apollinav: apollinav (Death Eater AV)
[personal profile] apollinav

I’m certain this has been done numerous times, but I’ve documented the process of making Death Eaters masks in detail. Dixiebell, ebil witch that she is, put a bug in my ear to go on a raiding party at Hogsmeade Witches Weekend. And really, who can say no to that?

 

Since it’s very graphics heavy, it’s below the cut.

 

 

Please excuse the mess. I don’t have the most logical mind, but I’ve tried to be succinct while offering ‘good advice.’   I free handed this as ideas came to me, but a birdie told me that you might want to plan your design out first.  I like 'surprises'  and with all art there is never any wrongs.  Whatever you do will be brilliant and unique.  As you can tell this was done on my dirty ironing board.  It only took a day and a half, and it was very easy to complete.  And I had so much fun, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Supplies

Sturdy Mardi Gras mask ($17.95)

Air Dry papier-mâché – Just add water ($6.99) 

NOTE: I only used a good fistful of the stuff for everything, so there’s no use buying a big box unless you have other plans for it.

Black and silver acrylic paint. High gloss acrylic sealer. ($1.25 apiece)

3/8” black elastic band ($1.29 for 2 yards)

Black felt square (.25)

Craft paste ($2.99) and Crazy Glue ($1.99)

Exacto-knife

Assorted brushes and whatnot. Foam sponge stipplers worked really well. I was happy about finally having a project to use my modeling tools on, and they were useless. Recommend using finger.

 

Step 1:

Find a mask. Give me the small indulgence that I wanted a demi-mask. All the instructions apply just as well to a full face mask. I selected the mask I used based upon its shape, potential, and fit. In this case it was fortunate that I live in Louisiana where Mardi Gras masks are plentiful. There are several sources online. The mask blanks at Michaels are thin plastic crap. I’m pretty certain they’ll cave under the weight of the papier-mâché.

-          I pulled the flimsy tie strings off the back. I’ll replace those with elastic later.

 

Step 2:

Mix the air dry papier-mâché. The instructions on the box are for mixing 1lb of material. Ha! Grab a fist full and slowly add warm water – less than a half cup. Knead with your hands until you have a workable doughy/spongy ball.

 

Step 3:

Work fast. The stuff dries quickly on your hands and digital camera… Place your papier-mâché where you want it. I built up the brow and made cheekbones that Sophia Loren would be jealous of. It sculpts fairly well. Fortunately I am highly skilled at mucking around with playdough. This stuff doesn’t taste as good as playdough, but it’s better than paste! Yum!

 

 

Step 4:

Let it dry. I placed the masks in front of a box fan to speed up the air drying process because I had it built up pretty thick. I let it dry a full day just to be safe, but it looked ‘fine’ overnight.

 

Step 5:

Paint! My favorite part. The papier-mâché is very porous and will suck paint like crazy. You’re going to do two layers of base coat, so leave the detail work until the end. Build up a base coat, letting it dry between each painting. I used the box fan to speed it up again, but acrylics also dry fast. Where I painted on straight plastic required some patience because it likes to smear, but once a good base coat had taken, it was easy. **make sure you’re allowing it to dry between coats**

 

-          In applying camouflage, the theory is that you subdue the high points on the face – chin, cheekbones, lips, brow, and nose. Then you highlight the low points on the face, cheeks, temples, jawline. From a distance you then look more ‘flat.’ Incidentally this is the reverse of applying ladies makeup. To stand out and look striking, you want to highlight the highpoints. I did this by using the silver paint. I burnished the cheekbones for high drama and darkened around the eyes. Death Eaters – drama queens.

-          I left some swirls that were on the original unfinished mask and just highlighted them. I liked the texture change between the gloss of the mask and the papier-mâché. Why not use what’s there?

 

Applying a basecoat

Adding details

 

Stippling for affect

 Step 6:

Once I was satisfied with the finished look, I added the sealer. Acrylic doesn’t require a sealant like some paints do, but I was more concerned about preserving the papier-mâché. The sealant also added some high gloss glam. Several sealants are on the market for big bucks. I used a small bottle found with the other acrylics for under $2. When they say that it dries fast – they ain’t kidding. Use your biggest brush and just swirl that sucker on. Oh, ventilation would also be good.

