Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the DS takes some of our favorite characters from the GameCube version and mingles them with a whole new cast. Mr. Resetti may be a little rough around the edges, and outright startling the first time you meet him, but he’s no doubt recognizable. I made a mask for my friend’s Mr. Resetti CosPlay Costume he wore at PAX East 2016. While at the convention, a woman approached him with her three boys and said, “Are you Mr. Resetti? You made my kids cry when they were younger. Can I get a picture?” And that became their Christmas card.
Okay, maybe not their Christmas card, but it was a great mask. And I’m going to teach you how to make one of your own. Just try to leave the scaring children until they cry to the actual in-game character.
Project type: Papier-Mâché, painting
Time: Full weekend (8+ hrs or overnight dry time required)
- Mask base (purchase at a craft store)
- Some pieces whole for shaping
- Some pieces torn into 1-inch strips
- Glue (I prefer Elmer’s School Glue)
- Masking tape
- Paint brushes
- Acrylic paint
- String or cord to tie mask
- Covering for workspace – this can get messy!
- paper / plastic bowls (optional)
- For mixing glue / water
- Holding shredded newspaper
- Mixing / holding paint
Making the Mask Part 1: Shape the Mask
First things first, you’ll need to make the mask look like shape of Mr. Resetti’s face. He’s got a long, pointy nose with little hairs. To shape the nose, take a piece of newspaper and roll it into a cone. Using masking tape, tape the cone shape together so it will not unravel. Sometimes it’s easier to shape the cone and tape it first, then cut the length to size with scissors. Then attach the cone to the mask with masking tape.
When the cone is in place the next step is to secure it to the mask using Papier-Mâché. To do this, first you need to mix the adhesive. There are many recipes available online, but this is the one is the one I prefer because it’s very simple:
Easy Papier-Mâché Mix
3 parts glue
1 part water
Mix these together until combined. You’ll want the substance to be fluid but not runny.
This is when things start to get a little messy – definitely make sure your workspace is covered, extra newspaper is a good option, and you’ve removed any jewelry or nice clothes. Keep the bowl with your glue mix close to your shredded newspaper strips.
Take one of the strips and dip it into the glue mixture. Using your fingers, wipe off the excess glue. If you have too thick of a layer it’ll delay your dry-time. Then apply the strip directly onto the mask. You’ll want to continue doing this until the mask is mostly covered. Take care to ensure that the cone is secured by multiple layers of Papier-Mâché across the front and underside of the mask. Don’t forget to secure it from the bottom. Also, be sure to wrap the cone completely, this will further secure the shape that was originally set by the masking tape. Try to smooth out any bubbles or rough edges while the glue is still wet.
Take care not to cover over the holes at the edge of the mask for tying the string later. Leave the mask to dry for several hours, overnight is best.
Making the Mask Part 2: Painting the Face
When the mask is dry and Resetti’s nose has been shaped, it’s time to add the paint to really bring it together. First, prime the mask by painting a white base. This will coverup much of the print on the newspaper so it doesn’t show through, and ensures a more uniform final look. Depending on the newspaper you chose, you may need to do more than one coat of white allover the mask.
Let the mask dry between coats; typically a thin layer of acrylic paint will dry within 20-30 minutes. This is why I like to use acrylics for these kinds of projects, because acrylics have a very quick dry time and they’re easy to paint over if you make a mistake. I use the craft store’s basic acrylics line, typically running $3-7 a tube. Expensive paints are not necessary. I also have a lot of paint brushes for use with acrylics and watercolor paints. I take very good care of these brushes and because of this many of these brushes have lasted me for over 15 years.
Then it’s time for my favorite part: the decorative painting. The paint really brings the mask to life. Start with a medium brown paint, for Resetti a Sienna tone is good. Paint the mask brown all over, using two coats if necessary. Again, let the mask dry between coats. Then paint Mr. Resetti’s thick eyebrows with black paint above the eyeholes in the mask. Don’t forget to add some thin black lines on his nose for his whiskers! Let it dry completely.
Add an elastic cord or some string to create ties for the mask. I used hemp string for a rustic look, with two 12-inch long pieces on either side that could easily be tied together behind the head. If you choose to use elastic, measure twice and sew the ends for a stronger hold.