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How-to Mardi Gras Mask

Make a Mardi Gras mask with feathers, glitter and more.

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Ahh, Mardi Gras. The wholesome holiday where we can all come together in joyful celebration of, well, the spirit of Partying On.

The best thing about Mardi Gras is the costumes and masks. It's like the hardcore Halloween that works to sweep away the Winter blues in a flurry on confetti and brass horns.

1. Mask Method #1: Custom Fit Paper Mache Mask

Paper Mache Mask
Rain Blanken
You can take on Mardi Gras this year with a mask that not only looks fabulous, but is custom-made to fit your very own face. The best part is that all you need to make this couture face is a little flour and water.

2. Mask Method #2 Make a Cardboard Eye Mask

Alternately, you can make a Mardi Gras mask from cardboard or paper using this blank eye mask template.

3. Make a Feathered Mask

Feathered Mardi Gras Mask
Rain Blanken
You don't have to be a mysterious stranger to conjure the mystique of a feathery mask. I'll show you how to make one using a few simple materials, lots of feathers, and the will to dazzle at the masquerade.

4. Paint the Mask

Mardi Gras Mask
Rain Blanken
Whether painting on cardboard or dried paper mache, you'll want to use an acrylic paint (compare prices). This is because it will resist water, which is important for the durability of your mask. Acrylic paint won't cost you much and you should have enough left over for future projects.
Here are some painting ideas:
  • Try a purple, green and yellow combination to represent the traditional Mardi Gras colors.
  • Work in some metallic paints for an old-fashioned look.
  • Paint a jester-style diamond pattern as shown.
  • Paint around the eyes and mouth to emphasize. You can paint lips or eyelashes.
  • Go with an animal theme, painting on whiskers and fur.
  • Use a free printable shape stencil to help paint on colorful shapes.

5. Add Sequin Shapes

Sequins
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Every mask needs at least a little bit of glam. Add a row of sequins at the bottom of your feathery crown, at the corners of the eyes, or along the sides of your mask.
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6. Glitter Glue Glam

Glitter Glue
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When it comes to glitter, you can try a spray-on adhesive glitter for the entire mask, or add bits of glitter flakes with the help of some white glue.

Here are some glitter ideas:

  • Make swirls of glue on the cheeks of your mask and coat with glitter.
  • Trace around the eyes with multicolored glitter.
  • Create sweeping eyelashes with lines of glitter.
  • Add a glue-glitter mix to a paintbrush and paint glittery shapes.
  • Put glitter only on top of on paint color, such as yellow.
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7. Examples of Finished Eye Masks

Feathered Masks
Rain Blanken
I was fortunate enough to talk with a professional mask maker at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Her shop, The Feather Place, played host to a variety of expertly crafted masks. See what she's done with her masks to get inspiration for you own.

8. Cheap Last-Minute Masks

Mardi Gras Masks
Image courtesy of PriceGrabber
To get more mask ideas, check out some of these inexpensive Mardi Gras masks for inspiration.

Once your mask is complete, you can can pick up a few of these cheap masks and talk your friends into dressing up, too.

(Need help? Ask Rain on Facebook.)

Fast DIY Jewelry:
Milk Tab Bracelet . Pop Tab Bracelet . Make Paper Jewelry . Toothbrush Bracelet . Microchip Earrings . Hemp Necklace . Pressed Penny Bracelet

Easy Bags, Hats, Scarves and More:
4 Ways to Tie a Tie . Make Glittery Heels . 5 Placemat Purses . Cassette Tape Wallet . Duct Tape Wallet . How-To Bags . Finger Knit a Scarf . Gloves and Wristbands . Easy Zippered Change Purse

Clothes you can Make:
10 Upcycled T-shirt Tutorials . Make PantsSkirt Tutorials . Dye Your Clothes . Recycle Your Clothes . 10 Clothing Repairs You Should Know . Beginner Sewing Projects

Please Note: Photographs, patterns and illustrations contained in this article are copyrighted ©Rain Blanken and Getty Images, and licensed to About.com, Inc. Do not redistribute these photographs or illustrations in any form.

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