Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Masks!!

This year, Fat Tuesday falls on March 8th.  In the town where I live, we have an annual Mardi Gras Pub Crawl. It includes 18 buses and 19 bars/restaurants.  My favorite crawl was the one we co-celebrated with my friend's "School Girl" Bachelorette Party.  Yes, in costume!!  The dressing up made it even more fun, so this year we wanted to do something like that again, but not on such a large scale.  Masks turned out to be the perfect idea.  Bonus, we were in masks, so we felt more able to get a little crazy, incognito!!

There are some absolutely beautiful masks online for purchase, and while some are very affordable, unfortunately the shipping and handling costs as much as the masks alone.  I am way too cheap for that.  It was only for one night and very likely to get broken or lost in the crawl, so I looked for another alternative.  I already had a big enough order to Oriental Trading Company ( for a baby shower I was planning that the shipping was going to be free.  I purchased a dozen plain, metallic masks for just about $9.  My craft closet (aka, junk room) is already full of lots of stuff to decorate with.  It really turned out pretty cute, and was super quick and simple to make.  

I started with one of the plain masks.  Make sure any dust or particles are cleaned off, making a smooth surface to glue on to.
I picked out some jewels I already had in my "stash."  For my mask, I used purples, greens, and clear gems.  Working on a paper plate is great because the jewels stand out well on the white, plus you can doodle designs on it.  Trace the eyehole from the mask onto the plate.  This lets you play with the arrangement of the gems, plus know how many you will need to fill the space.  It's horrible to start gluing, then realize you don't have enough to cover the area you need to.

Once you've decided on a design, you are ready to assemble!!  I put a glob of the Tacky Glue on the paper plate, and used a Q-tip to add it to the flat back of the jewels.  Don't worry if you can see glue around the gems, because it will dry clear.  You want enough glue to hold, but not so much that the jewels slide out of place.  This glue worked like cement on this metallic surface.  Once it was dry, the jewels never budged!!

The long sequin strands I actually took off of another mask that I had laying around.  Clips were used to hold them onto the sides of the mask until the glue dried.  This whole project took only about 15 minutes, and the mask is still in perfect shape, even after an entire evening out.  I wore it the whole night!!

I hope you have a super-fun Fat Tuesday!!  Whatever you do, always remember to party smart and responsibly.

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