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How to Make a Mask With Plaster of Paris & Newspaper

2012-07-22   Views:11

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Make a mask using a live person as a model. Use newspaper strips dipped in a plaster of Paris mixture and apply the strips to a model's face that has been prepared with petroleum jelly. After the mask has dried, build up facial features and paint it

How to Make a Mask With Plaster of Paris & Newspaper

Make a mask using a live person as a model. Use newspaper strips dipped in a plaster of Paris mixture and apply the strips to a model's face that has been prepared with petroleum jelly. After the mask has dried, build up facial features and paint it to make fantastic creature features or decorate it with beads and sequins. This is a messy project that will take a couple of hours from start to finish. The mask must dry overnight before it can be decorated.

Skill level:Moderately Easy

Things you need

NewspaperScissorsPlaster of ParisWaterWhite craft gluePetroleum jellyBowlSpoonChairPlastic wrapTapePaintBeads and sequins

Instructions

1 Prepare the work area by spreading newspapers over any area in which you will be working with the plaster. This includes not only tabletops, but also chairs and floors.

2 Cut the newspaper into strips about 2 by 6 inches. Have enough strips cut to cover a face twice or three times over without having to stop to cut more strips.

3 Mix the plaster of Paris with water in a large bowl, stirring long enough to get rid of any lumps. If lumps persist, use your hand to stir and mash any lumps to smooth it. The plaster should be the consistency of pancake batter or a bit thicker. Add a couple of tablespoons of white glue to the mixture at the end and mix well.

4 Seat the model in a chair and wrap plastic wrap around his head to protect his hair. Tape the plastic wrap to his head. A shower cap may also work, but it needs to fit snugly around his hairline.

5 Coat his face with petroleum jelly. A thin layer will suffice, but make sure it coats evenly. Do not put petroleum jelly on his lips or in his eyes or nose. You will have to coat his eyebrows thoroughly. Have the model keep his eyes closed until you are finished applying newspaper strips.

6 Dip a newspaper strip into the bowl of plaster and soak it just until it is thoroughly wet. If you leave it in longer, it likely will become too mushy to use. Immediately raise it up over the bowl with two fingers and run it through two fingers of the other hand to remove excess plaster. Quickly place the strip on the model's face, avoiding his eyes, nostrils and mouth.

7 Start with the forehead and work clockwise around the face. Do not put plaster strips under his chin or it will be difficult to remove the mask later.

8 Overlap each strip and smooth it down with your fingers against his skin. Cut the newspaper into smaller pieces or different shapes if necessary. Apply the strips in this fashion until you have two or three layers all over the face. Make sure the edges are not thin; they should be more than one layer thick.

9 Have the model sit quietly without moving his face for about five minutes to give the plaster time to harden. The model can open his eyes for the drying time but must not laugh or try to speak.

10 Have the model begin to move his facial muscles under the mask after five minutes. This will loosen the plaster. Once he has done this, gently lift the mask from his face. Once it is off, he should immediately wash his face with soap and water to remove the petroleum jelly.

11 Put the mask in a place where it will not be disturbed for at least 24 hours so it can harden. After that time, decorate it with paint, beads, feathers or sequins.

Tips and warnings

Clean the work area as the mask dries. Don't get any plaster down the drain because it can clog plumbing. Do not allow the plaster to dry on anything you do not want to throw away.

To get a smooth surface to your mask, gently rub a layer of plaster onto it once it has dried completely and before you paint it.

Build up facial features on the mask with more plaster after it has dried.

Make ears for the mask out of cardboard.

Use plaster bandages instead of newspaper and plaster of Paris.

Never apply plaster strips to skin without a layer of petroleum jelly.

Always wear old clothes for this project because plaster can ruin clothing.

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