Giveaway and Review of Decopatch Queen Mask and Papers #Exaclair #Decopatch #Halloween #DayOfTheDead #Zentangle

Halloween and the Day of the Dead are coming up fast!  So when I chose the prize for my August giveaway  (hosted for Exaclair, Inc.,) I looked for something suitable to the occasion.

I saw this Decopatch Papier Mache Mask and a couple of Decopatch papers, and ...voilà!  The prize was chosen.  There will be nine winners! Giveaway information can be found at the end of this review.

Queen AC315 Papier Mache Mask

  • Size:10 x 2 3/ 8 x 8 ½ 
  • Made exclusively for Decopatch®
  • Hand-made from recycled paper
  • Each piece is solid, not hollow inside
  • No priming needed before applying paper

Decopatch papers C469 and C590
  • Sheet Size: 11 ¾ x 15 ¾
  • Very thin but strong and flexible
  • Smooth texture, allows invisible overlays
  • Real paint effect. Deep-dyed
  • Colorfast - colors never fade or run
  • Easy to tear off - no scissors needed

Look & Feel
The mask:  It's light. It looks like solid cardboard at first glance, but then you see layers of paper showing that it is Papier Mache.  The surface is fairly smooth.  There are few faint ridges, but I was able to draw on it with a Pigma Micron with no trouble. The crown is a separate piece that has been glued and taped to a Lone Ranger type mask.  It looks securely fastened, and I have no fear of it coming apart.

An elastic band is strung through holes at the side and tied.  It goes through both portions of the mask helping to further secure them together plus making it unlikely the paper will tear around the string.  The string fits me comfortably.  It might be loose on a child or too small for a man, but I think the string could be adjusted easily enough.

Even after I added stuff, the mask was light enough to wear comfortably.

The papers: They're opaque, so you can glue them over bright colors and hide them completely.  They do tear easily, and I could get fairly straight, even strips without cutting.  Once wet with glue or gel medium, the paper retains its integrity, and doesn't get mushy or fall apart.

Even though the paper is thin, I could fold it and puff it out by covering it with gel medium, to make 3D flowers.  Said flowers are very delicate and won't take much handling, but are solid enough as long as little hands don't crush them.

Now, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum.  Usually, when I do a review, I like to show more than one way that an item can be used.  But, I only had one mask!  Ah! But I'm a mixed media artist.  We are always creating art that ends up covered up in the final project.  It was just a matter of decorating the mask in one way, then layering over to create yet another decoration.

By doing this I discovered that many mediums work on the mask and I also found that it could take a lot of handling without wear, and that it could take some weight (more about that later).  I did get a slight crease at the top peak of the crown because I pressed too hard while holding it there to steady the mask for painting.   It wasn't noticeable by the time I finished.

For my first round, I used a Pigma Micron pen to draw tangles on the face, acrylic paint for the crown's background, and Sakura's Moonlight Gellyroll gel ink pens for the crown decorations.  Everything went on smoothly with no problems from the Papier Mache layering.

Note that I would normally add 3D elements at this point - beads, etc., but I didn't want anything lumpy to get in the way of the next layer.  And, no, the googly eyes are not included.  I just couldn't resist adding them to the photo!

Good-bye acrylic paint and pen work!  Using gel medium, I completely covered everything on the mask with strips of the two Decopatch papers I had.  To vary things a bit, I chose my strips carefully from different sections of the flowered paper.  I put darker areas at the bottom, with the paisley bits above the eyes.  I used the more flowery sections for the band of the crown.

Again, normally, I would do more at this point -- beads, glitter, something to add more definition between the crown and the face.  Instead, I covered most of it for the next layer!

I started by painting over most of the papers with acrylic paint. First I painted the crown with Ultramarine Blue (except for the band), and the face with a transparent Zinc White with more of the blue around the eyes.  Then I used alcohol to remove some of the paint.  This was a real test.  Both alcohol and scrubbing can cause papery things to buckle or tear, but I didn't have any problem whatsoever.  After everything dried, I painted over it all with an iridescent medium to give it a buffed look.

It doesn't show up well in my photo of the finished mask, but where I removed paint, the Decopatch papers show through, giving an interesting texture and aged feel.

I cut out some of the larger flowers from the floral paper, and cut along some of the outlines to separate a little bit without completely detaching the bits from each other.  Then, carefully holding the flowers apart, I added gel medium and bunched things up to give the flowers depth and make them 3D.  I made two of these and glued them to each side of the band.

Before I started this mask, I made a mold and resin cast of small porcelain doll.  I used Micaceous Iron Oxide acrylic paint to give it a creepy doll look, suitable for Halloween and Day of the Dead, and glued it to the crown.

The last step was to stick on those glittery, beady things I've been wanting to add since layer one, lol. I just wish the camera would pick the shiny better.

There! Now I'm ready to go trick or treating for candy.  Actually, now that I mention it, I want some candy.  Give me candy!

No offers?  Oh well, instead I'll give something away now.

Giveaway Info
What's the prize: Nine winners will each receive one Decopatch Mask and Decopatch papers like the ones reviewed here.
Who can win: I'm sorry, this giveaway is open to the U.S. only.
Starts: Sunday-Aug 23, 2015 06:00 AM PDT
Ends: Sunday-Sept 06  2015 11:59 PM PDT
How to Enter: Comment on this post, including an email address so I can reach you if you win.

I'll contact the winner by email as soon as possible on Monday, September 07, 2015 and will announce the winner once I hear back from them.

Exaclair, Inc. has a page that lists both brick & mortar and online stores, so you can check for resources where you might find the Queen mask and other Decopatch goodies.

Where to buy

Thank you to Exaclair, Inc.  I can't believe how generous they've been with these giveaways.

Disclaimer: I was given a Decopatch Queen Mask and two sheets of Decopatch paper for purposes of this review.  I did not receive any other compensation.  All opinions are mine and are as true as I can make them.