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How to Make a Papier Mache Vejigante Mask

Vejigantes are part of the Puerto Rican culture. These comical characters appear in celebrations wearing masks and costumes with wings. They have been used to symbolize different things over the years, from the devil to a resistance to colonialism. The brightly colored Vejigante mask consists of a papier mache face and horns.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Acrylic Paint
  • White Paste
  • Cardboard Paper
  • Aluminum Foil
  • White Primer
  • Masking Tape
  • Craft Paper

Make a mold of the face of the person who will be wearing the mask. Cut foil bigger than the head of your subject. Place the foil against the person’s face and, quickly, press around on the foil around the person’s face to get the impression.

Remove the foil and cover both sides of it with masking tape. Do this carefully so you do not lose the impressions. The masking tape makes the mold stronger.

Use a pair of scissors to cut openings for the eyes and mouth in the appropriate spots on the mold.

Make horns with cardboard. To make a simple horn, cut a triangle from the cardboard, making sure that the height is equal to the length of the horn you need. Roll the triangle into a cone, overlapping one edge over the other, and then use masking tape to hold the edges together. Select a spot on the mask for the horn and attach the base of the horn to the mask with masking tape and glue.

Make papier mache. Mix small pieces of craft paper and white paste together in a bucket.

Cover the mask and horns with the papier mache. One layer may be enough but apply more as needed. Leave the mask to dry completely.

Apply a base paint of white primer on the mask and leave it to dry. Paint the mask with acrylic paints in any pattern you wish.

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