From Sinister Superhero to Carnival Princess

If you’re not already aware, you can download a free PolyFacets plan to make a Superhero mask, right HERE
Because it’s a plan, you can make as many as you want, you can even make smaller ones for the young ‘uns, if you use the resizing guide HERE

This tutorial started life as a “how to patch up a mask that didn’t turn out so well” tutorial (which will be coming soon).
It shows you how to make water-based paints with Mod Podge, and making up a design as you go along with sequin strings, giving you all the help you need, to go from

Batman masks made from my free download

Plain Old Superhero

Carnival Superheroes

To Fabulous Carnival Queen!

Come with me on my messy journey, thrill to the frustration of fiddly sequins and gasp at the audacity of goose feathers, all set to a little bit of Beethoven.

Printer Card Illuminations

After much prototyping and rejigging, here are the first two light designs.
Having had them around for a few weeks now, I’ve decided that I’m going to find an alternative way to make illuminated letters. I’ve tried different ways to give it the support it needs but it inevitably sags and it’s way to complicated to build.
The mushroom, on the other hand, is a lovely thing. I’ve rejigged it so that it’s huge, much bigger than in the photos.

These lights are made mainly from printer card and Mod Podge

These lights are made mainly from printer card and Mod Podge

The outer bodies of the lights are made from two layers of 300gsm card, bonded with Mod Podge, which is also the medium used to bond layers of translucent paper to make the “windows”. In this case, I’ve used mulberry paper but you can use anything which will let the light pass through.

Even in daylight, the lights give a bright and heartwarming display

Even in daylight, the lights give a bright and heartwarming display

Inside each light is another card structure, onto which the lights are securely fixed. There are no electrical tools or knowledge required, and once complete, the lights change colour by remote control.
The “light” parts for the project can be bought for under £10.

You don't need any electrical knowledge to construct these fabulous DIY Mood Lights

You don’t need any electrical knowledge to construct these fabulous DIY Mood Lights

 

Printing and Scaling a Mask Plan – FAQ

I don’t have any software which will open the PDF file.
If you don’t have software to open and print the plan, you can download it for free, here get.adobe.com/uk/reader/

Do I need to print in colour?
Printing the plans requires black ink only.

Will it work with my paper size?
The plans are sized to work with both A4 and US letter paper.

The plans are designed to be printed at 100% (this is for a standard / large adult size) – Select “do not scale” in your printer settings.
Each sheet of the plan has a 100mm line, so you can always check the size by measuring this line on the printed sheets.

I want to make masks in different sizes.
If you want to make the masks smaller, you can use your printer settings to rescale them.
85% is the scale I would use to make a “child size”.

Here are some screenshots, yours may be slightly different, depending upon which printer you have.

Image1

 

1. First, I select which pages to print – just the pages with the plan on, pages 6-12 in this case. Each download tells you which pages you need to print.
2. For a standard, adult sized mask, I select “actual size” – then print.
3. To scale the pages, I select “Properties”
Image2

 

4. Then “Page Setup”

 

Image3

 

5. Select “Scaled” from the Page Layout options
6. Then adjust the figure in the Scaling box and click OK.

85% is the scale I usually choose to make a smaller mask.
The “100 mm” measuring lines will measure 85mm, in this case.

When you come back to the original print settings, “actual size” is still selected and the “print prieview” still shows the pages at full size, but it will print at the scale you have selected.


 

Make Your Own Superhero Mask – Free Plan and Tutorial

Want to make this cool and sinister looking Superhero mask?

Batman masks made from my free download

These Batman masks  were made from the free download available at the bottom of the page

You can make this from four sheets of printer paper, some scrap card, Mod Podge, contact adhesive and black paint.

I have to be honest with you, this is not the easiest of my plans. It was designed as a freebie, so I’ve taken the liberty of including some smaller joining pieces than I have used on my other plans.
Having said that, it’s eminently doable, if you follow the instructions.  The pale grey version has been made specifically so that you can see exactly the shape you need to push as you build the mask.


Just fill in your name and email to download the Superhero Mask Plan.
You will be emailed a link to the PDF, right-click on the plan and “save as” to save the file to your own machine.

