First confession: I actually have just one. One confession, and it’s simply this: I am a hybrid wannabe. HAHAHAHA! 😆
It helps to think this way every time my kids have some school project that requires “parental involvement” (which basically means you roll up your sleeves and go splashing in the mud with the kiddo).
Friday afternoon when I picked up J from school, I walked into what looked like a cloud (of thinly-veiled stress) hovering over my co-mothers. The reason: we just got a letter which basically said our kids would be having a mask-or-hat parade first thing on Monday morning, and the kids had to make their own masks “with help from their parents.” It would be graded as Homework. This meant only two things: (1) “make masks” = don’t even think of making a trip to the shops to buy a pre-made mask; and (2) “with help from parents” = goodbye, relaxing weekend.
The mask had to be a storybook character, and the kids had to be able to act in their character. Hmm. Wonder what the easiest mask to make would be? Mickey Mouse, right? (I mean, really, how hard can it be to trace one big circle and two smaller circles, stick them together, and paint them black and red? 😀 ).
But my son wanted to be Optimus Prime. I tried to convince him to explore other characters but he really wanted to be the Transformers chief. So I thought to myself, oh why the heck not? Let’s just go with what he wants; after all, it’s he who has to wear the mask and act in character. 😉
So Sunday afternoon my son J and I set to work with leftover pizza carton boxes (good thing Son No. 2 had some school friends over on Friday evening, and lemme tell ya, those boys can eat a whole truck of pizza if you dared them). We gathered toilet paper and old newspapers and PVA glue (paper machie ingredients), foil, poster paint, colored popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and whatever else we thought we’d be needing to make the mask. And just so you know? We ended up using about 10% of the loot that we collected. 🙄
Just in case your kid happens to come home one of these days with the same homework, I decided to share the mask-making process with you (heehee).
First order of the day: Trim the box to a more manageable size. (Also, resist the urge to order another box of pizza to eat while working 😆 )
Then, roll box around the head of your kid and mark where the eyes, nose and mouth areas should be. This is to ensure that your kid doesn’t go bump in the night while he walks around with the mask, and that he doesn’t get dizzy from the leftover-pizza-smell on the box.
Cut out eye area from the carton and fit. (Be prepared to fit a lot during the process. Better to stop and fit rather than go from beginning to end without interruption, only to get into a fit when you realize the eye area is just the right fit for the… nostrils!)
Cut out the portion that will go over the nose and mouth area.
Don’t omit this most important part: Stay awake with coffee (or Diet Mountain Dew or Pepsi, if you rock that way 😉 ). Because, my dear friend, at this point we’re not even halfway there 😛
Fueled by cafe, cut out the breathing area…
… and (behind the scenes) stick all the rest of the materials you have: more cut-up pizza carton, crumpled and squished newspaper, bottle caps from Florida Naturals juice, a couple of pipe cleaners to hold the mask in place over the head, and tape: lots and lots and lots of tape to hold it all together.
Oh, and I did say don’t forget to fit, right? 😉
Next, check the time and decide NOT to do paper machie because your mask will never dry in the next 6 hours. So decide to take the mask outside under the stars (yes, the moon had risen by the time I got the entire thing modeled to go) and spray-paint it entirely with silver paint in a can. (It totally helps if your paint says “dries in 10-15 minutes”). Try not to sweat the small details (like when you realize that there’s a slight difference in the texture of the paint on carton versus paint on tape, just let it go… 😆 ).
Then paint in details with acrylic paint. (I tried poster paint at first and almost freaked out when I realized the poster paint wouldn’t stick to the silver paint! It was doing its own kind of “crayon-resist” performance. Thank heavens for craft rooms filled with paper scrapping stuff that has been hoarded–and hardly used–over the years, mwahaha. Those things come in handy at exact times like this.)
Do a final fit to make sure everything’s fine (and make sure the tape at the back of the mask is patted down without any areas peeling off because you definitely don’t want parts of your kid’s eyebrows to come off together with the mask 😆 ).
Let mask dry overnight, and reassure your kid that you both did a great job together, and it doesn’t really matter whether you win the mask contest or not because you had a lot of fun creating it together anyway, and that is what matters. 😉
Then go do some work on the Spraground (if you live there like I do, lol!) and then force yourself to sleep at 3am because you’ve got a big day tomorrow watching your kid in his mask parade.
Optimus Prime meets Captain Hook meets Bugs Bunny meets two Cats in the Hat and…
A hop, a skip, and a jump…
And we’re done! 😀
PS. The kids in the primary grades voted for the winner. Guess who won?
Whoopee-doo! Whodathunk, huh? 😆