I love it when I’m challenged to come up with a cool costume for my girls and this no sew bird mask will work beautifully for the Owl costume I needed to make for the upcoming Just So Festival Tribal Tournament next weekend. The idea came to me when my girls recently put on a circus performance for me and Ro dressed in her petticoat skirt and feather shoulder shrug.
Watching her twirl around the garden with her petticoat flouncing behind her reminded me of a colourful bird … “perfect,” I thought, “all I need to do is add a feather mask and we have our costume for the Owl Tribe!”
What makes this mask so easy and beautiful is that the feathers are glued directly to the face but because of this it’s not necessarily suitable for all children as peeling it off can be a little bit sore especially around the eyebrows. On the plus side because pva glue is water based you can use a damp flannel to help gently peel off the feathers and the face paint also adds a thin protective layer
Owl Mask Face Paint Base
I was totally winging this mask so the first thing I did was pick a base colour from the petticoat skirt she was wearing and apply a t-bar of that colour facepaint to her face with a sponge. I used snazaroo sparkle yellow (UK amazon link, USA amazon link )
Next, using a fine paint brush I applied small strokes of other similar colours to the skirt around to the edges of the eye, over the nose and up onto the brow. I think when I do this again I’ll also take the base layer of paint all over the brow as it protects the skin a little from the ova glue.
If you don’t have feathers you could easily extend the brush strokes and make them denser so that the mask is only face paint.
When the face paint has dried you can then start gluing on the feathers
Glueing The Bird Mask Feathers On
I used a water based tacky (thick) pva glue to stick the feathers on with. I use the glue loads so know how it works and how to get it off. If you’re at all uncertain then buy a cosmetic/body glue. You don’t need much and there are plenty of products around. But because it’s around the eye area you must be really careful.
I start with the top feathers that I position so they fan out gently towards the ears.
Under the eyes I used really small feathers that I found on the underside of the larger feathers shaft. They’re easy to pull off and the perfect size for under the eye. Not all craft feathers have this though so you may beed to source small feathers of cut larger ones down. I’ve used a mixture of guinea fowl, pheasant and turkey feathers that I bought from The Feather Factory
The final step is to add a few acrylic gems just to add that bit of sparkle. You could also add some carefully placed coarse glitter but again be careful around the eye are if using glitter.
The gems can slide a little so you make need to reposition them a couple of times but it doesn’t take long for the glue to take hold.
To take off gently use a finger nail and gently pull away from the inside out starting with the lawyer feathers. If your careful they will come away in one piece allowing you the easily use again. The eye brow is the more difficult area especially with young children. Do very small areas at a time and if necessary use a place a damp cotton wool ball over the glue to moisten/soften the glue before removing.
I’m really looking forward to our creative weekend at the Just So Festival. Running over the 19th-21st August it’s is jam packed with art, crafts, music, literature and a whole heap of other crazy activities (midnight feasts, pillow fights, tribal tournaments).
This year the festival theme is intrigue and trickery which equates to a weekend full of codes, ciphers, detectives, disguises, mysteries and of course a little mayhem. We’ll be making, dancing, singing and laughing our way through the weekend so do keep an eye on our instagram account to keep up with all the fun. If your tempted to give it a try there are still a few tickets left for this small (5000 people), intimate and hugely creative festival!
We have been given tickets to Just So Festival in exchange for a craft post and post festival review. To read the review and see our photographs of the weekend head over to my family lifestyle blog BlueBearWood in a few weeks.