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How to Make a Hawaiian Tiki Mask

Create a realistic tiki mask
inca tiki image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

Traditionally made with menacing expressions and wide open mouths to ward off evil spirits, tiki masks are now associated with celebrations. The Hawaiian masks are great for parades and as a unique Halloween costume. They are also impressive theme decorations for a luau. It is possible to make a realistic looking tiki mask with time and a little creativity.

Create a realistic tiki mask
inca tiki image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

Things You'll Need:

  • 1 Quart Tan Paint
  • Clear Acrylic Sealer
  • Kitchen Garbage Can
  • Styrofoam
  • Toilet Roll Tubes
  • Large Cardboard Box
  • Spatula
  • 1 Quart Black Paint
  • Ceiling Texture Paint
  • Paper Towel Tube
  • Sea Sponge
  • Glue
  • Masking Tape
  • 1 Quart Brown Paint
  • Joint Compound

Find a picture for inspiration. Check online or in books for a picture of the tiki structures built from stone in Hawaii. The more sharp lines and angles the design has the easier the design is to replicate. Keep this picture as reference throughout the project.

Create the mask structure. Mold pieces of discarded cardboard boxes around the garbage can. The can is used as support for the frame and is disregarded later. Glue the pieces together and reinforce with masking tape to connect all seams. The basic shape should resemble a rectangular head.

Create the face features. The top eight of the mask is forehead. give the brow definition by adding extra cardboard the the top so the area protrudes out further than the rest of the face. In the middle of the brow put an empty paper towel role to create the bridge of the nose coming down from the forehead. To create width and depth glue empty toilet paper rolls around the bottom half of the paper towel roll. Bridge the nose structure together with long pieces of tape. Cut two kidney shaped ears out of styrafoam that covers almost the full length of each side. Cut out a wide mouth resembling an oval using flexible packing foam as the lips. Adhere with glue and tape.

Apply the paper mache. Cut strips of newspaper and paper bags then dip each piece into carpenters glue. Apply each strip onto the cardboard around the ears nose and mouth to strengthen them onto the main cardboard. Use a wet sponge to clean off the excess glue. For extra strength, paper mache the entire surface. Let dry overnight.

Smear joint compound over the entire surface with a spatula. The joint compound will add a realistic stone texture. Let dry overnight.

Paint the mask to look like stone. Mix ceiling texture paint with brown paint and brush the mixture onto the entire surface. Allow to dry. Mix a darker brown with acrylic clear coat to form a wash. Apply it to the mask. Spatter some black paint on the surface for a realistic stone effect. Allow the paint to dry. Apply tan paint to the entire surface with a sea sponge.

Create the mask opening. Cut out the inside of the mouth with a razor. From the inside of the mask, tape a screen to cover the mouth opening. When wearing the mask the screen will allow the wearer to see while camouflaging the face.

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