Mask Making

Mask your Face for the End of the World

This workshop was developed for the One Last Apocalypse project by Mick Byrne. Two approaches are described :

  • Using 3D printing to make a masquerade-style eye mask, and
  • Using cardboard free-style construction techniques.

3D Printed Masquerade Mask

Participants design a lace masquerade ball mask on paper with sharpies.

Some examples can been found here:

Photograph the design on paper with you smart phone and then import the image into Adobe Illustrator (or similar graphics software)

Size the image down to fit

'Trace' as a one colour logo

'Expand' as outlines..

Export as an .svg file

Import the svg file into Tinkercad as a 3-5mm high extrusion and scale to fit face. For smaller 3D printers halve the mask (to print just half at a time)

Export as an .stl file and print on the 3D printer

When printing is complete place mask on a plaster cast mould of a face and uniformly heat the plastic with a hot air gun until the plastic conforms to the topography of the mould

Allow to cool and try it on for fit

Paint and further embellishment can be added

If there is no access to Adobe Illustrator you can use the free, open-source software Inkscape (available from:

Mask Making process using Inkscape

1. Draw half of the mask using the template

2. Take a photo of it

3. Import it into Inkscape

4. Trace it as a bitmap (2 colours)

5. Trace as pixel art

6. Save to desktop as a .svg file

7. Import into Tinkercad

Logistics of running mask workshop in Deception Bay

Possible to follow the above guidelines and then as well as having the 3D printers from the Deception Bay Library, we also have one from The Edge available to print masks. Both can be printing examples at the beginning; this way will open up a way to have conversations about 3D printers and the different options and capabilities of them. For example we could also talk about

The group then designs their own masks by drawing in the template and uses Inkscape and we print the masks after the session.








Rather than 3D print masks we decided to make it a little less reliant on technology working.

Deception Bay 3D printers have not proved to be reliable along with The Edge only being able to offer to take one out and the main 3D printers at The Edge not having a wide enough print option for the masks. Soooo we decided to go with making cardboard full face masks.

Freestyle Cardboard Mask

Mask workshop in Deception bay

We ran with the following workshop with the Flexi school in Deception Bay


Hot glue guns

Cloths for wetting (just in case accidents with the hot glue)


Thin strips of cardboard (for getting the shape of your head)

Cardboard sheets

Stanley knives

An example

Pinterest board of examples

The plan

- Hellos

- set the context (making head masks for an end of the world party or is a new world?)

- ask the group if they have seen any dystopian/apocalyptic movies, read books/comics etc recently.

- brainstorm ideas of what quality would you take into the new world with you?

- Brainstorm what this could look like (see Mick's)

- refer to Pinterest boards

- Begin measuring self up and building up the mask.

- have music playing

- need mirrors? or can get your mate to try it on and see as well

- Think about textures

- Hot glue gun safety chat ( have a bowl of cold water with wash cloth available at all times for anyone who gets hot glue on their hands)

- See if anyone want to leave them behind for the event (talk about the date for it and what will be happening)


This session was a very successful and engaging session. It was great to start with a conversation around apocalypse and what they have seen recently- walking dead a game discussions came up. There were 10 young people and a couple of them were new faces. One of these young men seemed quite aloof and too cool to begin with. As soon as he began to make the mask and get his hands busy he was off and created a full mask with lights and all. The music really helped to engage him I noticed that he was singing away as he was using the hot glue gun.

I only used my iPhone as the Dbay library does not have a small speaker or sound system (something which they have discovered that they need after having had one for a book club session or 2 from a community member. They noticed that it made the teenagers relax and be more engaged in the library)


workshops/prototypes/mask_making.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/01 20:49 by Michelle Brown
CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license: CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their continuing connection to land and as custodians of stories for millennia. We are inspired by this tradition in our work to share and preserve Queensland's memory for future generations.