So I got a very last minute invite to a Mardi Gras masquerade. I got the invite on Tuesday, and the ball is tomorrow. I am incredibly short on funds, but the only real requirement of attendance is that you have to be wearing a mask. No problem! There are cheap masks all over this time of year. But I wanted something special. So I went to the party store and bought a two dollar mask.
I could have just left it, because it was actually kind of pretty. But the jewel in the center was off-center, the weird bow thing was weird, and so were the weird designs under the eyes. I thought, surely, I could do better. Plus the plastic was rough around the edges.
So I trimmed up the edges a bit with a utility knife, primarily cleaning up the fleur-de-lis shape at the top. Then I covered the entire thing in tissue paper, applying it with a water-glue mixture, like papier mache. This is one of my favorite techniques, because it creates a great texture (if you want that) and it's easy, if messy, to do. And it dries really well.
Then I painted it gold with just one coat of acrylic paint. I could have done two, but with the yellow tissue underneath, it wasn't necessary.
This whole time, I left the original ribbons intact. They're attached with brads, and they're black, so they're not a problem. I briefly considered cutting them short (about 1") and sewing new ribbons on, but I want to hide them under my hair, so these are fine. I could have replaced them with elastic, too. The big pear shaped gems on the sides do a great job of covering the brads, which sort of tented the tissue paper a bit.
Anyway, paint dry, I used Aleene's Tacky Glue and a mechanical pencil to trace out where I wanted the glitter details. A fine paintbrush would have been better, but I can't find mine, and the tip of the mechanical pencil was, well, almost as good, for getting the fine details. I used my fingernails, too, to push the glue around into finer lines. Then I sprinkled on superfine glitter. I also glued on some flat back acrylic gems, for emphasis. (The below picture was taken while the glue was still tacky--I used a big, soft, DRY paintbrush to brush off the excess glitter before moving on, after the picture was taken.)
I thought maybe I was done at this point. But then I took some photographs and tried it on, and it seemed a little, well, subtle. Subtlety isn't a virtue at Mardi Gras. So (and if I had thought ahead, I'd have done this part FIRST, after painting the gold, but before doing the glitter details), I carefully spread watered down glue around the exposed gold areas of the mask with a paintbrush, and then finely dusted on an iridescent gold glitter.
The effect is dazzling! I hope I can get some better pictures tomorrow in the daylight, but I was too excited not to share right away!