Monday, October 3, 2011

How To Make An African Tribal Mask With Real Feathers

Traditional African tribal masks can make a beautiful wall decoration, are fun to make and are even said to scare off bad spirits. Real African tribal masks are made from wood, clay, metal and other materials. The directions here are on how to make an African tribal mask out of papier-mâché and decorate it with paints and feathers. The things you are going to need are a bunch of old newspapers, a few brown paper shopping bags, white school glue, a small sharp knife, varnish, a hot glue gun, a balloon and of course feathers.

Blow up the balloon all the way so that it is as big as it can be and lay it on its side. Make a stand for it by either placing it inside of a bowl or by wrapping a towel or cloth around it so that it won’t move. Now prepare a past using equal amount of school glue and warm water mixed together well. Rip the newspaper into strips about one inch wide and six inches long. Dip the paper strips into the past and cover the exposed half of the balloon. The strips should be applied in an overlapping crisscross pattern of at least four layers. When you are finished let your mask dry over night. If it is not completely dry the next day wait until it is one hundred percent dry. Once the mask is dry you can pop the balloon. Decide where you would like to make holes for the mouth nose and eyes and cut them out using the knife. Once you have cut out the holes tar the brown paper bags into strips just as you had done with the newspaper and using the same past mixture aply one last layer to the mask. Let the mask dry again.

When the mask is totally dry you are ready to start with the paint. This is where your mask is going to get its look. Paint the entire mask a solid base color. I would suggest colors like brown gray and black but do as you please. Then with other colors like reds, yellows and greens paint strips circles and other designs on your mask. When you are finished painting apply at least one layer of varnish to the painted mask.

Now using you hot glue gun, glue the feather from the bottom of the feathers all around the inner edge of the mask. The feathers should be close enough to each other so that they create a complete ring of feathers surrounding the entire mask.

That’s it; your mask is ready to be displayed

Post a comment to let us know how it comes out

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