It is very easy to make a mask pattern customized to fit a specific doll’s face. Felt makes an excellent material for mask-making for dolls. Wool or wool blend felt works best as it is sturdy and doesn’t pill like polyester felt. The mask may be decorated with embroidery, beads, felt appliques, lace, trim, buttons, studs, jewelry findings, etc…
There are many sites on the internet showing embroidery stitches. Here’s one, Stitch – the Embroiderer’s Guild. There are also many videos available online.
Making a Custom Mask Pattern
Step 1: fold a piece of paper in half. Place it on a doll head’s face lining up the folded side straight down the center. Bend the paper against the facial features, and mark where the nose, eyes, forehead, and sides of the face before the ears would be. Based on these marks, cut out a half of a mask shape. Open up the folded paper and you will have the full basic pattern for the mask.
Step 2: Bella’s mask is going to be in the shape of a pumpkin. I create a design based on her face measurements and cut it out. Now I need to figure out where to cut the eye holes. To do this, I place the mask pattern over the face again and bend it around and feel through the paper for the eye openings. I create creases where the eyes are and use them as a guide to cut the eye holes.
Step 3: I make the eye holes larger than the eyes. I placed the mask pattern over the face to be sure they will look right.
Step 4: Next I choose my material. For this mask, I am using wool felt in a pumpkin orange and appliqueing a green stem.
Step 5: For this mask, I decide to stick to embroidering with a chain stitch which will match the homespun style of her outfit and sweater. To keep the felt from stretching around the outside, I embroider all around the mask. I also embroider around the eye-holes. I applique the pumpkin stem, then embroider lines for the pumpkin ridges. When done, I sewed on a piece of transparent elastic to hold the mask on her face. The mask elastic can be worn over the wig or can be put on under the wig so the elastic is hidden. Here’s the finished mask on Bella.
For Ani’s Day of the Dead style mask, I add a little floral applique that I cut from felt. The outside of the mask is framed by sequin trim. The eye-holes are lined with blanket stitch which look a bit like eyelashes around her eyes. Beads are added to give the mask some sparkle.
For Peppermint’s pink kitty mask, I added beads and a bow. Some elasticized ruffle trim was used for the strap to hold her mask on.