Lesson: Metallic Marbleized Masks
This lesson involves one of our all-time favorite art processes here at Arts For Life — marbleizing with shaving cream. From our youngest artists to our teenagers, this lesson engages them all. Best of all, the supply list is easy on the wallet. So dig out the food coloring and that old cheap bottle of shaving cream from under the sink, grab a skewer or two from your grilling supplies, and open up your craft box to make a unique, beautiful, store-worthy mask for your seasonal gatherings!
Skill Level: Age 4+
Time Frame: 60 minutes
- To create a piece of wearable art that takes into account 3D sculpture construction, and encourages individual self-expression.
- To introduce the concept of printmaking by creating a plate (the shaving cream surface) and laying down paper to make a unique marbleized monoprint.
- Large and Small Masquerade Mask templates (there are some good options here or here)
- White Cardstock or Watercolor Paper
- Cheap Shaving Cream
- Shallow Tray or Cookie Sheet
- Liquid Watercolor Paints (or food coloring)
- Optional: Iridescent Watercolor Medium
- Pipettes or Droppers
- Skewer, Stick, or Hair Pick
- Old Library Card or Cardboard cut into approx. 3X6 inch pieces (to use as a squeegee)
- Metallic Foil Board or Black Cardstock
- Glue stick
- Craft Glue
- Beads, Glitter, Sequins, Feathers, other embellishments
- Wooden Dowels or Skewers
- Painter’s or Masking tape
- On the white cardstock or watercolor paper, trace around the smaller of the two mask templates to make several masks. Students will print their marbleized print directly onto this surface.
- On the foil board, trace around the larger of the mask templates to make several masks on which to mount your marbleized piece.
- Squirt a mound of shaving cream into the shallow tray. Use the old plastic card or cardboard scrap to spread it into an even layer about 1 inch deep.
- Choose three colors of liquid watercolor for your print. Use a pipette or dropper to drip dots of the first color onto the whole surface of the shaving cream.
- Repeat step 2 with the other two colors.
- Using the skewer or hair pick, swirl the paint on the surface of the shaving cream to make an interesting marbleized pattern. Do not overmix the paint, as it will begin to blend with the shaving cream and lose the pattern.
- When you are satisfied with your pattern, lay the cardstock mask down on top of the shaving cream surface, pressing down slightly to ensure contact with the entire surface. Be careful not to push down too hard, or your paper will be soaked with shaving cream.
- Pull off your mask. There will be some shaving cream on the paper. Squeegee off the excess using the plastic card or cardboard scrap. Your pattern will remain on the paper.
- When your mask is dry (which does not take long,) spread glue over the back of it. Line up the eye holes with the larger cardstock or foil board mask and glue it down.
- Use beads, sequins, buttons, feathers, and glitter to jazz up your mask. Glue heavier items with craft glue.
- Squeeze a line of craft glue onto one side of the wooden dowel about as long as your mask is wide from top to bottom. Press the dowel onto the mask either on one of the outside edges or in between the eye holes. Secure the dowel in place with tape.
- Instead of foil board, use foam for the larger mask. With a small hole puncher, make two holes in either side of the foam mask. Line up the marbleized piece the same way, but you might need to secure it with some heavier duty glue like craft glue or even a glue gun. Loop a rubber band through the hole, secure it tightly and pull over the ears, for a more superhero-type mask.