Saturday, April 28, 2012

Making A Recycled-Paper Mask (Mardi-Gras Type)

Butterfly Mask folded
Tracing onto cardboard
Due to the popularity of my previous post about Mardi Gras Masks, I have decided to make a couple more butterfly-based masks out of recycled paper (which I am planning to put up sale soon at my Etsy store GiftBaskets4Fun).  I found the cardboard for this project in packages of other papers. The cardboard is stiff but relatively thin so it can be cut relatively easily with scissors. 

First, I had to make a new template (because in my infinite wisdom, I didn't save the previous one!).  In order to have both sides of the butterfly be the same, I only drew 1/2 of the butterfly and the folded the paper and cut it out while folded...that gave me a perfect mirror image on both sides of the butterfly.

Cutting the shape out of cardboard
Next, I traced the butterfly onto the cardboard and then cut it out with scissors. I used my mid-quality scissors to cut out the main butterfly shape and used my good-quality scissors and my x-acto knife only for the detail-work (so as to not do damage or dull the blades).

Cutting the eye-shape out with a knife
I find that I am motivated by trying to use as much of my base-product items as possible when I craft.  So this time, I took eye-hole cut-outs and used them to cut out a bunch more of the same shape from the left-over cardboard chunks.  I ended up with a total of 21 eye-shapes which I believe make wonderful feather-shapes (see my previous post about Mardi Gras Masks - and look at the owl).


Once I had cut out all of the eye/feathers, I ended up with very little cardboard leftover (and a much better option for adding to my recycle bin - or perhaps I will keep the bits and see what they add to my hand-made paper).

Cutting extra eye-shapes (I use them as feathers)
Cutting out the mask-shape from the cardboard is really the hardest part.  The rest is just fun.  I like to paint the whole mask a base-color and then dry-brush another color over the top to give it a more feather-like feel.  

I may also experiment with paint-scrapping to get a different feel.   I love this project because anyone can easily decorate and personalize the masks.  It's a fun way to introduce the concept of collage.  I love that my daughter is excited to make her own.  We may play with other mask-shapes too. 

I am going to play with ways to attach the masks to holding-sticks and/or ways to wear them.   I'll post the results of my new masks as soon as I get them made.  Thank you so much for your interest in my masks!
The mask and 21 additional eye/feathers, ready for decorating.