Have you checked out the half masks available for Halloween in stores lately!?! Not only are they made of hard plastic with sharp scratchy edges, (they don’t bend easily OR fit little faces well, either) but they are BORING! And another problem with these masks occurred to us when we purchased a couple to decorate: The eye holes are oftentimes too small and uncomfortable to boot. Because of these problems, a couple years ago, my son and I came up with an inexpensive crafters’ alternative to store-bought half masks!
The supplies are few, and you can add to the mask as you see fit in order to personalize the mask with each child’s costume. Craft foamie sheets and narrow elastic cord are the basics for this craft. The foamie sheets come in many different colors and are easily cut with both plain and crafters scissors so they are easily decorated as well. And believe it or not, foamie sheets have come a long way since they first appeared nearly 10 years ago in craft stores. Not only are foamies available in every color of the rainbow but they are also available in fantastic tie dye designs, random color whirls and even fun animal patterns. The possibilities are endless when it comes to foamies and what you can create from them!
First, measure your child’s face from the outside of one eye and across the nose to the other eye. This is the basic measurement for your mask. Add ½ in. to 1in to the complete size, for extra foam past the eye holes. On your paper sketch the basic mask shape including the eye holes. Cut out this mask and check for proper eye shape and placement by placing this on your child’s face. Adjust as needed. When you have the shape you need, trace it on another sheet of paper. On THIS paper add extras such as cat eyes rounder eyes, lightning shapes etc. Place your template on the foamie, trace and carefully cut out. Punch a hole at each outer edge about ¼ inch from the edge, for the elastic cord. Try this on for size on your little Halloweener and adjust for size. Be careful it is not too tight! Instead of elastic cord for the little princess in your life, you can use fancy ribbon to make her feel more glamorous. Be sure to double check that the ribbon doesn’t slide though, you may need to secure it with barrettes or use a regular elastic band under the ribbon.
Now you have the base for your mask. Lay it flat (you may want to loosen the elastic on one side to so this) and decorate away! Let your imagination be your guide! Adding sequins, glitter glue, foamie shapes, feathers and anything else you can think of will make this mask one your child can truly be proud of and one you can be assured will be appreciated for many years to come! After Halloween, these make neat wall decorations and are definite keepers; for memory boxes! So, if you are looking for a way to personalize your child’s Halloween costume…head for your favorite store take a deep breath and have fun! Happy crafting!!!