To make a muslin mache mask you will need:
) I used medium weight muslin left over from making theater flats
*glue or paste...I tried modge podge exclusively and that came out really thick then I switched to white glue and water and finished with modge podge but I think even wheat paste would work
*mask form...I built up a plaster of paris face positive that I casted to make the beast mask but you can build up a blank wig head also.
*air dry clay
*cooking oil spray
OK..the basic concept is the same as paper mache...you know dip strips in glue and lay over form. The first thing you need to do is cut the muslin into bias strips (45 degrees across the grain) about an inch wide and not more than 6 inches long...if you are doing a really curvy mask, make shorter strips...it will be easier to lay without wrinkles
Then you need to build up your form into the shape you want. If you are building up from a wig head, a plaster face or even just from a flat surface, it's pretty much the same. a tip for this step is to remember that the finished layers of muslin will be thick so you will lose some detail...make any wrinles or details larger than you think you will need. Allow the clay to dry completely at least overnight.
Next you lay tinfoil over the clay to make the finished mask easier to release. It's important to spend some time making this smooth so you won't lose any more detail.
Then you spray cooking spray on the tinfoil
Now you are ready to start laying muslin. You will be doing a total of four layers of muslin in alternating directions. Dip muslin into glue, press out excess glue with fingers, lay on form and smooth out. Allow the layer to dry completely (I would do one layer in the morning and then one more before bed...so four layers in two days depending on humidity.) The next layer will be placed perpendicular to the first layer.
When you are done with your layers, do one coat of modge podge then a coat of modge podge with a layer of tissue and then one more layer of modge podge. This will smooth out the ridges from the muslin. I found triangles of tissue were the easiest to lay on the curves of the mask.
You can now unmold your mask. I also did a t least one layer of modge podge on the inside of the masks to make it smoother on the face.
Now you need to trim the outside of the mask and put a strip of muslin over the edge to finish it. You do the same thing with the eyes. Exacto knives work best.
My teeth were just white fun foam and when I had the shape I wanted I cut a slit in the muzzle and glued them in place with goop.
I attatched black elastic by cutting slits and threading the elastic through the side of the mask.
Then I painted it. The possibilities are endless! Hope that helps! Let me know if there are any more questions!
Here are my inspiration pics:
And the finished product: