Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Felt Bear Mask Tutorial + Pattern

A few months ago, I made this mask for a mask themed birthday party. I had originally thought that it would be easy to find a pattern online to make an adult bear mask, but it turns that either no one has thought of this yet, or very few adults are interested in wearing cute animal masks (sounds hard to believe, I know.) I thought I would right this by showing you all how to make one.

Consider how much fun it would be for your little one if you read them a story about a bear while wearing a soft cuddly bear mask.

I designed this to fit 3 basic requirements: 1) it had to be soft and comfortable, 2) it couldn't get in the way of drinking, 3) I had to be able to wear my glasses over it.

I started out by folding a piece of paper in half and drawing an approximate shape, which I then copied onto a new sheet and cut out to see how it would fit. When I decided what adjustments needed to be made, I went back to my original template and drew in the changes, followed by another paper cut-out. Drawing only half the mask on my master template, ensured that both sides would be perfectly symmetrical when I cut it out.

Paper template, with many
layers of adjustments
The final cut-out, I think this was the 4th version

You can download the pattern HERE to make your own mask using the instructions below.

What you will need:
- Two squares of felt for the main part of the mask. 'Eco felt' made from recycled bottles is great but should be avoided for this project because it is not as sturdy and not as soft
- Felt scraps of a different colour for inside the ears
- An elastic (or two strips of fabric) for putting the mask on
- Thread for sewing it all together.


Step 1: Pin the pattern to both layers of felt and cut around it

Step 2: Before you cut out the eyes of your mask, put the paper template up to your face and make sure the eye holes are in the right place for you. If they aren't, adjust the size and position until you can see clearly.

Step 3: Measure the elastic so that it goes around your head comfortably from one edge of your mask to the other. It should be tight enough to keep the mask on, but it shouldn't be pulling.

Step 4: Cut the elastic to the length you chose, adding 1/2 inch extra on each side to attach it to the mask.

Step 5: To create a template for inside the ears, cut out the ears on the paper pattern following the line and trim the round part until it fits nicely inside your mask's ears. Using that template, cut out two small felt bits of another colour. (You really only need to use one paper ear template for this - just flip it upside down and it will fit the opposite ear).

Here is what you will have at this point.
Two layers of felt for the mask, an elastic and two small bits of felt that fit inside the ears.

Step 6: Insert 1/2 inch of the elastic between your two layers of felt on each side and pin in place. The place where you should attach the elastic is marked on the pattern with two short lines.

Step 7: Sew all the way around your mask, both layers, 1/4 inch from the edge. Be very careful not to sew over your elastic except in the 2 places where you want to attach it!
Do not sew around the eye holes (I tried this, it didn't look very good).

Step 8: Attach the inside of the ears by sewing around them with a small zigzag stitch.

You're done!
Here it is, your finished mask!
Time to wear it and go be awesome.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. If you make a mask using this pattern, I'd love to see it! Let me know in the comments and/or upload your photos to Flickr.

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