Whimsical Lion Mask for a Charity Art Auction

This display mask is the first project I managed to finish in my new house in Volga, South Dakota. I made it as a donation for the Brookings Habitat for Humanity Restore Art Auction, and I delivered it right after the varnish is dry.

This was the first time I participated in the art auction, and it was so much fun that I gave them my huge dragon, too. That project was so big that it took 8 posts to show how it was done! This little blue-eyed lion mask was a lot easier!

Unfortunately, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore doesn’t hold their art auctions anymore, but it was fun to participate when they were still doing it – and it was for a great cause.

The art auction rules required that the artwork had to be made, at least in part, with items purchased at the Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, so it pushed me to be a bit more inventive than usual. How does one make a lion out of old house parts and hardware?

It was also fun walking around the store, looking at all the stuff they have in there. (I bought a really cute little reclining chair for $16!).

lion mask patternNote: I recently created a new lion mask pattern for paper mache. It’s a lot more realistic than the whimsical mask I show you in the video above.  The downloadable lion mask pattern is made with cardboard pieces taped together, plus one layer of paper mache and that lovely raffia mane (made with a cheap table skirt).

I didn’t show it in the video, but I actually took the larger electric cables apart by pulling the smaller wires out of the sheathing. For that reason, I ended up with a lot more wire than I thought I would, and the wires were nice bright colors. That gave me an excuse to go a bit wild with the paint job. He fits right in with the bright green walls in my kitchen. It  also helped the lion mask fit in with the other artwork that will be sold at the auction, because it encouraged children to participate.

I’m happy to say that this silly lion display mask found a new home during the auction. 🙂

27 thoughts on “Whimsical Lion Mask for a Charity Art Auction”

  1. Hi and thanks for all the greatness in crafting prowess! I have a question about varnish. You mention that you use varnish at the end. Can you give us an idea as what kind of varnish you would recommend? Thanks so much, Uhane

  2. Wow Jonni, did you paint those eyes or are they glass eyes? Love the colorful creative approach, I’m having a real blast trying to find ways to recycle things and this is a nice inspiration!

    • Hi Soul. Yes, the eyes were painted. They aren’t even the same color, since I sponged the various colors on the mask without considering the underlying form, and then added the pupils later. Oddly enough, it worked! I think I need to play around this way more often.

  3. Hi Jonni,
    Your lion is great, the use of the wires is very inspirational. Thank you so much for all the sharing.

    • Hi Monica. I took the lion over to the ReStore yesterday, and they were very happy to see him. It was a really fun project – now I’m trying to think up more things to make out of recycled stuff.

  4. Jonni,
    it is so nice to see you back at the artistic creations again! I’m glad things are getting settled for you once more!!!

  5. What a fun sculpture! I hope your electric lion amps up sales at the auction, gives them a real jolt!

    I love the ReStore! I use ours for all sorts of projects, and love browsing with my mind open for inspiration!

  6. Hi Jonni,
    Glad to hear you are settling in ok and the creativity is starting to flow again!
    Loved the Lion mask and your use of electric cable for a mane!
    You always come up with some grat new ideas!
    I hope your move to South Dakota is a good one for you.
    Have fun
    Bwana Foster.

  7. You are such a delight 🙂 Love hearing about your moving experiences . The lion is wonderful. I use to give those electrical wires to my grandsons to make stuff with…brings back memories. If I could just figure out how to get a picture from my cell-phone onto your site I would love to share pictures of my papermache things that I did some 20+ years ago that are in still pretty good shape Just love you and your Website !

    • Hi Nancy. I’d love to see those sculptures, but I have no idea how to do the cell-phone upload thing. Maybe one of our other readers could give us a hint?

      • Well, I can get the picture to my computer ……………………..Then what ??? Darn,should have taken that dumbell class 🙂

        • Click on the “Browse” button under the comment box. That will open a small window that lets you go to the place on your computer where you saved your photo. Select the photo, and click the “open” button. Then save your comment, and your photo will automatically appear in your comment, if you saved it in a small enough file size for the system to accept it. Give it a try, and see if it works.


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