Saturday night the upcoming LARP, The King’s Musketeers, there’s a masked ball on the schedule. And recently, in January, I played in Venezia, the Renaissance LARP of three acts. It was set at three different Carnivales. Some LARPers came with three separate masks to help indicate that time passed between each Carnivale.
Masked balls, Carnivales, masquerades… these events are pretty common in LARPs, so I’ve been shopping for fancy, Venetian style masks on multiple occasions. But I found it hard to find one that I both like and matches my costume.
So I’ve been making them.
Base Mask: about $3 at Michael’s. (Can also be found at Jo-Ann Fabrics, iParty, ebay, etc.)
Pearl Stickers: about $5 for a little box at Michael’s (in the scrapbook section, one box is more than enough for two masks) or between $2 and $3 for a sheet.
Gold Scrollwork stickers: about $5 at Michael’s (also in the scrapbook section, one sheet is enough for two masks)
(Actually, the scrapbooking section of the store has a ton of cool stuff to stick on masks.)
Flowers: about $3 dollars at Michael’s (or Jo-Ann Fabrics). Pop ’em right off the stem and hot glue them.
Stick for Mask Handle: under $1 at Michael’s.
Ribbon for Mask Handle: under $1 at Michael’s
Paint: actually nail polish, 69 cents a bottle, found at a supermarket
Some notes on creation: You can probably guess which mask has free-hand drawn diamonds, and which I bothered to trace the edge of a piece of paper. The latter took a bit longer but the results are worth it; you can just trace the shapes in pencil and erase the stray marks after painting.
The handle I just … stuck flat on the bottom of the mask and hot glued in place. In order to get it to stay, I ended up popping holes in the bottom of the mask and getting creative with weaving a piece of ribbon around the stick and through the holes. I also bent a paperclip, stuck it through the holes in the chin, and wound it around the stick.
This method was a mistake- the mask wobbled a little, and ultimately the chin started cracking from the strain during the LARP. It might be better to cut a hole through the floor of the mask and stick the handle through it, then start securing it in place. I need to experiment.
The handle was decorated with a coat of nail polish, followed by winding a ribbon around it, criss-cossing it in back and front, and securing it with an occasional dot of hot glue as I was winding.
Quick note about wearing masks in LARPs: I love the look of these full face masks. It’s very dramatic. But hard to talk/hear through, so be prepared to have difficulty whispering to people. Also, the plastic doesn’t breathe, so if you wear makeup, it will melt if you wear the mask for a long time, thanks to sweat and condensation from your breath.