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Here are the full instructions (which are included in the PDF)
There are instruction videos on my YouTube channel, with all of the information  broken down into the chapters you see here. Polyfacet’s YouTube Channel
1.Tools
Metal ruler                                Craft knife and new blades                   Scissors
Ballpoint pen                             Small paintbrush ¼” or ½”
Cutting mat / surface                  Tool to spread glue (a lolly stick will do)

2.Materials
Printer card – The best combination to make the Batman Mask is to print the pattern on  250gsm and bond that to 300gsm card.
Or use Recycled cardboard  – print the pattern on paper and bond the printed sheet to it. (Detailed instructions follow in the next section.)
Mod Podge or acrylic varnish can be used to fix your pattern to cardboard, protect and reinforce your mask.
Elmers glue or PVA is not a good substitute for the above.
Spray adhesive can be used to fix your pattern to cardboard.
Contact adhesive is the best way to fix your mask together, forever. The joins are under stress, so we need that “instant grab”
How you use each one is covered in the following sections.
Video Guide to Tools and Materials

I've given these some different paint treatments, so you can see that it's quite an interesting and complex shape.

I’ve given these some different paint treatments, so you can see that it’s quite an interesting and complex shape.

 3.Bonding the printed pattern to card
Mod Podge is by far the best, no matter what your combination of paper and card.
You can use spray adhesive. This is quite messy and should be done outside your living area – follow the instructions on the can.
You can use acrylic varnish to bond your pattern.
Whatever you are using…
Cut roughly around the pattern pieces and position them (dry) on your card. Draw around them (pencil or biro) to mark where to apply the adhesive.
Coat the pack of your pattern piece in Mod Podge and position it on the card, making sure it’s pressed down flat and the edges are sealed or
Cover the marked area in acrylic varnish, so that it is wet but not soaked. It dries fast, so you may have to re-cover some areas. Position the pattern piece fast,while the varnish is wet. Start at an edge so you don’t trap any bubbles. Smooth the whole thing down with your fingertips.
If it is wet enough, a little bit of varnish will seep out from the edges. Smooth it down, pressing down the edges until the whole thing is tack dry.
It may curl a little bit but it will soon be dry enough to be weighed down. A slight curl is not a problem if the card is thick enough. Don’t wet any areas with varnish that you don’t need to – the dry areas act as a frame to help it dry flat.
The sheet of numbered fixing tabs is best printed out on 250gsm card.
If you can only print it on paper, bond it to thin card.
Video – Bonding your printed sheets to card

4.Cutting
Use a really sharp craft knife to cut out the pattern pieces, right along the solid black outer lines.
The more accurately you cut, the better your mask will turn out. There are no inward cuts on this plan but you do need to take care with Piece 1, when you cut around the numbers 5-11.
The video guide has tips for accurate, safe cutting
Apply a coat of Mod Podge or acrylic varnish to the outside of the pieces after you cut them out. Dry card is easily scuffed and marked – it will protect the surface and it makes the card much less likely to crack when you are making your folds.
Coat the printed side of the numbered tab sheet with Mod Podge or acrylic varnish.

His head is actually that shape under the mask

His head is actually that shape under the mask

5.Scoring and Creasing
Score – (You can do this before or after you cut out the pattern).
Use a straight edge and ballpoint pen to score along all of the 4mm dashed lines. Press hard. A coloured pen is best, so that you can still see the dashed lines.
Crease – (Always after cutting)
Fold along the scored lines. Fold towards you “valley fold”, unless the line is marked “RIDGE”; for these lines, fold away from you.
For small or narrow folds, use a straight edge to push one side up, while you hold the other side down with your fingers or another straight edge.
Take care not to crease the pieces anywhere creases are not indicated.
Some of the folds will not allow you to make a “hard” fold – just pinch them gently so that the card will flex in the right direction in those places.
Video Guide to  Scoring and Creasing

