Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meeeeee-Owwww! Animal Mask Tutorial (cat)

Well, this is a first at Thou Shall Not Whine.  I've posted pictures of my craft projects in the past, but never actually posted a tutorial.  But this project was too cute and fun not to share, so here goes.

Like most, my kids love pretend play.  They put on capes and play superheroes, they make weapons out of Lego's and shoot stuff, they put on fancy dress-up clothes and play princesses and fairies, you get the idea.  Lately one of their favorite games has been to play kitties.  They crawl around the house on their hands and knees purring yelling "meee-owww!"  They climb on my lap so I'll scratch their heads, or feed them pretend kitty treats.  Sometimes I even give them food in a dish on the floor.  It's actually quite cute.  Until it's annoying.

I saw a set of animal masks featured in Martha Stewart Magazine recently.  It was a set of them from an Etsy shop, selling for more money than I'm willing to spend on felt and thread.  I thought to myself, "I can do that!"

I free handed a few mask shapes until I got one I was happy with, then traced it onto freezer paper.  If you've never used freezer paper, you should.  It has a ton of uses, my favorite being a reusable, iron-on sewing pattern.  No pinning required!

I applied the freezer paper to some black felt with a hot iron, and cut out my mask fronts, using an xacto knife for around the eyes.

I also made the ears, nose, and white patch stencils out of freezer paper, and cut those out of pink and white felt with some Heat and Bond already applied to the back.  I positioned the facial features, and ironed them in place.

Next I made the mask back.  I applied Heat and Bond to a piece of black felt, then used my freezer paper stencils on the opposite side. 

I suppose the heat and bond isn't necessary, but it gave the mask a little bit of a thicker more durable feel, then just felt-on-felt.  Here's a picture of the front and back mask pieces:

Now it's time for sewing.  Using a short-length straight stitch, I stitched around the ears, nose, and white spot on the front of the mask.

While you've got white thread in your machine, you should also make the whiskers by stitching 3 straight lines on each side of the nose.  I forgot to do that at this particular stage, but you shouldn't forget so I'll post the picture here to remind you...

Along came a visitor eating a Pop Tart.  She wanted to check my progress...

And then there were two:

Back to work... next I prepared the back to be attached to the front.  I used a 13" piece of 1/4 inch black elastic.  Use more or less depending on the size of your kid's head.  Fasten with a pin about 1 inch in from the sides on the Heat and Bonded side of the mask back and stitch it in place real good.

Now you're ready to attach your front and back.  Front mask side down, iron the Heat and Bonded side of the back mask in place.

Once I did this I realized that these cute little kitty masks were missing something:


*remember, stitch the whiskers on when you stitch all the other face pieces to the front.  That way none of your stitches will show on the back part of the finished mask!*

Almost done...

Stitch all the way around the outside of your mask, and around each eye hole with black thread.  Try and stay close to the edge, and avoid going over the pink or white pieces you've applied.

Ta Da!!!



Erin said...

these are awesome!!! my kids just started to play "kitties" too. i like the idea of giving them their dinner on the floor... ;)

Mari said...

What a cute idea! I like to sew as well, I made princess costumes for my nieces and pageants.


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