Perhaps the most eclectic and unusual creatures to take to Court Street during the Athens Halloween Block Party are the inspired puppets of Collaborative Art International’s Honey for the Heart Parade. The parade is a result of a month’s worth of work between the artists of Collaborative Art International, Ohio University and the Athens community. Donated and found items are turned into larger-than-life puppets that make the parade the official start of the Halloween block party.
We met with Honey for the Heart artist, Wendy Minor Viny, who shared with us some insights into her process for making the masks that will be used in this year’s parade. Like all the items in the parade, this mask is constructed by recycling found objects. Have a few of these items hanging around your house? There’s still time to join in the fun Uptown on Saturday. All you need is cardboard, a pool noodle, the inner tube from a bike, scissors, glue sticks, a glue gun, a stapler and some paint.
Honey for the Heart DIY Halloween Mask
Cut a piece of cardboard into your desired shape. Roll it around a bit to make it malleable. Fold back some of the edges and staple them down from the inside out (this makes the surface smooth against your face). Cut out some shapes for the face using the pool noodle and a pair of scissors.
Cut the scraps of cardboard into interesting shapes and use those to build the facial structure. It’s a good idea to use larger pieces on the bottom then add smaller pieces to give the mask a sense of dimension. (Snap a picture of the mask so it’s easier to reassemble with the glue.) Remove all the piece then glue the eyes, nose and mouth before moving onto the cardboard pieces.
Cut a space just above the nose so you can see through your mask when you wear it. (You may want to use a box cutter for the step.) Don’t be shy about cutting out a decent-sized eye opening because if you cannot see with your mask on, it’s not fun.
Construct a headband to hold the mask to your face. Wendy prefers to use a recycled inner tube from which she cuts two long strips approximately 15 inches long. Try on your mask to see if your eyes line up with the whole you cut above the nose. Adjust as needed. Finish adding the cardboard accents to the mask with the glue gun. The most important part here is creativity. Have fun and do something unique to your own style.
Add color using any kind of acrylic paint and let it dry thoroughly before wearing. You may want to decorate the back of the mask and add some extra padding to the back to make it more comfortable to wear. You can go as far as you want with this: add more accents, more paint highlights, or whatever you want to make it truly your own.
Now that you’ve got your own mask, why not join the parade? Lineup takes place from 4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Fern Street. Find more information about the parade, including the parade route HERE.