How to: Lace Mask
One of the most striking costumes in The Dark Knight was, in my opinion, Anne Hathaway’s lace mask and lace cat ears as she dances with Bruce Wayne at the ball. What an interesting take on Catwoman–no hissing, no “hear me roar”, no claw gestures–this Catwoman is totally chic and sophisticated, which only makes her badassery that much cooler.
The DIY Catwoman Costume
In the DIY Catwoman Costume, I styled a simple pair of black pants and long sleeve black shirt with a thick black belt around the waist, thigh-high leather boots, and elbow-length leather gloves. Leave it at this outfit, and you could be mistaken for the Black Widow.. not that that’s a bad thing, but you want to be Catwoman, am I right?
To turn this tush-kicking, name-taking femme fatale look into a purely chic Catwoman look, you need a lace mask and lace cat ears, both of which can be easily and cheaply made at home.
Today I’m showing you how to make your own DIY lace mask. It was inspired by a lace mask I saw on Audrey Hepburn, and, while not totally true to the scene in Dark Knight, I think it works beautifully.
You can use this mask for masquerade balls or in myriad other costumes, or just wear it around the house and make the UPS man really start to think when you answer the door.
What You’ll Need:
- A spool of wide black lace. This can be found at Hobby Lobby for about $2.99 for the whole roll, or you can invest in actual lace for a nicer mask. You will be using this lace later for the cat ears.
- Wide black ribbon, your choice of material. I used about 1” wide black velvet ribbon, but you could use satin or ruffled or anything that speaks to you. Just make sure it’s relatively wide, so your mask has a good amount of structure. For this tutorial, use black, so you don’t have to break out any fancy sewing skills to blend the different color ribbon and your black lace.
- Black thread and needle
- Tape measure
- White chalk*
- Straight pins
- Clear nail polish
- Wax paper*
- Start by measuring your head, from temple to temple, across your eyebrows. Remember this measurement.
- Measure this length of lace and cut.
- Hold the lace where you want it to sit over your eyes and face and look in the mirror.
- Using your chalk, make a mark where the inside corner of your eye is, and then the outside corner. You want to mark not just the width but the height on the lace, too. Repeat for the other eye.
- Lay the lace down on a dark surface, so the chalk shows up well. Connect the inside corner to the outside corner of the eye with the chalk. Make sure you follow the shape of the eye. My eyes turn up a little, so I followed that with the markings. Make sure the drawings are pretty symmetrical from the inside corner of the eye to the outside corner.
- Fold the lace in half from the inside corner of the eye to the outside corner. You will probably be folding the lace on a diagonal, so make sure you’re folding strictly along the drawing and not based on the shape of the mask itself.
- Cut out this folded eye shape, taking care to cut out around the chalk drawing. If you drew it properly, the drawing will be symmetrical and will make it easy to cut out. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other eye.
- Lay the mask on a sheet of wax paper.
- Paint all cut edges of the mask with clear nail polish, to strengthen the edges and prevent fraying. You will likely be painting the two side edges and the eye shapes, but if you had to cut off elastic at the top, make sure you paint this top edge, too. Let dry.
- Measure the first ribbon you’ll use to tie the mask on. Measure from your temple; the length depends on how long you want it. I cut 30” because I like the idea of a long tail on the bow at the back of my head. Make sure the end you’re measuring from is cut straight. When you measure the ribbon to the desired length, cut it on a diagonal.
- Hold the spool of ribbon (the edge should be cut diagonally) up to the diagonal edge of the first ribbon and match the length of the ribbon to get a perfectly equal second ribbon. Cut the end straight.
- Use a lighter to seal the edges of the ribbon. Run the edge of the ribbon quickly through the lighter flame. The edges should melt into a hard edge and will prevent fraying.
- Measure from the top of the mask to the top of the eye shape. Mine was 3.5 centimeters. Remember this measurement.
- Measure this measurement from the top part of the mask on the edge. Make a mark with the chalk. This will be where the top of the ribbon is sewn.
- Pin your ribbon. Make sure the front of the ribbon is facing up, with the lace mask over the front of the ribbon. Pin about a centimeter of ribbon into the width of the ribbon, so you have enough strength and pull on the lace. Pin the top of the ribbon in line with the chalk mark.
- Sew down with your black thread. Make sure you use many stitches, as the lace fabric will not otherwise provide a strong foundation. Because you’re using black lace, black ribbon, and black thread, the stitches don’t have to be pretty. Mine were by no means a masterpiece, but this doesn’t matter. What matters is that the ribbon is very securely attached to the lace mask. Repeat for the other ribbon.
- You’re done! Put on your mask and go make eyes at your husband.
Stay tuned for the lace cat ears tutorial!
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