Changing the Size of the Paper Mache Mask and Sculpture Patterns

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Many people have asked me how to make my patterns a different size, either because they want a sculpture that’s bigger or smaller, or they’re making headdress masks and they need to make each mask fit. I’ll show you how to make the entire pattern a different size first. To make a headdress mask fit, scroll down below.

How to Make the Entire Pattern Larger:

The easiest way to make your entire pattern bigger, just take the pattern file to your local print shop. They have machines that can print on larger paper, so none of the individual pattern pieces will be cut off.

But if you want to do it at home with your own printer, you can do that using the “poster” setting on your printer:

How to use the poster setting on your printer to make your patterns larger

This will make many of the pattern pieces land on more than one sheet of paper. To put them back together, find the registration lines on each corner, and cut off the extra margin.

Cutting the extra margin off pages printed on the poster setting.

Then line up the pages and tape them together.

Putting the pages together after using the poster setting on your printer

If your cardboard isn’t large enough for the enlarged pattern, you may have to tape pieces of the cardboard together, too, before sticking the pattern to the cardboard.

Make sure your cardboard is large enough for each pattern piece.

How to Make the Entire Pattern Smaller:

Make patterns smaller with the cutom scale setting

If you want to make your sculpture smaller, just use the “custom scale” setting on your printer, and use an percentage that is smaller than 100%.

Making a Headdress Mask Fit Correctly

If you’re making headdress masks for a play, every actor will have a different-sized head. But don’t worry, because it’s easy to change the size of the masks to fit both smaller and larger heads. Be sure to do this before you add the paper mache.

But don’t make the mask too snug. Paper mache will sometimes make the masks slightly smaller as they dry. This is much less noticeable if you use the wood glue mache, like I do when making theater masks.

Cutting the headdress mask along the center seam to make it fit better.

Try on the mask after the pieces are taped together, but before adding paper mache. If you’re making the mask for someone else, have them try it on. If it’s not the right size, cut the center seam at the back about 4 to 5 inches.

Taping the headdress mask after changing the size

If the cap is too big, overlap the seam, tack it on temporarily with masking tape, and try it on again. When you know it fits, tape it securely with your plastic tape, and then cover the entire mask with paper mache.

Changing the size of a headdress mask

If the mask is too small, spread the seam apart and fill in the space with a triangle of cardboard. Tape everything together again, and then cover it with paper mache.

If you have any questions about changing the size of the paper mache patterns, be sure to post them in the comment area below. And have fun! :)

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