Friday, September 16, 2011

Superhero Mask Tutorial

I think it's so interesting how concepts get picked up outside the house, and we are then stuck with them! This can be good, and bad.

An example of good: My son and daughter go to the same preschool {Grandmother's House Children's Center in SLO, CA} and they came home one day and sang the sweetest prayer before dinner. It was simple: 

"Hands, hands, hands. 
Thank you God for hands. 
Food, food, food. 
Thank you God for food. 
Friends, friends, friends. 
Thank you God for friends. 
Amen. Amen. Ameeeeeeeen!"

I mean, the sweetest thing ever. No complaints here!

An example of bad... Well, I won't give you the specifics of when my dear, sweet son dropped an "F-bomb" as part of a statement he heard somewhere. {VERY doubtful from school!} But there's just stuff that they inevitably see {billboards, books, friends, school, people, grocery store, life} and it sticks with them.

Right now, it's Batman for us. We've never had a Batman book, or Batman Band-Aids, or videos or anything, but right now our little dude is stuck on Batman. And, since he already has a cape, he needed a mask. Thus:

I got the template for the mask on "first palette - Your step-by-step guide to kids' crafts". Yes, a site I just discovered but all parents and grandparents should know about. But, since I'm in love with fabric and sewing, I wanted the mask to be more than just colors on paper. 

So, here's what I did:

1) Cut out the pattern, or draw your own and cut it out.

2) To give the mask some thickness, fold two layers of iron-on fusible webbing and trace/cut or use your rotary blade to make two layers of the mask with the webbing.

*If your image isn't reversible, make sure the webbing is facing the right way {the side you iron onto fabric is bumpy} so that you can iron the webbing onto the fabric and have them face each other when placed together. You'll see in a sec.

3) Iron the webbing onto the fabric following the product's directions, then cut out the pattern but leave about 1/4" border.

4) Cut two 15-20" strips of your ribbon on choice. We stuck with Batman colors and chose a wide yellow ribbon. {You can also make a strip of fabric for this purpose too.}

[Addendum: Since making this superhero mask I realized that the kids might enjoy a more instant-gratification model - that is, a mask that doesn't involve the help from mom or dad to put on.

For my daughter's mask I used a 9-inch piece of 3/4-inch elastic and a 20-inch strip of ribbon. I pinned the elastic on each end of the ribbon, and also in the middle:

I then sewed the elastic onto the ribbon, slowly feeding the two through the machine using a zig-zag stitch, not stretching the elastic until I could grab the two from the back. Once I could, I stretched the elastic to the halfway point and pulled the ribbon/elastic out from the back to help progress the ribbon along. This produces a gathered ribbon for a final look like this:

This way, when it falls off - and it will - mommy or daddy doesn't have to be there to put it back on. I'm going to switch my son's to this style too.]

5) Place the two fabrics webbing-sides together and position the ribbons/fabric strips where they'd work best for later tying the mask onto the toddler's face. I did two rows of a basic stitch close together to secure the ribbon onto the mask.

{This is where, if you don't have a reversible image, you want to make sure you webbing image goes on the correct side of the fabric so that, when you put them together, it's a two-layered mask. Does that make sense? If not, email me.}

6) Do a close zig-zag stitch around the edges of the entire mask and eye-holes.

7) Chose the desired length of your ribbon, cut. Use a match to heat-seal the edges of the ribbon to prevent fraying.

8) Give it to a toddler and watch their imagination go wild! :)

Do send pics if you decide to make this. It's super easy and goes a long way. At least until the next thing gets stuck in his little brain. :)

If you were a superhero, what color would your mask be?? Mine: orange.

P.S. I made this for my 4-year old but it also fits on my very petite 2-year old {and yes, I'll admit it fits me pretty well too!} so it's pretty versatile for any age. 

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