Dairyland

      Wonderful photos and instructions for mask making. I enjoyed this lens!

    • profile image

      JemmaDryad 4 years ago

      Thanks for your lens. I found the step by step guide useful. Unfort I did not read the part that said not to add glue to the first layer but it was over cling wrap so not too serious. We build up the face over an african drum base (its the same size as an adult face) and then covered with clingwrap. We used egg boxes for paper mache and made our own glue with flour, salt and water and then put the lumpy mix in a blender to smooth it, when it had cooled down. We found it took long to dry and we needed it urgently for a present so we used a hairdryer to speed drying time. We printed off various oak leaves in various sizes and varnished these to reinforce for the final effect. I saw a good youtube video that used a plastic gallon bottle as abase. The handle was a great nose and the shape allowed for the eyebrows etc. Saves having to build up the face when you are short of time ;)

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