How to Make a Fabric Mask

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Things You'll Need

  • Stiff fabric: canvas, denim, rayon, etc.
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Fray stop
  • Fabric stiffener
  • Fabric paint
  • Needle and thread
  • Elastic ribbon

Superheroes, masked vigilantes, villains and anti-heroes all have one thing in common: masks. Without a mask, a hero is just a person beating up a few criminals. The mask makes the super-man (or woman) into an enigma, a mystery that people can love. Masks also protect your identity, which keeps away both adoring fans and arch nemeses. Though the likes of Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen likely have masks made of Kevlar, heroes on a budget can make a simple mask from regular fabric. It might not stop a bullet, but it’ll keep your face out of the paper.

Spread out your fabric with the wrong side facing up. You may choose patterned fabric if you like, but patterns don’t show up well on masks. Look for a solid color instead.

Draw two 1 inch wide, ½ inch tall eye holes about 1 inch apart on the fabric. Larger eye holes give you good visibility and make the mask more comfortable to wear.

Draw a mask pattern around the eyeholes. You may want to go with the traditional superhero figure 8 or add points to the sides of the mask. You may also draw fancy cheek pieces or make a half moon that will cover your forehead.

Cut out the fabric and run a bead of fray stop around the edge. Rub the fray stop with a finger to work it into the fabric. Cut away any threads that fray out while you work. Let the fray stop dry for an hour.

Paint the mask with fabric stiffener and quickly press it against your face. Push and mold the fabric to your features, holding it in place for at least 30 seconds. Gently remove the fabric from your face and let it dry overnight.

Paint the mask with fabric paint, if desired. You may just want a contrasting border around the edge of the mask or a design that scrolls around your eyes. You may also add stripes or dots, depending on your hero motif.

Cut a piece of elastic ribbon about 5 inches long. Sew one end of the ribbon to each side of your mask with a needle and thread. Wear the mask with pride, and never reveal your identity.


Photo Credits

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