Venetian Mask – Wet Felted Masquerade Mask

Learn how to make a Venetian mask with this wet felting tutorial. This is a great beginner wet felting project to learn how to use a mold to shape an object.

holding a purple silver and black Venetian mask with the title 'wet felted masquerade mask'
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This is one of the first wet felting projects I tried when I first started to wet felt. It’s a super quick project (super quick for the felting world), but you end up with a beautiful Venetian mask in the end! I’m personally a big fan of learning a new craft, but also ending up with something cool with a beginner project. So this is a perfect option if you’re just starting to learn how to wet felt.

And of course Venetian masks can technically only be made in Venice, which is why this is a Venetian mask inspired mask. The true Venetian masks of Venice are also referred to as carnival masks for the Venetian carnival.

And if you are new to wet felting, I recommend reviewing my guide to wet felting in which you learn how to make a simple piece of fabric. This then builds on that lesson with just one extra step. Funnily enough, I ended up using the piece of felted fabric from the guide to make an even simpler masquerade mask. So it seems in my world, most felting roads lead to unique masquerade and Venetian masks!

Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission.

Table of Contents

top photo is holding the purple wet felted Venetian mask facing front with the bottom showing the side of the mask

Materials to Make Wet Felted Venetian Masks

This wet felting project uses the basic wet felting supplies. I’ve created a favorites list on Etsy to make it easy to find the basics. There’s also an option to simply get a wet felting kit to get started.

  • 0.5 oz of Wool Fiber (make sure it’s not listed as “superwash,” otherwise it won’t felt)
  • Felting Embellishments (such as viscose fiber, viscose thread, silk fiber, etc) – here is my collection of favorites
  • Plastic Venetian Mask (choose one that is smooth on top. You will use this as your mold) – (This set from Amazon is similar to the ones I have)
  • Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid (Amazon link)
  • 30″ of 3/8 in Satin Ribbon
  • Paint Brush
  • Basic School Glue
  • Binder Clips or Sewing Clips (Amazon link to the ones I used)
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Bubble Wrap (I like to reuse plastic Amazon packaging)
  • Tulle or Mesh Fabric
  • Olive Oil Soap (Amazon link)
  • Pool Noodle
  • Towel
  • Vinegar

Video Instructions to Wet Felt a Venetian Mask

Printable Wet Felting Shrinkage Cheat Sheet

Use this cheat sheet to know how big your starting wool layout should be. Download below or from the shop.

Chart showing calculations for how much the wool shrinks and the length the wool or felting resist should be based on the wool shrinkage rate and target length of the finished felting project

Download the Wet Felting Shrinkage Cheat Sheet

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Instructions to Make a Wet Felted Venetian Mask

Laying out the Fiber

Pull off thin sections of the wool and lay them in one direction on some bubble wrap. Then place another layer of fibers on top in the opposite direction. Repeat this so there are 4 layers of fiber.

Make sure to lay your fibers bigger than the actual finished item. Wool typically shrinks between 20-50% when felted so you have to factor that in. To make it easy, you can use the wet felting shrinkage calculator I made or download the handy cheat sheet.

If you’re not too worried about using up extra wool, make a 20in x 15in square. This will make sure it’s big enough to cover a basic carnival mask.

holding a ball of purple and pink wool roving
laying out purple wool fibers into perpendicular layers

After you have your layers of wool, add the embellishments. This is personally my favorite part because I just start placing different viscose, silk, and other fibers across. I like to use colors that go with the original wool, but go with whatever you’d like – this is your unique Venetian mask!

adding viscose, silk, and other felting embellishments to purple wool

Felting the Wool

After adding the embellishments, cover everything with the mesh fabric.

Then mix the olive oil soap into some warm water and spray it over everything. I like to use a ball brause for this, but you can also add it with sponge or even by hand.

using a ball brasse to spray water onto purple wool and other felting embellishments covered in a netting

Carefully press the water into the fiber. The goal is to push water in, but push air out.

Then get your hands soapy with the olive oil soap and very gently rub the top of the mesh. Then continue to rub to begin felting the fibers together.

Tip: Lift the mesh up occasionally to make sure the fibers aren’t sticking to the mesh.

using hands to rub soap and water on top of netting with purple wool and fibers underneath with olive oil soap on the side.

Once the fibers aren’t sticking to the mesh and aren’t moving around, it’s time to start rolling everything.

I go into much more depth about the felting and fulling process in my tutorial on wet felting basics, but to start, roll everything around a pool noodle (bubble wrap included). Then wrap a towel around that.