6.Numbered Tabs and Building the mask
The final sheet of the mask plan is a sheet of numbered tabs, for best results, you have already given the printed side a coat of Mod Podge or Acylic Varnish.
Score the sheet right along the horizontal dotted lines and fold, printed face inwards, unless a ridge fold is indicated .
Cut out the tabs and fix one side of the tab only to the flat pieces. Mod Podge, superglue or any other glue is fine to stick the first half.
It’s always better to add the tabs to the pieces while they are flat, rather than once they are part of the mask being made.
Check you’ve scored and creased the piece before you add tabs. You have a choice of two positions – choose either.
Cut out just a few at a time and stick them on in the matching positions. Use the numbers to find the accurate positions for the tabs on the dotted areas.
Once they’re completely dry, fold them inwards.
Coat the back of each numbered tab and the remaining dotted areas on the printed pattern with a thin, even coat of Contact adhesive. You can use a small metal spatula, a piece of card cut to shape or a lolly stick. Allow the glue to dry completely before you build your mask.
Start at number 1. Look at the outside to make the join, pressing it together firmly before you press down the tab firmly at the back.
Always check how the piece fits before you commit yourself – some pieces will need a little tweak or change of angle.
Try to look ahead a little at how your pieces will match up.
It is not vital to follow the numbered order.
Once the mask is complete, it’s a good idea to give another coat of Mod podge or varnish, sealing the cut edges.
Video – Building a Mask with the Numbered Tab Sheet

 

Make my own Batman mask

The Batman Mask Prototypes with Bananas

This is my Pinterest post, it would be great if you would be kind enough to share this anywhere you like.

Batman Mask made with the Free Tutorial and Download from PolyFacets

Batman Mask made with the Free Tutorial and Download from PolyFacets

A Full Set Of Masks

At long last, I have all of the masks photographed. There’s still editing to do on some of them but I’ve put together these two compilation images, to demonstrate the whole set.

The starting range of diy cardboard masks from Polyfacets in white

The starting range of diy cardboard masks from Polyfacets in white

Here they are in their plain form. To make the join lines disappear, I give them a coat of Mod Podge mixed with white plaster pigment (about 70/30)
The coloured ones are painted mainly in paint made with Mod Podge and Sugarflair (food colourings). Not entirely waterproof is a fair way to describe it, so I’m looking for an alternative pigment to suggest in my tutorials lest it should come back to haunt me in the form of irate customers in peculiar hues.

The starting range of diy cardboard masks from Polyfacets, decorated

The starting range of diy cardboard masks from Polyfacets, decorated

I’m finding a use for many of the materials I’ve been hoarding, too. The penguin is decorated with Tulip squeezy paints and the Green Man (top right) has his hawthorne leaves coated in bronzing powder.
I’m still not quite sure when I’ll get them to market but I’m hoping to finish off my video and launch the Kickstarter campaign in the next couple of weeks.

Building Masks With Card – Construction Videos

I’ve been editing videos showing the final build stage of five of the masks. It’s the best way to explain what I do. It’s given me the chance to really take stock of the experience I’m offering, as a home crafting project. There’s no doubt that it takes patience and accuracy to make them but they don’t demand the dedication needed to knit a scarf, for instance. I like the knitting analogy. They have that kind of “hang up your mind” quality; the sort of thing you might do listening to music and enjoying your favourite drink.

As far as materials are concerned, I’m delighted with Mod Podge and I’m sorry if it comes off as if I am on of their sales team. The stuff is amazing, it adds flexibility, water resistance and strength to card and it’s as easy as working with PVA. By the time they’re completed, it’s hard to believe that they started out as cereal boxes.

I explored many ways to fix the masks together. I have one eye on future projects; I’ve got a LOT of ideas, but they all depend on weather I can create projects that end with perfect results for my customers.

Tape on the outside was never an option. I tried all types of double sided tapes and tabs attached to the pattern pieces. In the end, the tab sheet system is the most accurate way to hold it all together; the masks are under a good deal of stress and a strong, intant bond is needed. Contact adhesive is the perfect glue for the final build, I use Mod Podge to secure the tabs to the flat pieces.

These videos show just the actual build. I did five on the same day and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to get a cutting machine (I’ve made each of these over 20 times, now) it’s going to save a lot of time.