The beginning layers of my bat mask can be found here. The final layer in the previous half of this project can take a couple days to dry if it has thick points. The nose of my bat was pretty thick, so I gave it 3 days. Now that it is completely dry, it’s time to add the last couple layers and finish it up.
The next step to this project is the fabric layer. This layer went on only part of the mask. I covered the inside, the back of the ears and the nose. The fabric is meant to soften the inside of the mask slightly and to add texture to the back of the ears and nose. I used scraps of linen that were too small for any other projects, it’s always good to keep excess from other projects. The paste for this project was a simple half water half white glue mixture. This was the first time I tried this and I really like the way it turned out. It would make for excellent texture on a spooky mask.
I painted a layer of the water-glue paste, then placed my fabric and painted over it with more paste. For the nose I cut my pieces even smaller, about a centimetre, so I could place them strategically.
I let this layer dry for a little bit then started the final layer; the painting!
I started with a base coat of paint, covering the whole thing in a dark brown and black. This was a great spot for a grumpy toddler to help, so often the easiest way to keep the kids busy while doing projects is finding a way for them to join in.
With the base coat still wet, I added in some colour variations, such as a lighter pink tone around the eyes and the nose and black around the ears and nose. It doesn’t hurt to have a couple reference photos handy.
Painting on the fabric part of the mask was really nice, the texture was great and it really soaked up the paint well. The texture on the nose was perfect too, it made it look like a little dog’s nose once it was painted.
After painting, I had a sort of experiment I wanted to try. See, I found this pillow at the thrift store and decided to buy it for parts. I wanted to use it for fur for the mask.
I cut the fur from the fabric and used white glue to place it on the mask.Working in thin strips starting at the back I placed a row of glue, then fur, then gently tapping it down with the back of a paintbrush. It’s a messy but satisfying process. I didn’t want to just paste down a strip of the fur fabric because it was fairly thick, a different fabric might have worked better but this achieved the desired look just as well.
With the fur attached, I blended it with the rest of the mask and painted on fur to the sides of the face where it would be shorter.
To finish off the painting, I dry brushed a bronze paint over the mask to pick up the high points and add a bit of shine.
Once it was completely dry I sprayed the fur with a bit of hair spray to help the stray hairs stay put. Then I drilled holes in the sides under the ears for the elastic and one in the top for hanging on the wall. In other masks I have sort of built these holes in as I work up the layers but I thought I would save myself some effort and try it this way, I think I will stick with this method in the future.
Here it is! All done! I am really happy with it, it looks great on the wall but the toddler who has to where it doesn’t feel the same. His exact words after asking to try it on were “hat mask, don’t like it” accompanied with a head shake. I am going to add some foam on the inside to make it more comfortable but I have to get him to try it on long enough for me to figure out where to put it so wish me luck with that!