Paper Mache Masks in Miniature

You will need:

mask form
    (mine are made from polymer clay.  If you want to make
    you own, sculpt a face with just the general shape, a raised area for
    the nose, and simple markings for the eyes and mouth.  Leave a ledge
    around the sculpture)

mask pattern  - click here to go to pattern page
and print it out on card stock

white glue
waxed paper or plastic wrap
craft knife
round toothpick
small amount of Creative Paperclay
heavy-duty paper towel
    I use Job Squad or Viva.  You need something
    heavy enough that it won't come apart easily when wet
acrylic paints

If you are planning to make the masks for your dolls to wear,
you will also need some very thin elastic.  Unfortunately, I no
longer have the package information on the card spool we have,
but I know we purchased it at a jewelry store.  It is about the
thickness of button thread - you might be able to find it with the
jewelry making supplies at a craft store, or go to a jewelry
supply store.

To make the masks:

Cut mask pattern from card stock, cut out eye holes and a
slit for the mouth.

Trace pattern onto paper towel and cut out.  Repeat, so you have
two pieces of paper towel in the shape of the mask pattern.

Put plastic wrap or waxed paper on work surface.
Apply a layer of white glue to mask form, making sure to spread
glue evenly over form and onto edges.  Place the first piece of
paper towel over the form and line up eye and mouth areas.
(I have colored the eyes and mouth on the form with permanent
marker so I can see where they are more easily).  Brush this
first paper towel with water & glue after you apply it, then place
the second piece of paper towel over the first.

Beginning at the nose area of the form, press and roll with
round toothpick.  Continue rolling the toothpick down all areas
of the form.  You will notice that the glue/water will start to
come through the paper toweling and that the pieces start
bonding together and taking the shape of the form.  Your goal
here is to bond the layers of paper towel together, and to get
the air bubbles out from between them and the form.

Take the tip of the toothpick and gently push the toweling
away from the eye and mouth areas.  Don't worry about getting
them just right, you will be trimming later.
Allow to dry, then peel away from mask form.  It's ok if it turns inside-out
while you are peeling it off, just pop it back the other way when you're done.

Now you can put the mask back onto the form and add paperclay -
use a little glue if the clay doesn't stick to the mask.  Sculpt clay into
desired shape and let dry.  Trim eye and mouth areas with scissors.
Trim excess paper toweling away from edges.

Paint inside of mask with acrylic paint - Hint: if you use a dark color and go
all the way to the edges of the eye/mouth and outside edges, the mask will
appear thinner.

Paint front of mask as desired.

Glue ends of a small piece of elastic to inside edges around the eye region
if you want your doll to wear the mask.

That's it!  Here are just a few of the paperclay masks I've created with this method:

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