Homemade Costume Masks

What You'll Need
Newspaper Strips
Large Bowl
Balloon or Gallon Milk Jug
String (for hair)
Fancy decorations

A homemade costume is fun to make and easy to individualize. An important aspect too many costumes is a mask. There are several kinds of masks you can make ranging from paper masks to paper mache. A paper mache mask is large, textured and easily formed.

Step 1 - Paste

The first step in making paper mache is preparing the paste. Mix one cup of flour with two cups of lukewarm water. Slowly add more water until the mixture is slightly soupy.

Step 2 - Mask Form

The next step is to prepare your form. You can use a balloon or milk jug to act as a base. The milk jug needs to be cut in half, from the top to the bottom, with the handle placed so that it can be used to a nose. If you choose to use the balloon, inflate the balloon to the size of your head. A balloon is very useful if you are making masks for children, but you will have to build your own nose.

Step  3 - First Layers

Dip the strips of paper in the glue and apply them to your mask form. If you use a balloon, only apply the strips to the front, top and sides of the mask. Leave room for your head. Place the strips in the same direction and smooth out any air bubbles. If you are using the milk jug, be sure to wrap the nose. The milk jug only needs two or three layers, these layers need to be applied in opposite directions. Once you have applied the layers, let them dry completely. Add any extra forms, horns excreta, before you let the mask dry. Apply two or three layers to the balloon and let it dry.

Step 4 - Balloon Layers

Once the first few layers are dry on the balloon, you can add more layers. Continue to add layers until the mask is sturdy. As you layer the balloon, add any extra forms: nose, horns, and ears. Let the mask dry every few layers. Once the mask is completely dry, pop the balloon.

Step 5 - Finishing Touches

Now that you have a mask form, it is time to finish it. Use the knife to cut the eyes out of the mask. Compare the mask to your head so that you know where to place the eyes. Once the eyes are cut, you can paint your mask. The mask can be realistic or fun and scary. You can also glue string to the top of the mask as hair. Glue dangles, sparkles and other decorations directly onto the paint. When you are completely done decorating the mask, staple elastic to both sides of the mask and tie it around your head.