Thursday, September 27, 2012

Craft Foam Vader Mask (on a pair of sun glasses)

IT's always easier to start with a pattern, so I searched Paper Vader mask, and I found a picture of the print out for a mini Vader mask made out of paper on Google image search. I saved the image to my computer and then zoomed in till it was about the size I wanted and then traced the image onto paper directly from the monitor. 
It's hard to make sense of the random shapes, but this top shape is the cheek bones, and the middle piece between the L shaped ones and the triangle is the out side of the mouth.

So in order to see what I actually needed I cut it out of paper and taped it all together

Turns out I really only needed these pieces. I used black craft foam, and you can manipulate it better than paper, so I changed some of the pattern pieces. Oh I guess I used the L shaped ones and the triangle ones, 

This is just the top piece. I cut the nose piece bigger. To glue it I tapes the gaps shut on the out side, and then on the inside I used hot glue to close the seams

 This is a view of the inside
I forgot to take a picture of the mouth piece separate from the cheek bones, but here they are together
 To make teh concave piece for the nose I heated a small piece of foam and wrapped it around the end of my knife which had a great curve
 The I ended up with this, then I just cut out the rounded piece for the nose

 Now I had to guess for teh rest of the shapes, so I held up paper and marked it to the size I needed then cut it out and placed it on to see if it would work, like this
This is the shape I came up with
Instead if cutting it all the way out I only cut a slit in on the curved part of the line to give a rounded look to the eyebrow part.
 Then I folded the "extra" part under on the line so it was the original shape. I heated it and gave it a round shape on a bowl. 
To heat it just hold it a few inches over a burner on med heat till the foam goes limp, hold it over what you want to mold till it cools. With craft foam it only take s a few seconds
 Then I found a curve going the opposit way to curve it up for the eyebrow-ish part just over his eyes.
 Ah, see. Now you can see what I'm talking about. It worked, so I just cut one of and did it the opposite direction to go over the other eye. (9the eyes are sun glassed, but they are not attached yet, I just needed to see the shape.)

 Now i have both eyes
 Now for the nose
 I placed the mask on a batman mask to help keep the shape stiff cause my 3 year old wouldn't let me hold it on his face (it's not hot, don't worry) :) then I heated the nose and shaped it to the mask
 I used some wire for the tusks. A wire hanger would be just the right size
I cut a few pieces to fill in the gaps on the sides of the mask so I had something to glue the tusks to. 
 then wrap and glue the foam around it, and do the other one facing the opposite direction 
 Position and glue to the mask (you can see the final shape of the base of the mask as well. It doesn't have to be great, the helmet will cover most of it up)
Once I got the tusks on I cut them flush with the back edge of the mask. Then I cut out 6 small circles and glued them on each end to cover up the exposed wire.
 You can see that the mouth does not sit straight, so I cut a piece of wire to go across the bottom of the triangle and glued it on the inside
 Then I made some foam frames to go over the glasses to make it easier to glue in place. I had to use my made for plastic glue 

 I positioned them in and glued the foam to the foam on the inside. now I went to the eyes, remember the slit that I cut in the eye brow piece. I put glue on the bigger piece then laid the triangle piece on top of it to make the cavity for the eyes.
 The triangle piece hung over a bit so I had to trim it up . Then I taped paper to the bottom to figure out the shape for teh bottom piece

This is the final shape, can you see the upside down triangle drawn in the middle?

 I heated this piece and molded it over the card board form to make the bottom triangle of the mask
 To get the cross mesh look I scored it with a nail. An x-acto would have cut to far in. You can also use a black ball point pen. I used the pin to do the out line. It defines the lines a little better. 
 Bottom piece glued on
 To reinforce the glue joints and stiffen the mask a bit I took strips of fabric (I happen to have black) and  mixture of elmers glue and a little bit of water and applied it like paper mache. (about 3:1 glue:water, but I never measure, you just need to thin it enough to make it paint with out leaving big brush strokes)

 Then I used the same glue mixture to paint the out side. This seals the foam, and gives it a plastic look. It also acts as a primer if you want/need to paint. I ended up doing 2 or 3 coats. (let it dry completely between each coat)
 I didn't paint the glue over the lines that I scored in the foam because I wanted the extra depth and texture.
 Last step, a little grey accent on the end of the tusks and in the nose
And I decided not to use the black gloss paint for the mask cause the glue gave it a bit of a gloss.

$2.67 for the sun glasses $0.75 for the craft foam
Total cost of mask $3.42

Here are just the pieces that I used from the original pattern. Everything else I had to fill in my self. But this is the cheek bones, and mouth part.

Save the image to your computer and print it as large as you can on a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, and it should be about the right size for a child. OR if you need it slightly bigger then zoom in a little and trace it right off the screen. white tissue paper works great for this. Good luck!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bat Gril (Batman/Ninja) Hood

Bat Girl needed a cool hood like Batman. I had some scraps left over from her  cape which is awesome cause they will match seamlessly. I CAN make things with out patterns, however it's easier to start with a basic shape, so I searched ninja hood pattern and found this on google image search

I thought it was perfect cause ti was already on a grid, that will make it so much easier for em to scale it up, cause it was scaled down to 25%. Then I had a better FASTER idea. I saved the image to my computer and then opened the picture and zoomed in until it was just an inch or two bigger then her profile. 

Then I just held a piece of paper on top of the screen and traced it on my paper. EASY!

Then I pined it on her head pinning it to fit, not pinning along the edge. 
 Now so I can see my lines when I take it off I drew the "seam" with a marker
 Now when I take it off her, I can lay it flat and make the needed changes.  You can see that I needed a different angle for the back. When It was on her head I also marked the other changes I needed to make. Notice the arrow on the bottom, I needed it about an inch longer
 So I lay it on top of my fabric and I cut the new shape
 Pin on the new pattern
 Mark more changes
And the next pattern I cut out was PERFECT. 3rd times a charm right?
So this is my pattern shape, and I also cut out some triangles for ears
Pin them on

I had to hand sew them on since the opening was so small, but it didn't take long. 
Then after the ears are on just sew up the out side of the hood. I sewed the dart first (the little triangle opening, then I sewed down the back profile of the hood. 
 This is the hood right side out
 I finished it off with black bias tape around the edge to it looked nice and clean (but that's just cause I had some) If I didn't have any I would have either hemmed it or just did a zig-zag around the edge.

Then a small strip of velcro on teh front of the neck to keep it together
 And there is the finished hood. 
 I made a separate mask so she can wear just the hood, or the hood and mask. I will post the mask next. It's SO EASY.

Total cost for Bat Girl hood $0.88 (I had to buy some velcro) :)