Roll it 100 times, giving the log a quarter turn every 25 rolls. Then unwrap everything and roll from the other side. You want to roll from all four sides and then flip the wool over and roll it from all four sides again.

rolling a pool noodle wrapped in a green towel

Shaping the Venetian Mask

Once the wool fabric has shrunk a noticeable amount, you can start to shape it.

This is when you’ll want to take out the plastic Venetian mask. If it’s made of a porous material, wrap it in plastic wrap. 

placing a partially felted purple piece of wool fabric over a plastic white Venetian mask covered in plastic wrap

Place the wool fabric over the plastic carnival mask. Then get your hands nice and soapy and start rubbing the fabric over the mask.

What you’re doing is shrinking the fibers to the shape of the mask. Therefore make sure you go carefully along the edges and around the eye holes and nose so that it gets all the details.

using hands to rub partially felted purple wool on top of a plastic mask

Eventually you’ll have a shrunk piece of fabric that has the full details of the Venetian mask.

purple wool getting felted on top of a form and taking the shape of a masquerade mask

Once you feel good about the shape, remove the fabric from the plastic carnival mask. Then rinse it under warm until it doesn’t feel soapy anymore. Rinse off the plastic mask as well or wipe the soap off of it.

Then soak the fabric into water that has been mixed with a splash of vinegar. This brings the wool back to its normal slightly acidic state, which will bring back some shine and add durability.

squeezing wet handmade purple fabric over a purple bucket

Squeeze out the fabric without rinsing it and then place it over the plastic mask again. Make sure all of the details line up again.

Set it to dry over night.

holding a dry felted Venetian mask still on top of the form without

Cutting out the Venetian Mask

Next use the plastic mask a template to draw the eye holes and outline.

Since my plastic carnival mask has that bit in the middle at the top, I just improvised connecting the lines in the middle.

using a permanent black marker to draw the eye holes onto the felted wool using a plastic masquerade mask as the template

Cut around the outline of the Venetian mask.

Then fold the fabric over and cut a slit in one of the eye holes. Make sure not to go past the outline.

using tiny scissors to cut a slit into a purple wool mask that's folded over

Use this hole to put the scissors in so that you can easily cut out the eye holes. Repeat for the other eye.

And if you’re curious where I got these amazing tiny fabric scissors – here’s the Amazon link.

using tiny scissors to cut the outline of an eye hole for a masquerade mask out of handmade purple felt fabric

Stiffening the Venetian Mask

Because you wet felted the wool, the mask will hold its shape to some extent. The more you felt it down, the more stiff it will be. However, to make sure your Venetian masks are more solid, you can use stiffener.

I use Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid mixed with a little bit of water to thin it out.

pouring Aleene's Fabric Stiffener Draping Liquid into a small cup

Use a brush to apply the stiffener to the back of the mask.

using a paint brush to pant the back of a wet felted carnival mask with Aleene's Fabric Stiffener Draping Liquid

Place it back on the plastic mask covered in plastic to make sure it hardens to the shape you want.

pressing the shaped purple wool carnival mask onto a white plastic mask wrapped in plastic

Once it dries you can see how much it holds it shape!

showing the side of a purple wet felted Venetian mask showing it's holding its shape

Adding the Ribbons to the Venetian Mask

Cut the ribbon to two pieces measuring 15″ each.

Then place some school glue on the top corner of the mask and attach the ribbon. Repeat on the other side.

adding a black satin ribbon to the side of the back of a purple handmade carnival mask

You can either hold them in place for a few minutes or if you’re impatient like me, use some binder clips or sewing clips.

clips holding satin ribbon to the sides of handmade purple masquerade mask

Let the glue dry and remove the clips.

Then your wet felted Venetian mask is complete!

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holding the finished handmade purple wet felted Venetian mask

And here’s a comparison of the fully wet felted Venetian mask looks like to the simple mask. Both came out beautiful, but I’m naturally partial to the fully shaped one.

