Do you love the masks and stencils that are on the market these days? Buying one or two is certainly reasonable for almost any budget. However, like most art supplies (and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), it is hard to stop at just one. If you do want to buy some, you might find Artist Cellar and Stencil Girl Products irresistible.
If, however, you would rather spend your money on other things, say, for example, on items like
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups your mortgage, then I have a few solutions for you. Over the next several posts, I will share ways you can make your own masks and stencils. In addition to saving money, this can be a fun and artistic process in itself.
In the last post, I shared the idea of using actual objects on a page to serve as a mask. Today, I will use my
homicidal trusty hot glue gun to teach you how to create a mask that you can use again and again.
How to make a mask with a hot glue gun
Since I have been working on several projects with giraffes lately, I decided the giraffe pattern would make a great mask. If you are not fond of giraffes, that’s ok*, you can use whatever image you like, but keep in mind that you will want all the negative areas of the mask–that is, all the areas that will not get colored–to be connected. For example, a traditional emoticon smiley face would be difficult to make, unless you filled in everything but the smile line and two eye dots.
Step 1 First, copy a copyright-free pattern from the web and paste it into a publishing program, such as Adobe InDesign. Adjust the size to your liking and print it onto lightweight inkjet paper.
Step 2 Using your hot glue gun,** create a frame around the edges of the graphic you printed. Make this frame about 1/4″ wide by outlining the edge of the graphic three to four times.
Step 3 Starting at one of the frame’s edges, “color” in your graphic with the hot glue by filling in all the areas that will become the mask. Make sure that all parts of your mask connect to at least one side of the frame.
Step 4 Let the glue cool and harden
Step 5 Soak the paper in a tray of cool water for a few minutes until the paper softens and loosens. Gently pull the paper away from the glue. The remaining rubbery material is your mask. Isn’t that the bees knees?
Step 6. Using a heat gun, gently and BRIEFLY whisk the hot air over the mask to remove any stray glue fibers.
Step 7 After your mask dries. Place the flat side of the mask down on a piece of paper. Gently spray ink or paint over the mask. Carefully remove the mask from the paper. After the paper dries you can use it alone or as the beginning of a mixed media project.
Make stencils with a hot glue gun too!
In addition to masks, you can also makes stencils with this method. What’s more, you don’t have to limit yourself to masks made from printed images. You can also draw your own design on paper with pencil and then trace it with the glue gun to create the mask. Or, if you are feeling particularly adventuresome, you can draw a freehand design with your glue gun. Whatever method you choose, it is sure to result in some awesomely creative art supplies.
*What’s wrong with you??? Who doesn’t like giraffes?
**I always use a low temp glue gun because it is inevitable that I burn myself. Every. Single. Time. At least, when I use the low temp gun, the burns are not as bad. Maybe you are not as klutzy as me and so this does not apply to you. Strike that. I know for a fact that you are not as klutzy as me. However, it still might be a good idea to use a low temp glue gun– especially if there are any small children who could possibly hear you swear like a sailor because accidents do happen and those glue guns hurt like a motherfluffer.