The history of the masquerade ball dates all the way back to the 13th century in Venice when masks were worn during the festive season of Carnival. Before lent, people took over the streets, dressed in dazzling costumes and ostentatious masks of all shapes and sizes in order to partake in religious festivities. Eventually, members of high society adopted this Venetian tradition and it became custom to wear masks in masquerade balls from the 17th century onwards.
Venetians used the masks to allow commoners to mingle with upper-class citizens amongst other things. Today, the masquerade ball still hints at themes such as lust or romantic allure, however, people of all ages, genders, and religions can be seen partaking in mask-wearing traditions all year round. It is not uncommon to see people on Halloween, Marti Gras or any other celebration, using a masquerade mask to create a mysteriously beautiful look. It would also no be unheard of to see masks worn at prom or Chinese New Year celebrations!
Masquerade masks usually cover the top half of the face and are more often than not attached to a handle. For those that prefer not to hold their mask in place, you also have the option to tie the mask around your head using ribbon. A DIY masquerade mask is actually a really fun project to do alone if you're in the mood to be creative, or, to keep kids entertained and work on creative skills together. Even if you're not making the mask for any particular reason, kids will love using them as a dress-up accessory all year round and what's more, they are totally customizable so you can make different masks to fit different themes. Finally, what's better than a creative activity? A FREE creative activity! This DIY project is an activity that will save you a ton of money as everything you need you will be able to find around the house.
Today, our step-by-step instructions will help you to contrast a half-face masquerade mask. There are different types of masquerade masks including full-face, head and stick masks however this half-face design offers practicality as the wearer is able to comfortably talk, eat and drink!
Step 1: Find a Mask Template! All you need to do is type 'masquerade mask template' into any search engine and wait to see what results pop up. If you've never made a mask before or are planning to make one with young children then it's best to choose a simple design. On the whole, we recommend selecting a template with plenty of inner space for full customizing potential!
Step 2: Print Your Chosen Design onto Cardstock! We recommend using cardstock as it tends to be sturdier however thick paper works too. You will find both thick paper or cardstock at most craft or art stores however if you want to save your hard-earned cash then why not use the back of a cereal box? Finally, check your printer is able to print on thicker paper and if so, change the settings to accommodate your needs.
Step 3: Pencil on Detail to Your Mask! Think outside of the box! Use a pencil to lightly sketch flames, stars, waves and more to the center of the mask or the outline for a unique design that reflects your personality or a specific look that you are trying to create.
Step 4: Carefully Cut Around Your Mask! Use a good pair of scissors that will give you smooth, curved lines without jagged or scruffy edges that can make your mask look as if it's on its last legs! Don’t forget to add any elements that you have added in the previous step and remember to leave extra room on each side for attaching a band or ribbon at the end.
Step 5: Paint Your Mask Using Acrylic Paint: Masquerade masks usually have reds, blues, and golden color schemes however you definitely don’t need to these traditional hues. We recommend using a smaller paintbrush to make your work more precise as well as using several coats to make the color that much richer. Our top painting tips include allowing one color to dry before using another color and when painting, keep your fingers away from wet paint when holding the mask. Finally, when you are happy with your work, put your mask to one side and wait at least 4 hours for it to dry.
Step 6: Glue on Extras and Embellishments! This is our favorite stage of the mask-making process, it's time to get creative! Masquerade masks are known for making the wearer stand out from the crowd so we recommend using decorative materials such as glitter, sequins, gems, ribbons or anything else you have lying around the house! Once complete, leave your mask for another hour before moving onto the final stage.
Step 7: Attach a String to Your Mask for a Hands-Free Option! Attach a string or ribbon to you can tie it around the back of your head. If you are using your mask as a decorative piece for your home, a ribbon can also be a nice way to hang it. Simply use a hole punch to make small holes on both sides of the mask and thread the ribbon through the holes!
There is no denying that wearing a masquerade mask hints at the notion of mystery. Not only are masks used to depict emotion in a more artistic and creative way, they can also serve as decorative items at home. Even if you have no costume party in the calendar as of yet, it's a great way to while away an afternoon and prompts your children to explore their creativity. Thanks to our easy-to-follow instructions, you'll be a masquerade mask expert in no time at all! Enjoy cutting, painting and sticking and come away with a one-of-a-kind dress up or decorative piece!
If you've already mastered the masquerade mask look and are looking for another way to get creative then check out our guide on how to make slime!