Tutorial: How to make a stylish Mexican Skull mask for Halloween

from Gaia Gualtieri - 26 September 2017
Gaia Gualtieri

Gaia Gualtieri

CEO at DHGshop
CEO of DHG DyeingHouseGallery
Gaia Gualtieri

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This tutorial is the third and final Halloween project made for DHG by Pollaz. When we’re on the lookout for great ideas, Pollaz is always the right person to ask! The Pumpkin and the Black Cat are wonderful, but we think that this mask, inspired by Mexican skulls, has really outdone itself.

First of all, what’s the meaning of these skulls? These colourful and ironic skulls are part of the Mexican tradition of worshipping the dead. Instead of causing sadness and mourning as in the Western tradition, these skulls exorcise death with bright and cheerful colours. Even if the meaning might seem the total opposite, they are in fact a tribute to life. LONG LIVE LIFE! Let’s get started!

Tutorial: How to create a Mexican Skull mask

Mexican Skull mask for Halloween

What you need:

After taking the measurements of the face carefully, draw a skull on a piece of paper.

Once the template is finished, use it to recreate the skull on the thermoformable felt Colour. Milk. Cut it out and also the eyes.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 1

Placing the skull on the face, take the measurements of the nose. Draw a trapezoid then cut it out.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 2

To make the mask rounder, like for the Black Cat mask, mark 4 cuts, 2 at the top on either side of the head and 2 at the bottom on either side of the chin. For the time being only stitch the tops ones together.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 3

Now move on to the mouth: draw a “skeletal smile” and the teeth on the felt, then with the sewing machine, use the black thread to go over the outline.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 4

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 5

Now comes the best part. Let’s make this skull colourful and fun! Take the pompoms and put them around the eyes. Sew them on one by one.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 6

Then cut out diamonds from the Colour. Light felt and sew them on under the cheekbones.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 7

Now sew the 2 cuts together on the chin. Exactly like you did for those on the head. Can you see that by overlapping them slightly it gives it volume and roundness?

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 8

Add even more colour by embroidering the outline of the nose with the aqua green thread. Use a simple stitch.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 9

Then cut out 2 squares, 1 heart and 2 small polka dots from the black felt.

Stitch the squares onto the cheeks and the heart in the middle of the chin.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 10

Instead, put the 2 polka dots either side of the chin. Then using the sewing machine, sew 2 slightly wavy lines that connect the heart to the polka dots. See the photo below.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 11

The finishing touch: let’s thermoform the felt!

The special characteristic of the thermoformable felt is that it can be molded when it’s been heated and once it cools down it keeps the shape it was molded into. Therefore, we’ll use this technique to give the flowers that will go on the head of the skull, a three-dimensional look. Let’s get started!

Cut out 6 flowers, 3 using Colour. Antille and 3 smaller ones using Colour. Light felt.

Put a pin through the ends of each petal, so as to pull them together and curl them (photo below). Place them on a baking tray and “cook them” at 130° for a few minutes.

Caution: Use an electric oven. If you prefer to use a microwave replace the pins with stitches.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 12

Once the felt cools down, put the little flowers on top of the big flowers, then add a black polka dot to the centre of each flower. Pin them onto the head of the mask.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 13

Make the most of the thermoformability of the felt to create a petal. Cut out a petal shape from a piece of black felt, fold it in half and secure the fold with a pin. Put it in the oven and “cook” at 130° for a few minutes.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 14

Let the felt cool then sew it on between the eyes.

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 15

The very last step: sew the 2 0.5cm black grosgrain ribbons on the sides of the skull and the mask is ready!

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 16

Tutorial felt Mexican Skull mask - step 17

Trick or treat?

We hope you like this tutorial as much as we do.  And remember, if you would like to find out more and learn about thermoformable felt, you can find the right video tutorials for you on our YouTube channel.

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