October is here again and I'm sure some of you are trying to figure out that perfect costume for trick-or-treating. My children look forward to Halloween every year because we always put together a story with our Halloween costumes.
Last year, we did our own take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," and we tweak and twist our story depending on what the girls want to be. My oldest daughter, True, wanted to be a detective, so we had to put a detective in the story. One of my other favorites was when my girls were a barbershop quartet together. They looked so cute! Anyway, we have this year planned already, but in case you don’t, maybe you would consider making these woodland creatures masks made from felt. Make one, two, or all three!
– masks templates (bear, fox, and owl)
– 1/4 yard of felt fabric (per mask)
– additional smaller scraps of felt fabric
– 10" – 13" long piece of 1/4" braided elastic (per mask)
– embroidery floss in coordinating colors
– embroidery needle
– straight pins
Step One: Choose the creature you would like to make (or all of them), and use the template to cut out all the pattern pieces from your felt fabric. Cut out each layer onto the felt color of your choice. The best way to cut out the pieces is to pin each pattern piece on top of the felt, and then proceed to cut out each piece. Don’t forget to cut out the eyes on the front and back felt mask pieces.
Step Three: Measure your elastic to be sure it will fit around the head snugly. For a child, about a 10” – 11” long piece of elastic should be sufficient, or a 12”-13” piece will do for an adult. Place the front mask piece onto the back felt piece (face layers facing up) and line up the edges. Between the front and back mask pieces, insert ½” of each elastic end in its designated locations (see template for placement) and pin in place. Join the front and back pieces together by stitching around the entire perimeter using a running stitch. After you have sewn around the perimeter, sew around the eye openings.
You can make your masks as colorful as you want, or you can stick to the tried and true colors of the animal. We opted for colorful, but if you’re child (or you) doesn’t want a light blue fox, well, brown or orange felt it is! Craft stores sell paper size craft felt sheets, which would work for the masks, or you can buy yardage of wool felt at the fabric store (you'll have plenty of leftovers), and both would yield similar results.
If you don’t have the time to hand sew the masks, you could easily put the masks together with a sewing machine by sewing each layer down. It would definitely take less time, but I do like the extra pop the hand embroidery gives. Also, if you want to go really fast, just get some fabric glue and glue each layer on to put together the masks.
I also share how to make a woodland gnome costume, so these masks would be perfectly paired with that. Besides Halloween, these masks would also make a cute gift set for a child, and you could even pair it with this book by the lovely Emily Martin. I think the two would make an extra sweet gift, don't you think? –Rubyellen
Credits // Author and photography: Rubyellen Bratcher. Photos edited with Imogen of the Folk Collection.