Step 7:

Once you’re completely dried and ready to finish off your mask it’s time to add felt to the back. Is it necessary? Nope. Completely optional. But I figure if I’m going to have something stuck to my face, I’m going to be comfortable. And anyone who’s worn a gasmask for over 5 hours can attest to that. It’s an extra step that’s worth it. Slather craft glue/paste to one half of your mask. Place the felt over it, and adjust as necessary. You might have to snip the felt here and there to manipulate it. Press it into the nose cavity. Slather craft glue/paste to the other half of the mask. Use your fingers to smooth it all out. Set it aside to dry. This doesn’t really take too long. I used Aileen’s All purpose craft paste. I don’t see rubber cement working out too well.

 

Attaching felt

Step 8:

Use an Exacto-knife to cut away the excess felt from the edge of the mask and the eyeholes. You don’t need me to tell you to be careful – do you? I thought not. As always, cut away from yourself. I used smaller snips to trim up fuzz and what the knife left behind. Save a small portion of the felt.

Step 9:

Cut the elastic band into the right length to tie behind your head. I eyeballed it. I also cut four ties that way I can secure it above and below my ears. It also helps with comfort. Glue the ends to the mask. I used super glue.  Then using what’s left of the felt, cut a circle. Glue the circle over the elastic end so that it doesn’t rub you inside the mask. If you want to be uber-crafty, use a lighter to singe the ends of the elastic so it doesn’t fray. Once the glue is all dry you’re ready to hit the town.

 This is me.   All tarted up and trying to look …dunno… whatever it is, it’s not working. But you get the idea.

 

 

Lessons learned:

Papier-mâché does not take sandpaper well.

Get someone to photograph your process for you. The digital camera now sports some lovely paint splotches and papier-mâché.

 

 

 

 

Date: 12 August 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
ext_160024: (Default)
From: [identity profile] qui-quae-quod.livejournal.com
Yay! Another DE! *supresses a very unDE-like squee* See you in Chicago!

Date: 12 August 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
I can't wait! I have visions of going with my DE friends to Starbucks.

I think Dix mentioned a raid of Sears Tower - Eeek! - I'd really rather not get shot by Homeland Security. I can read the news ticker now, "Twenty Masked Assailants Invade High Value Target - Intensions Unclear"

Perhaps I am too overly cautious and Hufflepuff for the Death Eaters...

Date: 12 August 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
ext_160024: (Default)
From: [identity profile] qui-quae-quod.livejournal.com
LOLOL! Nah - we wouldn't 'raid' per se. We'll probably go in initially with our masks off and smile sweetly and giggle at any guards there might be and explain why we're dressed up. Then we'll go in and do the photos. :D

Date: 12 August 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Whew! Relief.

For a moment there I thought I was going to have to bust out the riot gear.

Date: 12 August 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dixiebell12.livejournal.com
You look divine my dear!

Friends that get arested together are friends for life *snickers madly*

Hugs,
Dix

Date: 12 August 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Thank heavens! I wouldn't be the person to come to for bail money (got none), but I'd still want to support my peoplez. Being arrested with them would be support, right?

Date: 12 August 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clairvoyant12.livejournal.com
You haz mad craftin' skilz. That is a beautiful mask and you are working it, fangurl!

I was inspired to make a Sculpey replica of Bella's bird skull pendant. I got the dimensions kind of right on the second attempt. You will see it in Chicago!

Date: 12 August 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Why thank you m'dear!

Ooh, that sounds excellent. I can't wait to see your Bella pendant. I can't wait to meet you for that matter.

Date: 12 August 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sbrande.livejournal.com
Awesome. I don't have the time or the patience to make a mask. That's why Dixie made mine... LOL, I cheated and it looks a million times better then I could have made it!

love Sonia :)

Date: 12 August 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Dix rocks.

And Cheating is a perfectly legit Death Eater value.

You're staying in character.

Kisses babe.

