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Giant Paper Faces and Masks

These disguises -- larger-than-life caricatures of French aristocrats going to a masquerade ball -- will stand out in a crowd. That's the effect architect Tom Krizmanic (far right) was going for when he created the costumes for himself and the group with which he attended the New York Restoration Project's annual bash. He fashioned giant heads from tagboard, adding features with papier-mache and pastels. Then he gave the faces their own menacing masks: He took red paper, wooden dowels (for handles), ribbon, glitter glue, pipe cleaners, and other sparkly craft supplies and just "glued-gunned the heck out of them." Inexpensive costumes were also festooned with gold braid, lace, and other trimmings.

Photography: Glenn Glasser

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

We used tagboard, but you can also join a double thickness of poster board with spray adhesive.

materials

  • 5 sheets of white tagboard, 24 by 36 inches

  • Cutting mat and craft knife

  • Spray adhesive

  • Black and red heavyweight paper

  • Glue stick

  • Newsprint

  • Craft glue, thinned with water

  • Acrylic paint (for nose)

  • Hot-glue gun

  • Baseball cap

  • Chalk, chalk pastels, or eye shadow

  • Black feathers

  • Wide red ribbon

  • Wood dowel, painted red

  • White duct tape

steps

  1. For the face and hat, trace face template onto tagboard twice. Working on cutting mat, cut out 2 head shapes with craft knife. For hat, use spray adhesive (working in well-ventilated area) to mount black paper to tagboard; trace template and cut out. Attach to front headpiece with spray adhesive.

  2. For the features, use glue stick to adhere lips and eyes to head. For nose, form a ball from crumpled newsprint, and layer strips of newsprint over it, smoothing it with craft glue thinned with water. Let dry, then paint; let dry again. Attach nose to head with hot glue.

  3. To assemble, cut 4 strips of tagboard, 17 1/2 inches long by 2 inches wide. Fold each strip 4 inches from each end. Hot-glue folded ends of strips between headpieces, as braces, one pair just above mouth opening and the other at the mask's eye level. Cut brim off baseball hat. Hot-glue side edges of hat to bottom edges of lower set of braces. Finish with details: Use chalk, pastels, or eye shadow to color cheeks; glue on feather eyebrows and a small mole cut from black poster board.

  4. For the mask, use spray adhesive to mount red paper to tagboard; trace templates, cut out, and assemble. Glue on feathers to decorate. Glue ribbon around end of dowel; hot-glue dowel to the back of mask and reinforce with white duct tape.

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