From Halloween to New Years to Mardi Gras, the colder months herald a popular party theme: the Masquerade. Masquerades originated as parties for the upper class and wealthy but fell in and out of public favor over the centuries. Due to the veiled identities of those attending, these masked balls gave people the opportunity for behaviors that deviated from the social norms at the time. In time, these nights of revelry and lewd behavior gave way to a more PG version of fun, often being presented as a game to guess the identity of the mask-wearer. Since highly formal dress and dances are no longer a common occurrence, a present day masquerade party gives us an excuse to buy a new outfit, dress up, and (sort of) be someone else for the evening.
When the three of us were invited to a masquerade, we knew this would be a fun DIY that could showcase our three very different personalities. We all started with the same plastic masquerade mask from Michaels and went from there. We made sure to cater to a variety of craftiness levels – from someone who has anxiety just thinking about going to a craft store to someone who could probably open up their own craft store with their collection of supplies.
We are very happy with how these turned out and are excited to share them with you! They are a great alternative to buying a cheap-ass mask at the dollar store or an extremely expensive mask on Etsy.
DIY MASQUERADE MASKS – 3 WAYS
GRECIAN GOLD MASK
Danielle knows her way around a glue gun and thus was the most ambitious. Her Grecian- inspired mask uses unique and unexpected materials for visual interest.
Plastic masquerade mask
Black acrylic paint
Gold acrylic paint
Gold adhesive leaves (found in scrapbooking section)
Start by penciling out the desired design. Danielle shaped out the eyes and straight down the nose, taking it all the way to the edges of the mask. Then use the acrylic black paint for the shape around the eyes and metallic gold paint for the rest. This took several coats, so Danielle recommends using a primer first. Remove the adhesive from the back of the gold leaves and hot glue them along the top of the mask and layering them from the inside. (Stick the next leaf under the one in front of it.) Then place three in a formation in the center. The second row of leaves (the glittery ones) were the Christmas poinsettias – cut the petals off and use the same layering technique, using small leaves in the center and bigger ones toward the outside. Finally, use a small paintbrush to line the inside of the eye holes with glitter glue and add self adhesive rhinestones to accent the inner eye area and outer corners. Thread gold (or black) ribbon through the slots on each side of the mask and secure each end with hot glue for a clean, finished look.
GLAM BLACK MATTE MASK
Shae is the middle ground of the group – in both patience level and crafting prowess. She wanted something that matched her outfit for the evening and that was simple, elegant and haunting.
First, paint mask with flat black acrylic paint. Wait for it to dry. Glue half hackle plate (yes that black feathery thing on top is called a ‘hackle plate’ – it’s good to learn new things) to the top of the mask using a hot glue gun. Shae chose to leave the extra piece at the top of the mask to give the hackle plate a sturdy base. Decorate with jeweled-tone rhinestones. Shae put a small black rhinestone in the inner corner of each eye, added black and teal rhinestones around the left eye starting from the corner out to the brow, and a few more around base of the hackle plate. Hot glue them down, so you don’t lose one to the bathroom sink like Shae did during the party. Using a small paint brush, paint two tear shapes below the left eye using the same black paint. Before the paint dries, sprinkle silver glitter onto the tear drops. Shake off excess glitter. Thread black ribbon through the slots on each side of the mask and secure each end with hot glue for a clean, finished look.
BLACK & GOLD FEATHER MASK
Julie is the least crafty and most impatient of the bunch and ultimately decided to go for a Black Swan inspired feathered mask accented with gold to make it a bit more festive.
Julie cut off the excess embellishment up top, she wasn’t planing on it being super tall and didn’t want it to show. Paint the mask with black acrylic paint. After (reluctantly) letting it dry, glue black feathers onto the mask using a hot glue gun, moving from the outsides of the mask towards the nose. Continue to add feathers until mask is covered. After letting mask dry (again, ugh) line the eye holes with gold glitter glue. Using a paint brush, lightly brush gold glitter glue to the edges of the feathers and around nose. Add some gold ribbon to tie mask.
If you DIY a mask for an upcoming masquerade, tag us in the photo on Instagram! Enjoy masquerade season and get creative!