How to Make a Paper Mache Mask With a Foil Mold

By Lauren Vork

If you're looking to make a mask that's custom sized and molded to your face, but you find the prospect of plaster casts daunting, there's an easier way. With the combination of simple aluminum foil and papier-mache, you can render your face (or anyone else's) in mask form with ease and minimal expense or special materials.

Pull a 24-inch-long piece of aluminum foil from the roll. Fold it in half lengthwise to make a two-ply, 12-inch-long piece.

Relax your face and close your eyes.

Press the aluminum foil over your face, covering it. Run your fingers over the foil to mold it to your face and wrap it around your features. Pay special attention to the foil around your eyes, nose and mouth. Remove the foil once you have a mask-shaped impression of your face.

Trim away the excess foil from the mask portion using scissors.

Coat the foil mask in a thin layer of wheat paste using an artist's brush. If the paste seems heavy or if you have trouble coating the foil without pressing hard enough to lose the face impression, water down the paste a bit.

Cover the foil face and wheat paste with strips of toilet paper. Tear small strips, as needed, to cover the features of the face and wrap around the small details without distorting them. Let this dry for four to six hours, or until the paste dries and the toilet paper is dry to the touch.

Add a second coat of wheat paste and a second coat of toilet paper. Let dry again.

Cut out eye and nose holes using the craft knife, if you like.

Apply additional layers of papier-mache in the same manner, now using newspaper strips instead of toilet paper. Let dry between applications. Apply four to six layers to the top of the mask and two or three layers to the underside of the mask, leaving the foil sandwiched between the layers.

Paint and decorate the mask with acrylic paint, glue and beads or findings.

Tip

Decrease the drying time of the papier-mache by placing it in the stream of area fans or drying with a hair dryer.

About the Author

Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and thecvstore.net. Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.