Want to make your own Disney masks but you are in contact with people who usually lip read when you’re talking such as people with hearing difficulties? This tutorial shows you how to make clear Disney face masks yourself, step by step, simply using a printer and fabric like you can have at home as well as clear plastic!
Many thanks to Hélène for the tutorial and to Guillaume for his designs!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- White 100% cotton fabric for printing, and fabric for the lining in the colour you want
- Freezer paper (also called wax paper)
- A4-size printing fabric (instead of white cotton and freezer paper)
- Colour printer
- Sewing kit, sewing machine or needle
- Cotton thread and sewing pins
- Elastic tape or elastic band
- A clear acetate sheet
- Vinyl glue or white glue (this glue dries clear)
- An iron
To simplify the printing process, you can use A4-size ready-made fabric printer sheets instead of the combination of freezer paper and cotton fabric.
Freezer paper (also known as wax paper) is more commonly used to separate food to be frozen and prevent it from sticking. It is made up of a matt side and a glossy, plastic-coated side. You can find this type of paper on Amazon, at Hobbycraft or similar stores.
Create a cardboard pattern the same size as the sheets you use with your printer. This is usually A4 size, 21 cm wide and 29.7 cm long.
Lay your piece of 100% cotton fabric flat. Place your cardboard pattern on it, and trace the outline of the pattern on the fabric using a pen or felt pen.
Then cut out the fabric, making sure not to cut directly along the line you have just drawn but further away, to leave a certain buffer.
Take your freezer paper. Take an A4 sheet of paper, or if you have a roll, unroll it, place your fabric on it, and cut enough paper to cover your fabric.
One side of the freezer paper is waxed, the other is matt. The waxed, shiny side should face up, and the fabric should be in contact with that side.
Turn the freezer paper and fabric over and place them on a hard, flat surface such as a work surface, rather than an ironing board. The cloth should be on the bottom, and the matte side of the paper should be on top.
Take your hot iron and run it over the paper to make it stick to the fabric.
Once the fabric and paper are stuck together, turn the whole bundle over. Now cut out the whole bundle following the line drawn on the fabric.
Choose the design you want to print on your mask. To save fabric sheets, you can even print 2 designs on one page, as shown opposite.
You will find a gallery of different designs at the bottom of this page.
However, we advise you to choose a design with a rather large mouth, like the Genie, Donald or even Hulk, since the inside will be cut out afterwards to integrate the clear sheet.
Place your fabric in the printer and print the design(s) in 15 x 20 cm format.
Make sure that you select the “Optimum print quality” settings and that the paper type for printing is set to “Premium matte paper”.
If you printed the pattern on special printer fabric, no further processing is necessary as the material is already processed.
If you used normal fabric and freezer paper, you will need to perform post-printing treatment to prevent the colors from bleeding. You can use a colour fixing product such as Synthrapol, which can be found at Etsy or Amazon.
For a more ecological alternative, you can soak your printed fabric in a basin of cold water with a cup of white vinegar and a cup of coarse salt. Soak for an hour or two and then rinse with cold water. Repeat the process if the colours are still bleeding.
Cut out your printed fabric following the outline of the image and remove the layer of paper on the back.
Use this piece of fabric to cut out another one of the same size. This will be the inner layer of the mask.
Cut two pieces of elastic of 16.5 cm each.
Cut out the inside of the mouth.
Trace out the outline of the inside of the mouth on a sheet of paper.
Cut out the shape on the paper, ensuring you don’t cut directly along the line, but 1 cm out.
Use the paper shape as a pattern to cut the same shape out of the clear acetate sheet.
Lay the printed fabric flat, printed side up.
Lay the elastic bands on each side of the printed fabric, placing the ends at the top and bottom corners. Make sure that the elastic bands stay on the fabric and do not come out.
Place the second piece of fabric on top of the printed fabric and the elastic bands.
Use pins to hold the two pieces of fabric and the elastic bands in place, and prevent them from shifting when sewing.
Sew the entire outline of the two fabrics by hand, or using a sewing machine, and make sure the ends of the elastics are securely caught in the seams.
Turn the mask over using the hole of the mouth.
Press the iron over the mask to flatten it.
Use small scissors to cut the shape of the inside of the mouth out of the inner layer of fabric of the mask.
With a brush (or your finger), apply a small amount of white glue on the inner trim of the mouth, both on the inner and the outer sides. This prevents the fabric from fraying.
A small amount of glue is enough, and it dries very quickly.
Slide the clear acetate shape between the two layers of fabric. Then sew the border of the mouth together with the clear shape.
Turn the mask over. Make 2 pleats in the fabric. Take a band of fabric of 2.5 cm at the top, and fold it over 1.3 cm. Use clamps or pins on each side of the mask to hold the pleat.
Repeat the operation once more with the bottom part.
Sew the pleats by hand, or using a sewing machine, on each side of the mask.
Here you go!