Now it’s time for Carnival!

holding the finished handmade purple wet felted Venetian mask above a flat green felted masquerademask

Other Felting Projects to Try

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top photo is holding the purple wet felted Venetian mask facing front with the bottom showing the side of the mask

Wet Felted Venetian Mask

Learn how to make a Venetian mask with this wet felting tutorial. This is a great beginner wet felting project to learn how to use a mold to shape an object. And of course Venetian masks can technically only be made in Venice, which is why this is a Venetian mask inspired mask. The true Venetian masks of Venice are also referred to as carnival masks for the Venetian carnival.
Yield 1 Venetian Mask
Project Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs

Materials
  

  • 0.5 oz Wool Fiber make sure it's not superwash wool
  • Embellishment Fibers viscose, silks, ramie, nepps, etc
  • Plastic Venetian Mask
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Vinegar
  • Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid
  • 30 inches Satin Ribbon 3/8 in wide
  • Basic School Glue
  • Binder Clips or Sewing Clips

Equipment

  • Scissors
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Mesh Fabric
  • Olive Oil Soap
  • Pool Noodle
  • Bucket
  • Paint Brush
  • Towel

Instructions
 

  • Pull off thin sections of the wool and lay them in one direction on some bubble wrap. Then place another layer of fibers on top in the opposite direction. Repeat this so there are 4 layers of fiber.
    Make sure to lay your fibers bigger than the actual finished item. Wool typically shrinks between 20-50% when felted so you have to factor that in. To make it easy, you can use the wet felting shrinkage calculator I made or download the handy cheat sheet.
    0.5 oz Wool Fiber
    laying out purple wool fibers into perpendicular layers
  • Add the embellishments
    Embellishment Fibers
    adding viscose, silk, and other felting embellishments to purple wool
  • Cover everything with the mesh fabric. Then mix the olive oil soap into some warm water and spray it over everything. I like to use a ball brause for this, but you can also add it with sponge or even by hand.
    using a ball brasse to spray water onto purple wool and other felting embellishments covered in a netting
  • Carefully press the water into the fiber. The goal is to push water in, but push air out.
    Then get your hands soapy with the olive oil soap and very gently rub the top of the mesh. Then continue to rub to begin felting the fibers together.
    using hands to rub soap and water on top of netting with purple wool and fibers underneath with olive oil soap on the side.
  • Roll everything around a pool noodle (bubble wrap included). Then wrap a towel around that. Roll it 100 times, giving the log a quarter turn every 25 rolls. Then unwrap everything and roll from the other side. You want to roll from all four sides and then flip the wool over and roll it from all four sides again.
    rolling a pool noodle wrapped in a green towel
  • Place the wool fabric over the plastic carnival mask. Cover it in plastic wrap if it's made of porous material.
    Then get your hands nice and soapy and start rubbing the fabric over the mask.
    using hands to rub partially felted purple wool on top of a plastic mask
  • Once you feel good about the shape, remove the fabric from the plastic carnival mask. Then rinse it under warm until it doesn’t feel soapy anymore. Rinse off the plastic mask as well or wipe the soap off of it.
    Then soak the fabric into water that has been mixed with a splash of vinegar.
    squeezing wet handmade purple fabric over a purple bucket
  • Squeeze out the fabric without rinsing it and then place it over the plastic mask again. Make sure all of the details line up again.
    holding a dry felted Venetian mask still on top of the form without
  • Next use the plastic mask a template to draw the eye holes and outline.
    using a permanent black marker to draw the eye holes onto the felted wool using a plastic masquerade mask as the template
  • Cut around the outline of the Venetian mask.
    Then fold the fabric over and cut a slit in one of the eye holes. Make sure not to go past the outline.
    using tiny scissors to cut a slit into a purple wool mask that's folded over
  • Use this hole to put the scissors in so that you can easily cut out the eye holes. Repeat for the other eye.
    using tiny scissors to cut the outline of an eye hole for a masquerade mask out of handmade purple felt fabric
  • Mix Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid with a little bit of water to thin it out.
    pouring Aleene's Fabric Stiffener Draping Liquid into a small cup
  • Use a brush to apply the stiffener to the back of the mask.
    using a paint brush to pant the back of a wet felted carnival mask with Aleene's Fabric Stiffener Draping Liquid
  • Place it back on the plastic mask covered in plastic to make sure it hardens to the shape you want.
    pressing the shaped purple wool carnival mask onto a white plastic mask wrapped in plastic
  • Cut the ribbon to two pieces measuring 15″ each.
    Then place some school glue on the top corner of the mask and attach the ribbon. Repeat on the other side.
    adding a black satin ribbon to the side of the back of a purple handmade carnival mask
  • You can either hold them in place for a few minutes or if you’re impatient like me, use some binder clips or sewing clips.
    clips holding satin ribbon to the sides of handmade purple masquerade mask
  • Let the glue dry and remove the clips.
    Then your wet felted Venetian mask is complete!
    holding the finished handmade purple wet felted Venetian mask
Keyword Carnival Mask, Costume Mask, Felt, Felting, Mask, Masquerade, Masquerade Mask, Venetian Mask, Wet Felting

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