This method is
safe, non toxic but messy!
Scrunch up some
newspaper into a ball and tape this to the wooden board.
This will save
you wasting too much clay.
Cover paper with
clay. Mould your mask in the clay on the board making sure that the
mould roughly matches the dimensions of your face (The eyes are where
your eyes will be, nose etc.) You can use a plaster cast of your own
face if you want as the base and mould the clay on top.
Take some time
to get this right. Do not copy one mask, look at as many examples of the
desired character as you can. It is more important to get the essence of
Arlecchino than for it to look the spitting image of a traditional mask.
Once you are happy with the way it looks leave it overnight. Do not hook
the nose or the chin too much as the mask will not release from the
Dip the felt in a
bowl of PVA and water (About 4/5 PVA to 1/5) and leave to soak for about
Don't be afraid
to scrunch the felt up and stretch it slightly.
Cover the mask with
a layer of Vaseline- Petroleum Jelly. (Make sure you get all the
Place the felt on
the mould and carefully press the felt into the contours of the face
trying not to crease the felt. As you press the felt into the mould hold
it in place with some tacks. When you have finished leave the mask to
dry in a warm place. (This will take anything from overnight to 48
Turn your oven on
to its lowest setting (100 - 120 c) and place the mask in the oven on
it's board. Leave for about 2 hours and then let it cool.
Take out the tacks
and carefully prize of the mask from the mould (This is time consuming
and frustrating but be patient and gentle)
mask and painting.
Carefully cut any
excess felt from the mask.
Mark in pencil
where the eyes should go and put pinpricks in these marks. Once you have
aligned the pin holes so you can see through you can use these as the
centre point of the mask’s eyes and cut carefully around them.
Eyes often need
several modifications before you can see properly. It is better to cut
holes that are too small than holes that are too big
Paint the mask with
acrylic paints in your chosen design. (Anything from plain brown to neon
Use a darker
shade in sunken parts of the face and slightly lighter to highlight the
eyebrows as this will heighten the features of your mask.
Cut two holes
either side of the mask and add the elastic.
You have your mask!