Making a Venetian Mask using Helmar Craft PVA glue.
G'day crafters, Kristina here with my latest project, a stunningly gorgeous hand made Venetian mask. I am absolutely in love with this project. It turned out better than I had hoped for. I was given the challenge of using one glue, as this blog post is a product spotlight. So I decided to use the Helmar Craft and Hobby PVA glue. It worked amazingly, so, onto the instructions.
Helmar Products used:
Helmar Craft and Hobby PVA glue
Other items required:
Cheap mask from cheap shop (mine cost $2.50)
Crackling Paste or medium
Rich Gold acrylic paint
Unbleached titanium acrylic paint
Black acrylic paint
Gold feathers (or white which you can paint gold)
Gold tipped feathers (or white which you can paint the tip gold and put glitter on)
Embellishments to decorate the face (I raided my stash)
Painting the feathers if you have white ones.
If you could not find gold feathers, or gold tipped feathers, then this is how you make your white ones gold. You will need a fan brush and the rich gold paint. Place the feather onto paper so you don't get paint everywhere. Start from the bottom of the feather with the fan brush, painting in an upward motion so as not to disturb the feather too much. Cover the whole feather in gold paint and leave to dry.
For the gold tipped feathers, using your fan brush and the gold paint, start about an inch from the top of the feather and paint up. When it is covered in paint, sprinkle some gold glitter on it and let it dry.
Quick video of painting a gold tip feather is here:
To begin with, you need to make the cheap mask a little more sturdy, so begin with ripping up the newspaper and covering small areas of the mask in the PVA glue, and begin to paper mache the whole mask. It should begin looking like the picture below. Just keep going until the whole mask is covered in newspaper and glue. You will need to do two layers of paper mache, so wait until the first layer is dry before you begin the second layer.
You should have something like this when you are done with the newspaper. Make sure you let it completely dry and harden before going on to the next step. Once dry, give the mask a quick sandpaper just to remove any sharp or bumpy bits of newspaper.
Painting the Venetian mask
If you want the crackle effect then you will need two colours of acrylic paint. The first colour you paint on will be the colour seen between the cracks of the top colour. I wanted gold cracks so I used Jo Sonja Rich Gold acrylic paint for the first layer. You will need to do at least two layers of the gold paint, to ensure perfect coverage of the mask. Your mask should look a little like this.
Ensure that the gold paint is completely dry, let it dry for an hour or so before even thinking of using the crackle medium. Each crackle medium may have different instructions, so make sure you follow your instructions on the bottle. You cover the whole mask in the crackle medium, very thick, and try not to brush it in too much, just leave it to sit on top of the paint. My instructions said to wait at least 4 hours before putting on the next layer of paint. I have included a quick video of the crackle medium beginning to work while I am painting the top coat on the mask.
Once the medium is dry, cover the mask in unbleached titanium acrylic paint. You should be able to see the cracks appearing as you paint the mask. This was super fun to watch happen.
See all those lovely golden cracks appearing in the paint? Super exciting right!! This is what it should look like now, and the longer it is left the more cracks that will appear.
Just leave it to crack away, and dry for about an hour, just to be safe.
Painting the lips and the nostrils
Use the rich gold acrylic paint to paint over the lips on the mask, do two layers. Use the black acrylic paint to put in some nostrils.
Gluing on the gold leaf
You will need your gold leaf and your Helmar craft and hobby glue. In chalk, lightly draw on the mask where you want your gold leaf mask to go. Make it kind of a butterfly shape. Then you put a small amount of glue in the area marked off, wait about two minutes for it to begin drying and place a small amount of gold leaf onto the glue, pressing down gently on the gold leaf to flatten it.
Just a word of advice, if you have never touched gold leaf before, it likes to cling to your hands, rips apart and flies away in the slightest breeze, and can disintegrate on your fingertips if you rub it too much. It can be difficult to work with to begin with, but once you understand it, it is definitely worth the fussiness.
Just continue to gently place the gold leaf onto the craft glue until the whole area you marked off as the mask is covered. It does not need to be neat at this stage.
I found if I put the craft glue in a paint palette and used my fingertip to rub it on the mask it was a lot easier. See picture below.
Gluing the gold cord around the gold leaf area.
Before you begin the second layer of gold leaf, it helps to glue the gold cord that you have to outline the gold leaf mask. This takes away the need for clean edges on the gold leaf, which is rather difficult. Use your glue to outline the area around the gold leaf, in small areas at a time and glue the gold cord onto the mask. The gold leaf will still be rough looking but that will be fixed in the next step. Give the gold cord time to dry before doing the second layer of gold leaf.
Smooth out the gold leaf using a soft paintbrush and holding it over a bin (it will make a mess). Just gently brush along the gold leaf to smooth it out, and to remove the unstuck pieces. Now you do your second layer of gold leaf. Just place little bits of glue in the spots that require gold leaf, don't place glue all over the mask. Place the gold leaf on all the little spots, wait until it's dry and smooth it out. Do this two or three times and your gold leaf will be amazing.
Decorating the mask
I found some gold decorations to place around the eyes, to make them stand out more. Use glue to go around the eye and stick on whatever decoration you have.
Use anything you have to decorate the mask how ever you please. I wanted minimal decorations, with just one little pop of colour, so I found a purple gemstone and a gold embellishment and I placed it between the masks eyes.
Gluing on the feathers
You should have dry feathers by now if you did the feathers at the beginning. All you need to do is glue them on to the mask. Sounds easy right? Well it is, but you need patience.
Using the craft glue place a little bit on the end of the gold feather, about 2cm from the end of the feather. Then hold it onto the edge of the mask, at the back. It is as simple as that, but you need to hold it until it is kind of stuck otherwise it will fall off. When I was sure the glue wouldn't stick to the paper underneath the mask, I put it down for five minutes so the pressure would push the mask onto the feathers even more.
This is the time consuming part, but it is very much worth it. Just keep going along until the whole top and most of the sides of the mask are covered in gold feathers. I glued an embellishment along the edge of the feathers for a little more pop, and to help hold them in place. Let all of the gold feathers dry before beginning the gold tipped feathers.
The gold tipped feathers are place underneath two gold feathers, about half way up the gold feathers so they are higher. Using the craft glu, place a little bit of glue on the underside of two gold feathers and then place the gold tipped feather on the glue. I placed a paintbrush under the mask while doing this to raise it up so the gold tipped feathers wouldn't stick to the paper.
You can place as many layers of feathers as you please. I really hope you enjoy making this Venetian mask as much as I did. To get all of this done using only one glue is pretty amazing. I definitely recommend Helmar craft and hobby PVA glue for this project. Enjoy making this and I will see you next month.