Halloween Fantasy Mask
Make it yourself, with “Venetian Carnival” style!
By Nancy Minsky
Author of Denim Revolution
With a simple scrap of old denim as your base, you can make this enchantingly haunting mask. The contrast of rugged denim with fantasy trims and hand-stitches, gives it a stylish mystique and allure all your own. Allow two hours to complete this project and some hand sewing experience is suggested.
(Read the full directions for making the project after the jump.)
The first step is to gather together all your materials. My mask dazzles with hues of smoky greens and grays in the pearls, organza, embroidery thread and dark beaded leaves — so follow my lead or build your own color story with the shades that light your imagination, be it violets, golds, or hot florescent trims! Lay your trim choices on your denim scrap and check the way they blend or contrast with the denim to find the combination you love. It’s all part of the design fun.
Here’s the materials list:
- Print the mask pattern (download the mask PDF)
- Scrap of dark indigo denim to fit mask pattern
- Press-on interfacing to fit mask pattern
- Faux fur lining material to fit mask pattern (I used beige faux-shearling)
- Sewing thread that matches your denim
- Pale, smoky green embroidery thread
- 5 leaves formed with dusty blue sequins outlined with copper beads, each 1 1/4″ x 2″ (3cm x 5cm), (or use what appeals to you, something you bought or made yourself -something that says glamour…)
- 3 large green-tinted pearls
- 12″ (30.5cm) x 2″ (5cm) soft, dusty green colored pleated organza ribbon
- 1 1/2 yd (1.5m) x 1″ (2.5cm) gray iridescent organza ribbon
- 1 yard (1m) x1″ (2.5cm) ivy iridescent organza ribbon
- 20″ (51cm) x 1/4″ (3mm) black elastic
- sewing machine
- straight pins
- hand-sewing needle
Cut the Mask:
- Cut out the pattern, hold it up to your face, and check the size. The pattern is an adult size medium. Enlarge or decrease if necessary to fit your face.
- Pin the pattern on the denim and cut out one piece. Repeat with the lining (faux shearling). Repeat with the interfacing, except, cut slightly inside the cutting lines, so that it is a bit smaller all around.
- Center the interfacing to the backside of the denim and steam together.
Embellish the Mask:
Follow the above diagram and photograph below as you read the steps and build your layers, with soft textures to create a luxurious effect.
- Pin the pleated organza ribbon under the edge of the denim mask. Hand stitch in place with the denim sewing thread using neat little stitches. Remove the pins.
- Pin the gray organza ribbon on top of the denim, folding it into many soft folds so it’s ruffled and plentiful looking. Hand stitch securely in place with the denim sewing thread. Remove the pins.
- Lay the five beaded and sequined leaves on top of the gray organza, overlapping the gray organza folds. Hand stitch in place with the denim sewing thread. Remove the pins.
- Sew the three pearls on the mask.
Assemble the Mask:
- Make the Elastic Band: Cut the iridescent ribbon in half and pin together. Machine stitch along each length close to the edge. Knot your end threads securely. Slip the elastic inside the tube. Catch and pin the elastic ends to the respective ends of the ribbon. Machine-stitch them closed and remove the pins. The elastic is now encased in the ribbon tube, with the ribbon crunched into soft gathers.
- Pin the elastic band to one side of the back side of the fur mask with a 1″ (2.5cm) overlap. Hold the mask up to your face and pin the other side to fit your head comfortably. Hand stitch both ends very securely in place with the denim sewing thread.
- Pin the fur lining to the denim with wrong sides together. Hand stitch with the green embroidery thread using a running stitch 1/4″ (6mm) from the edge all around the mask perimeter and all around the eye cutouts. Remove the pins. Knot securely all threads.
You’re now finished! When you’re not wearing your mask, store it with your jewelry, in your scarf drawer, or display it on the fireplace mantel. Enjoy its mystique and your fantasy!
About the Author:
A former design assistant to Calvin Klein, Nancy Minsky has recently published Denim Revolution, a craft book filled with fun projects to re-invent old denim into high fashion looks. Pictured left is a sketch from her book, of the mask and the “Russian Cloak” project. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, where she has also taught fashion sketching, Nancy loves handmade, recycling, sketching and of course, fashion.