Announcement Elegant one-of-a-kind custom and ready made paper mache masquerade masks inlaid with dazzling Swarovski and European rhinestones and rhinestone chain, and adorned with sparkling crystal beads and gold and silver leaf.
Elegant one-of-a-kind custom and ready made paper mache masquerade masks inlaid with dazzling Swarovski and European rhinestones and rhinestone chain, and adorned with sparkling crystal beads and gold and silver leaf.
brianajhaft on Apr 2, 2016
This came to me ever more beautiful than I had anticipated. Working with you step by step on the process of custom designing it to fit your exact needs. Cant wait to wear it for my wedding!! Thank you
nadeshda recinos on Apr 26, 2015
The mask is even more beautiful in person. Such detail and such care in every little nook on it. Thank you so much for making it so special. And thank you for the little extra you added. My daughter loves it and it all matches her dress perfectly.
Creating a Bejeweled Mask
Each mask begins with small strips of paper and paste applied over one of eight different face molds in the overlay method. Once the paper mache face form is dry, the design for the mask is drawn freehand onto it in pencil, with particular care taken to assure the design is even and symmetrical. Drawn into the design are the areas where any large rhinestones and rhinestone chain will eventually be placed.
I’m very selective about the rhinestones, rhinestone chain and glass beads that I use, preferring by far the luster, clarity and depth of machine cut stones. I have a wide assortment of Swarovski, Czech and European rhinestone chain, and almost all of the rhinestones and crystal beads in my inventory are Swarovski. A few others were chosen for their beauty or uniqueness.
In order for the bottom metal portion of the rhinestone chain to be hidden from view and to secure it more firmly to the mask, I’ve devised a method of adding relief to areas of the mask to create channels for the chain. I use a dremel tool to create the holes for the band or ties, as well as settings for the smaller faceted-back rhinestones that are secured with jeweler’s glue.
As with traditional Venetian masks, gesso is repeatedly applied and sanded until the mask is smooth and even. Because the gesso must dry completely before being sanded, this process can take from several days to up to a week to complete. Then each mask is painted front and back with very thin, opaque acrylic ink, which applies smoothly and can be mixed to create an infinite array of colors. I also have a wide range of acrylic pearlescent and metallic inks which look very striking on the masks. Once the ink is dry, several coats of acrylic varnish are applied to seal it.
The mask really starts coming to life when the metal leaf is applied and the rhinestones and rhinestone chain are secured into their settings. Metal grommets are inserted into the holes for the band so that the any friction from the band won’t damage the mask. And then the final painstaking step is to use a tiny brush to very carefully apply one last thin coat of varnish around just the very base of each rhinestone to further ensure that they stay secure in their settings. This step requires a steady hand and can take quite a while, especially on masks with hundreds of rhinestones.
Despite their delicate appearance, these masks are very sturdy and should last for decades with minimal care. As with all paper mache artwork, they need to be kept dry when worn and, when not worn, displayed or stored in dry place.
Owner, Mask Designer
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
- Money Order
Returns & exchanges
- Custom or personalized orders
- To communicate with you about your order
- To fulfill your order
- For legal reasons (like paying taxes)
Frequently asked questions
Custom and personalized orders
Custom orders take approximately 2-6 weeks to complete, depending on the style of mask you've requested. I'll contact you with an estimated completion time upon receipt of your order, and will keep you apprised of your mask's status and provide you with photos as it's being created.
If you require a mask that's wider or narrower than average, just let me know.