Friday, October 28, 2011

Oogie Boogie Costume - Building the Mask (Part 4)

Hi All,

With the structure of the mask complete, it was time to add some burlap skin to my mask. I picked up a number of yards of dark burlap from Jo-Ann, so I cut a couple of decently-sized strips to drape over the mask and get an idea of how it would fit.

After pinning the cut burlap together, I threaded my needle and prepared for a long night of hand sewing. Immediately, though, I discovered that cut burlap is way too lose to hold any kind of a stitch, and sewing it together would be impossible.
While thinking about what would decently hold a seam together while keeping the burlap from fraying, I figured that the hot glue worked well enough for the structure - it might just be what I needed to hem my burlap. 

Though it was definitely hot on my fingers, I found that when I appied the hot glue to the seam and pushed it together, the glue seeped through the pores in the burlap and made a great seal. So, after glue-stitching the mask burlap, I flipped it open to see how my experiment worked.

Needless to say, from here on out, every single seam in my entire costume was made with hot glue. The only stitching is solely for decoration. Pretty cool when you think about it.

I used some black cotton/poly fabric for the mouth.

And I used some nylon house screen for the eyes. I layered two pieces of screen at a 40 degree angle so that it would look darker and less "back patio door."

So, eyes and mouth prepped, I pulled the burlap over the structure and got a good fit. Once I was happy, I pinned the eyes to the foam so that it wouldn't shift while I was working.

I carefully cut out out the burlap from the middle of the eye, leaving plenty for a hem to keep it from fraying. I folded the burlap into a hem and glued it through the screen to the foam, working in a counter-clockwise circle. I was very happy with the result.

I forged ahead and did the same thing for the other eye and the mouth.

For the finishing touches, I used an upholstery needle and some thick black cotton thread to make the decorative stitches around the eyes and mouth.

I decided to wait on the stitches around the rest of the mask seams until I finished with the body. I figured that if the body took too long to make, I wouldn't have time to decorate all of the seams, and then the mask would look strange. So, for now, to finish the mask, I cut and hemmed the fabric at the base so I could wear it comfortably.

And that's it for the mask. You'll have to check your boredom at the door and continue on to my engaging series of posts on how I built the body to see if I completely finished the mask or not... stay tuned!


Return to Part 3   -   Continue to "Building the Body"

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