It's fall, and with fall comes Halloween. There is always a lot of excitement around this holiday. I enjoy parts of it, but it's definitely not my favorite by any means. I dressed up as a kid, and did the trick or treating thing a few times, but I would never refer to what I do as "celebrating." Usually, Halloween just makes me want a caramel apple. If I get one of those, I feel like it lived it up Halloween style.
Anyway, John and I started dating about a month before Halloween last year. I will tell you something new about this guy...he loves to dress up. Me? Not so much. But, he's so cute he can talk me into anything, and last year we ended up being Robin Hood and Maid Marian...the Disney edition, complete with little fox ears!
This year though, Halloween really snuck up on us and we really didn't begin to discuss costumes until this past weekend, mainly because we were invited to a Halloween party that takes place this upcoming Friday. We had discussed a couple of things, but nothing was really seeming like a good idea. Then, I was on the way to work this morning and it hit me. MASQUERADE. In case you haven't heard yet, I love me some Phantom of the Opera, and ever since the first time I laid eyes on that show, I have wanted to go to a masquerade ball. Therefore, I messaged John and told him my idea. He loved it, so I then moved forward to taking care of the most important part of our costumes...the masks of course.
There are several places you can find masquerade masks this time of year, but for really nice ones, it costs a pretty penny. Plus, the men's masks are always so plain...and I feel like it should at least have a little something. And, the main thing I don't like is they are sold with the bands that you are supposed to wear around your head, and I prefer the ones on sticks that you hold up to your face. Needless to say, I decided to take things into my own hands to create attractive, affordable masks for John and I. I'm going to show you my process from start to finish. But first, here is a little music to set the masquerade mood!
Step 1: Buy your base masks. I hit up Party City to find our base masks. I did end up buying me one that was already pretty blinged out, because it was on sale. At first I was a little bummed that all I could find for John was a plain black one, but at the end I was so glad that I had to buy it plain! I paid around $5 apiece for these.
Step 2: Buy the rest of your materials. I was able to find everything I need at Joann Fabrics for around $15. You will need two 12 inch crafting dowels, a bottle of acrylic paint in the color of your choice, a paint sponge, scissors, super glue, ribbon of your choice, a box of various sized rhinestones (or whatever you want to use to decorate the mask), a paper plate, and a couple of paper towels.
Step 3: Paint your crafting dowels. These are going to be the "handles" for your masks. I am painting mine black to match the black, silver, and red theme I chose for ours, but you can choose whatever color will go best with your scheme! After painting, lay aside on a paper towel to dry.
Step 4: Bedazzle your mask(s). I'm only adding a little oomph to John's, since mine is already so sparkly. This is a step where you can be as free and creative as you want. Since John is a guy, I didn't want to over bling him out, but you can go crazy and create whatever design you want to create! I am just using super glue and tweezers to place the jewels onto the mask.
Step 5: Add another coat of paint to your crafting dowels, to ensure that the paint is opaque, and continue to let dry.
Step 6: Create your ribbon bunches. These are going to add a little extra pizazz to the handle of the mask. I used two different colors of ribbon. For each mask, I cut two 10 inch strips of each color. You can add more or less if you desire.
Step 7: Attach the ribbon bunches to the crafting dowels. I found the easiest way to do this was to apply a generous amount of super glue to the end of each dowel, then press it onto the ribbon bunches so that each piece of ribbons sticks to the dowel.
Step 8: Use a small piece of ribbon to tie around your dowel and secure the other ribbons. This will just ensure that your ribbons stay in place on the dowel. After this, you will now have two "wands." (Wingardium leviosa!) Sorry, I had to throw a nerd moment in there somewhere.
Step 9: Attach "wands" to masks. This was probably the trickiest part. You need to ensure that the masks you choose have a flat enough surface on the back to lie flush with the crafting dowels. Also, make sure that the side of the dowel that has the tie is not the side that you attempt to glue to the mask. Just apply a generous dose of super glue to the end of the dowel, stick it onto the back of the mask, and hold it until it begins to feel secure. They will need to dry for a good while before you attempt to use them.
Step 10: Be a masquerader! As soon as all of the glue is good and dry, and the handles are secure on the masks, you're ready to get dressed and dance the night away!
And there you have it...custom, semi DIY masquerade masks that can be created in 10 easy steps. John and I will be wearing ours with all black, him slacks and a button up shirt and me a black lacy dress that I always look for an excuse to wear. I fully plan on taking enough pictures to fill up a post, so check back for those if you want to see our complete costumes!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and interesting. Maybe it will help some of you make a decision on a last minute Halloween costume. Are you dressing up? What are you going to be? I would love to know!
Catch y'all tomorrow!