Date: 12 August 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opaljade.livejournal.com
Oh, wow! This is quite impressive.

Thanks for sharing your secret, DE. ;D

Date: 12 August 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you liked it. I had oodles of fun.

Date: 12 August 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miamadwyn.livejournal.com
Gorgeous. (So was the mask you started with!)

Date: 12 August 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
*nods* That it was. But, I am told that it's not fashionable this season. And I must keep up with the trends.

Date: 12 August 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morethansirius.livejournal.com
Oooooh, sounds fun!
Would you consider posting a link to this over on [livejournal.com profile] zibit_con_09? I'm sure lots of people would love to see this even if they don't have time before HWW to make a mask.

Date: 12 August 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Done, and done m'dear.

Date: 12 August 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morethansirius.livejournal.com
Cool! Thanks for sharing. One of these days I'll have time to play and make my own mask!

Date: 12 August 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sabrebabe.livejournal.com
there's another air-dry papier mache clay called Creative PaperClay (found at Michaels and online at Creative Paperclay). I use this because it handles just like clay, doesn't dry immeidately, and is hard as a freakin' ROCK when it does dry (it's base is volcanic ash!). And, is handles sandpaper like a *dream*. You can ecen buff it up to a nice glassy-smooth finish (if yo're patient enough) with various grades of steel wool (one guess who is patient crazy enough...).

Also requires a sealant of some type if you think it's going to be exposed to water, as it *will* revert to clay again, even after it's dried. But it's great because you can add little bits later on by wetting and adding. I've fallen in love with the stuff.

Lightweight and *almost* impervious!

Date: 12 August 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
SWEET! Sounds faboo.

Thanks a million for the recommendation. I don't see myself making another mask so soon, but I have a kajillion other projects and this is definitely good stuff.

Date: 12 August 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] droxy.livejournal.com
Very ver death eatery. The dark lord is proud. XD

SQUEEE

Date: 12 August 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Oh excellent! I'm so glad it meets with his approval.

Date: 12 August 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luvsev.livejournal.com
Love the mask; it's gorgeous.

Date: 12 August 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm happy with it too.

Date: 12 August 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christev.livejournal.com
You're kinda like Bella meets Martha Stewart, all kinds of crafty with bits of ebil thrown in. (And who knew Bella was so crafty!!) At the risk of sounding tremendously uncool, I think you're neat. Neat, do you hear me? Please don't Crucio me from behind that gorgeous mask.

Can't wait till you get here!

Date: 12 August 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juno-magic.livejournal.com
like Bella meets Martha Stewart, all kinds of crafty with bits of ebil thrown in

I just sporfled coffee at my screen.

But you're totally right: very neat.

(And now I better run off before *I* get Crucio'ed!)

Date: 12 August 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Neat? wow. Nifty!

*shakes head* Bella meets Martha. I'm trying to figure out which one is more ebil. That's a tough one. They both are ebil crafty.

Date: 12 August 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juno-magic.livejournal.com
That's a great guide and you look fabulous with the mask and that silver-lined cloak. Wow! A most stunning Death Eateress!

Date: 12 August 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
*blushes* Thank you. I had a lot of fun with it.

Date: 12 August 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] junewilliams7.livejournal.com
Whoa..... Impressive!!

Date: 12 August 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Thanks - I guess it does kinda look that way when I see it all put together, but it was really easy.

Date: 12 August 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] junewilliams7.livejournal.com
easy? not to those of us who barely know how to put on makeup, whose last papier mache art project was in grammar school...

Date: 13 August 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
It's not really that bad, June. You could do it. It's 'Just add water' papiermache. I globbed it on, swirled it around, and hoped for the best.

But thank you.

Date: 13 August 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beffeysue.livejournal.com
That is one gorgeous DE mask, m'dear! You really are Bellatrix meets Martha Stewart!

I know you will be having a ball at HWW. Err, y'all try to stay outta trouble.

*grins*

Date: 13 August 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apollinav.livejournal.com
Why thank you m'dear. I wish you could be there, but I'm sure there will be fun and pretty pictures to share.

I hope none of them are of us getting arrested...

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