How to make a Geisha Mask…

My daughter is incredibly talented. She’s 15 and in grade 10.  She comes by it honestly….I’m not boasting. I’m just saying that her dad is a perfectionist, and I am not.  But when it comes to creative flair…well, I’ve got it going on.  So, here she is, in this art class with a completely anal teacher who is a perfectionist and creative!  Every project seems to take on a life of its own and sadly, many other subjects get thrown by the wayside.   This particular assignment~ a paper mache mask…has consumed the better part of 2.5 weeks in our house.

If my daughter had started it when it was assigned, well…who knows where she would have taken it.  But she procrastinated(huh, wonder where that came from?? ) and so she actually got off to a late start.  This resulted in several nights the first week spent on flour paste, newsprint and quite the mess in the kitchen.  Layer upon layer, hour after hour, fans running, drying , sanding…..oh my, what an ordeal.

I wish I would have taken photos from the beginning.  The balloon and its pathetic looking first couple layers.  but here, is what we have now…..a completely professional looking piece of art that, when the teacher is done marking it, will be displayed in daughter #1’s Asian-inspired room.

The first thing to do: a concept, a drawing and yes, she did it on her own!

Mask baking in speed the drying.

Forming the nose....layer of paper, pinched and dried.

The backside after sawing off the rough edges....check out the thickness.

The front after sanding, filling cracks and sanding again.

Profile~ lots of sanding to get the nose and face shape just right...the white stuff is the dried spackle(wall crack filler).

My, what a BIG head you have!

After priming and painting white...on to the lips..glitter red!

Working on the eyes....she's way better than I would ever do!

Nearing the end..bought 2 pkgs of fake hair extensions at Ardene and then just hot glued them in the shape we wanted.

Next...a form for the bun. The form? A Coke stubby ornament bottle from Christmas. Spray painted black with the top cut off and then screwed into the "head".

Getting there..but not quite!

Attached a fan, authentic chopsticks(from Japan), flower and now blush.

Finding the right balance.

A proud artist!

Geisha Girl Paper Mache Grade 10 Art


4 thoughts on “How to make a Geisha Mask…

  1. I LOVE THE MASK! IT IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I used the step by step directions to make my own mask just like this one. It is not as good as yours but it is still pretty good!

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