Begone, archive apparel … Away, abatement abundance superheroes … Out, out, Halloween bed-making apparatus blues!
That’s right, you don’t charge to acquirement bartering apparel (or put in hours sitting at a bed-making machine) to accouterments your accouchement in Halloween regalia, because—by spending some enjoyable, artistic time together—you and your youngsters can actualize goon, witch, and monster masks so alarming that the bootleg disguises will actually amuse the around-the-clock adrift alcohol of Allhallows’ Eve … and your own trick-or-treaters as well!
Before you can activate authoritative a paper-mache halloween mask, though, you accept to acquisition a “secret” (that is, mess-tolerant) assignment atom and accumulate some all-important supplies. You’ll charge agenda and pencils … a face-sized basin for anniversary youngster … potter’s or earth-dug adobe … artificial blanket … newspapers … flour, water, and a ample bond alembic … a lath (or annealed cardboard) assignment apparent for anniversary affectation … scissors … acrylic paints … and some half-inch-wide elastic. (Books about trolls or animals are additionally advantageous resources, aback the illustrations in such volumes can generally advice about-face afraid adolescent artists into self-motivated frenzies of invention.)
Our own mask-making assemblage includes my children—John, Pedro, Julie, and Melissa—as able-bodied as their abstruse assistant, my bedmate Todd. We usually besiege about the alfresco barbecue table and attempt appropriate into the assignment of abstraction the affectation designs. Oh, there’s consistently at atomic one adolescent who feels that he or she will “never anticipate of annihilation to make” (the blow are actually exploding with ideas), but afore continued every adolescence is agilely alms suggestions, accumulation efforts, and allurement awe-inspiring questions:
“Would three eyes attending good, Dad?”… “How about a nice dank birthmark on my witch’s loooong chin?” … “Should my affectation be dejected with a red nose?” (My bedmate and I, of course, animate all such aboriginal thinking.)
After a ample bulk of brainstorming and drawing, every adolescent has produced a acceptable awful account and is accessible to alpha creating a affectation mold. And while it’s accurate that an backward egg-shaped basin covered with artificial blanket can serve altogether able-bodied as a cast all by itself, we’ve begin that mask-making is easier—and a heck of a lot added fun—if we appearance adobe over the containers and body the monster faces we want.
Once the accouchement accept formed cheeks, noses, mouths, chins, and eyes on their chaotic bowls … we let the earthen absolute dry continued abundant to become firm. Again anniversary being covers his or her cast with a bound bark of artificial blanket … to ensure that the accomplished masks won’t stick to the clay.
Next, allotment of the assignment aggregation mixes up a accumulation of abrade and baptize adhesive (for the soon-to-be-used paper-mache strips) by half-filling a ample alembic with baptize and alive abrade into the aqueous until the consistent coalesce obtains the bendability of chrism soup. Meanwhile, added workers adapt a ample basketload of broken strips of newspaper, 3/4″ to 1 “wide.
Soon it’s time to assemble the absolute masks. For this task, anniversary youngster artlessly dips strips of paper—one at a time—in the flour/water soup, pulls anniversary allotment amid two fingers to clean off any balance goo, and again bravely lays the saturated card on his or her adobe anatomy … authoritative abiding that the wet agenda conforms as carefully as accessible to the mold.
We’ve begin that six to ten layers of paper-mache will accomplish a sturdy—yet lightweight—mask, and that the accomplished face will be stronger still if the abstracted layers are smoothed on in altered admonition … and if a few added strips are laid about the alien edge. (We agenda appropriate over all the apertures, aback we can calmly cut any all-important openings later.)
After the molds are absolutely covered, the Halloween faces are set out in the sun to dry. On a ablaze day the alfresco of the masks will amalgamate aural two to four hours, and they can be slipped off their molds. (Be abiding that you amusement projections—such as absorbed noses—with affliction during this “peeling” process.) Again we abolish the artificial blanket blur from the close surfaces and set the masterpieces aback outdoors, so they can accomplishment dehydration all the way through. (At this point, we generally stop assignment until the abutting morning … but if you’re in a hurry, you can complete the absolute activity in one day.)
Our abutting footfall is to trim the edges of anniversary mask, and to cut out the “breathing and talking” openings. (We additionally cut out “looking” holes, but—since youngsters’ faces are usually abate than the visages they create—these peekholes and the mask’s eyes rarely match.) We again bland any asperous corners or edges that accept been acquired by our slicing work, application a bit of sandpaper.
Now comes the basic face-painting date … the point at which the appalling countenance-covers are about accessible to beat into life. All the accouchement put a lot of affliction into the decorating work, aback a artistic use of bright, allegory colors can transform a acutely characterless goblin into a awful fantasy that will actually contentment the best accurate Halloweener.
Finally, anniversary adolescent attaches some adaptable to authority the beard on his or her head, advisers any acceptable atom of accouterment (the accomplished creations are so astonishing that apparel are about superfluous), and becomes a new self!
And that’s all there is to it. But beware: If you and your ancestors try authoritative your own paper-mache Halloween masks this year, you may able-bodied acquisition your youngsters armed with creations so alarming that the Druids themselves will circuit in their graves!
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