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How To Create A Masquerade Mask Made From Glue Sticks

Updated on September 23, 2014

A Mask Made From Glue That Anyone Can Make

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The Woodland Owl

I love art made from things you would not expect such as a mask made from just glue. This was what captured my attention and being that I loved masks it was a great project for me to try. when I first did it two yeas ago I didn't use a stable background so over time the glue became stretched. Now I am using a stable mask covered with the glue and the mask should last as long as you want it to.

Here is a step by step tutorial. The most important thing is to have fun. It's a technique so once you understand it you can let your imagination fly. To me this looked like a Woodland Owl. I am going to try a reptile next and have some ideas on how to adapt this to make scales.

Lets Begin With A Template, Plastic And Some Mod Podge

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This project is made almost entirely of glue sticks. I love being the odd ball crafter who comes up with using materials that are not normal. In other words, if my kids don't call me crazy I am not doing my job. They are my toughest critics.

This mask took me two days because I needed to let the base glue dry.

I began this project by downloading a template of a mask. There are so many on the internet that I was able to pick and choose easily. I printed and cut the mask down but not around. Before I cut it out I needed to make it puff.

On the side of the ink I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge glossy over it and then placed a piece of plastic over that. You don't want to do this directly on the paper because it will curl too much. The plastic gives the mask some stability from ripping also.

Once that dried I turned it over so the ink showed though the plastic, but it was plastic side up. I poured a thick layer of Mod Podge over that and set it aside to dry. I then moved on to the decorations while the mask was drying. Please note it took over 24 hours to dry. The next day it was no longer tacky, but felt like a gel pad. At this point I cut out the mask and then let the edges dry again for a few hours. You can continue to work while it's in this state as long as it's not tacky.

The Mask Is Taking Shape

The first layer of squiggles are applied.
The first layer of squiggles are applied. | Source

While Your Glue Is Drying, Heat Up The Guns

My glue gun is never unplugged. There is never a day that I am not using it for one thing or another.

The next step is to make around 100 squiggles. I don't know what else to call them. Spread out tin foil or if your lucky enough to have a stone counter you can do this directly on that. I am using a low temp glue gun so I don't worry about it burning. I have a high heat one and always manage to burn myself with it. The only reason I would recommend a high temp gun right now is the plastic is a bit harder so the mask will be stiffer. For my purpose now I am making this for a doll so nobody is going to be wearing it. By the way, you can make Angel Wings or Fairy Wings using the same exact instructions.

Point your gun downward and squeeze out a drop around the size of a pencil eraser then pump again and make a squiggly line. The only way I can describe it is that it looks like a sperm. Don't be glue stingy. Make big ones and small ones. Your probably going to go though a whole package of glue sticks for this project. Make around 100 of them to start. This way you can pick and choose the ones that come out the best.

When you're done and they dried for around 10 minutes peel them up. Place them on tin and spray paint them any color. This isn't going to be the color of the mask. It's easier to work with them if they are not clear. I painted mine gold. Once you finish the bottom layer I stopped painting them and just left them clear because it was easier to work with them at this point.

One Of The Larger Squiggles

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Mask Blanks

Metallic Half-Masks (2 dz)
Metallic Half-Masks (2 dz)

Here are some metallic mask blanks ready to be decorated. This is another option you have for this project.

 

Do You Make Your Own Halloween Costume?

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I recommend making several larger squiggles. I made several that looked like tree branches so the mask would look exotic. Let your creativity go wild. There is no right or wrong.

I built up the nose area by attaching some of the tails of the squiggles together. It gave it a bird like beak. It's beginning to remind me of an Owl and I am satisfied with what it looks like

After around 24 hours it's time to start decorating. Cut the mask as close to the template lines as you can get and poke holes where the ribbon will tie the mask on your face. Get out your glue gun again and outline the mask eyes. This gives you a good base. If you were using a high heat gun to make the squiggles, switch to a low temp gun now so you don't melt the Mod Podge.


You Can Make A Full Face Mask

Plastic White Full Masks (1 dz) [Toy]
Plastic White Full Masks (1 dz) [Toy]

This technique is not limited to an eye mask. You can use a full face mask as well. These are perfect blanks for this project.

 

The Mask Is Painted With A Base Of Black

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Once your happy with what you have created it's time to spray paint it. I am using a base of black, but later on I am going to add gold and glitter too. You can add feathers and rhinestones later on.

If you don't want to use spray paint you can use acrylic paint with a brush. At this point I am just making sure I have a good base color.

The glue sticks may remain a drop tacky after the paint dries. This will go away in time. Test the glue and the paint together before spraying the entire project so you know what your getting.

Rub & Buff Brings Out A Metallic Shine

Once the base if dry you can use nail polish or acrylic paint to fill in details. On this one I used some Rub & Buff to bring out a gold shine before I started painting it. I am using acrylics on this one and a small detail brush.

The Mask Is Painted Gold

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Rub N Buff For A Metallic shine

Rub N Buff Wax Metallic Finishes 12 Color Sampler Set
Rub N Buff Wax Metallic Finishes 12 Color Sampler Set

I use Rub N Buff on most of my craft projects to give them a pop of highlights and metallic shine. A little goes a long way. They are available in individual tubes also. For this project I used Gold Leaf.

 

Upclose Woodland Creature Mask

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The Finishing Details

The last thing I will do is apply some color. A little will go a long way. I am using acrylic paint, but nail polish works well also and will add a glossy finish to the color areas. In addition to the paint I will add some glitter and maybe a rhinestone or two.

Once it's dry I will add a ribbon and the mask is ready to wear. Since I used a flexible base it will mold to the face easily.

This project was made small to fit a doll I am making into a fairy. Make sure you start with a template that is the right size or you can use a half or full mask and skip the instructions to make the base.

© 2014 Lori Green

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    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 2 years ago from Florida

      What a great idea! Love it!

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 2 years ago from BC, Canada

      Very cool! I absolutely love my glue gun, but I never would have thought of this! Awesome!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Very cool idea! Love it.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 2 years ago from Land of Aloha

      BRAVO! Seriously, this is brilliant!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi craftypicks, Very interesting hub. I would never gave thought to use glue sticks to make masks. The finished product looks incredible. Well done. Oh and thanks for the follow.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 2 years ago

      Nicely done! I think I will have to try this!

    • profile image

      mumsgather 2 years ago

      What an awesome looking mask. They'd be perfect for a masquerade party. Much better than store bought ones.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      the masks are very creative and they look amazing! I love the one at the top of the page with all the color!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      What an innovative idea. That's really super for this Halloween for anyone, man, woman or child. You are so talented with this sort of thing, it just amazes me. Terrific!