Paper Mache Masks

Cicada Bug Mask Finished – Finally!



Cicada Mask

Do you ever start a project that just keeps getting out of control? And then you wonder why you started in the first place? Well, I think my Cicada mask would qualify. Towards the end I rushed things, and the finished mask does not come up to my usual standard.

I won’t be wearing the bug on my head when I answer the door this Halloween (too scary-looking for babies, I think), but I do love those wings. If it didn’t have those creepy legs I might have talked myself into wearing it. I also think it would be fun to start over and make something for Halloween with just the bug’s wings. Maybe they could be attached to a plastic headband so they flow back over the head, or attach them to the back of a costume to make a fairy. That would be a one-hour project, and it wouldn’t scare the neighbor’s kids.

I kept looking at my mask book sitting over on the shelf and wondered why I didn’t follow my own instructions? The silly thing would have been done ages ago, and it would have come out a lot better better. The shop towel mache would be lighter than the plaster cloth, and if I started out with a plan to make the entire bug the proportions would have been better. Ah well – we can’t expect every project to come out perfect, can we?

Those legs, though…. maybe they’re scary to me because I had to put them in the wrong place, and now they stick out in a menacing way. They aren’t at all scary on a real bug.

Now …

I think it’s time for a much smaller project. We have a guest post coming that I’m really looking forward to, and it’s a project that would make a really nice gift for someone special. (I’ll keep you in suspense. πŸ™‚ ) It got me thinking that it’s time for more paper mache gift ideas. I also like the idea of using paper strips and paste on the next one, just because I haven’t done that for a long time. Any suggestions? I’d love to hear them, as long as there are no bugs involved!

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22 Comments

  • I love it Jonni. I’ve been eagerly waiting to see the finished bug. He’s wonderful! I’m all for scaring the local kiddies on Halloween. Go for it! The legs and wings are fabulous. He’d look great perched up high on a branch of a tree or climbing up your porch wall or upside-down on the ceiling. You could put small balls of air-dry clay or something on the sharp ends, just for safety’s sake. Thanks for the fun videos, I enjoyed them.

  • Goodmorning Jonni, Just wanna say thank you for your videos – they are a wonderful learning tool! have you ever thought about doing a live stream on your videos? Maybe on TWITCH or Youtube?

    I have a few questions too…

    Is paper mache clay and paper clay the same thing? I tried making the paper mache clay.. but I wasn’t able to achieve the smoothness that i wanted. Also I was feeling kinda ill to my stomach when I was working with the “joint compound” putty. The joint compound brand came from Home Depot…

    So I decided to use paper clay instead during middle of my project due to the difficulties I was having..

    Have you ever used a papercraft model as the skeleton for a paper mache skeleton frame? cause I started to use one as a skeleton frame and figure I had to waterproof the thing some out.. I tried place brown wax package tape on the insides and try to use elmers glue for a sealant.. right now I am struggling with making the sculpture balanced all around..and noticing some parts that were not sealed properly are coming off and I have to find some way to fix it… I also had to stuff the inner skeleton with some tissue or paper towels so the skeleton would not collapsed.. right now I think the first attempt with using the homemade paper mache kinda made a safety exoskeleton which is holding it together…. also my sculpture seems a lot bigger than what I actually intended..

    I attached a example of the paper craft to this submission

    pardon my dyslexia .

    • Hi Jason. I think a live presentation would be a lot of fun, but most of my projects take many hours to complete. I just don’t know how it would work.

      The product called Creative PaperClay is different from the paper mache clay recipe. I have no idea what’s in the commercial product. Were you using premixed drywall joint compound? I don’t remember anyone else ever having a problem with it. Could you take a look at the label and tell us what brand you’re using?

      And, no – I have never used a papercraft pattern on the inside of a sculpture, although I do have several patterns that are used for the outside shapes. Have you tried wrapping the skeleton with plastic tape? Your image didn’t come through on the comment. It probably needs to be edited to make it smaller. we’d like to see it, so please try again.

    • Sorry for the delay response, the compound i used is pro form multiuse, also i was i thought about putting the toliet paper in blender, the blender cut up the paper very well, turned out like the lint in the dryer machine.

  • I’ve only just discovered you and your talent. thank goodness for YouTube. your work is amazing I love it very Adept at teaching. thank you again

  • I loved seeing this mask evolve! – and may I just say, I find your site totally inspiring!! Only started with paper mache a year ago, and am loving the process and the possibilities. Thank you, Jonni, for sharing your expertise so generously!

    • Wow! The bamboo bugs are extraordinary, aren’t they? I can’t work in such tiny detail myself. I had a thought that a modified version of your bug would make a wonderful cycle helmet. I am sure they are plenty of youngsters and adults who would love to cycle along with a big bug on their head! I think the overall shape would work very well. Perhaps you should approach a cycle helmet manufacturer! Or how about a scarecrow type figure with a black cape standing in your porch on Halloween? ‘Bug Man’. πŸ™‚

  • I must congratulate you Jonni on your bravery in even making the mask. I have an extreme phobia towards bug and will never even consider making one let alone wearing one. You did an amazing job on it though to the point that it gives me the shivers and the hebbie jeebies. I most certainly would be the adult screaming at your door if I was to trick or treat in your home town. Lol!

    • I think anyone would have a phobia about a bug this big! Fortunately, the real cicadas, though very large, do no damage that I can see and don’t bother people at all. But I still wouldn’t want to be staring one in the face if it was two feet long!

  • I don’t know Jonni, I kind of enjoyed your process of making this bug. Who among us has not had a project grow like this one did for you? I understand how you think it too scary for a two year old but the tens would love it! You can hang it on your porch as a decoration though, but that might scare the parents. Thanks for sharing your process, I enjoyed it.

  • Your Cicada mask looks scary and wonderful. I am sure that there are many people that would want to wear it for Halloween. Looking forward to your next project and all the guest posts too.

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