Have you heard of Krampus? He's the mythical beast-like creature of Germanic origin who punishes naughty children during the Christmas season. He is Santa's counterpart, like the Grinch but about 50 times scarier. He looks like a demon - horns, hooves, hair and all - and is known to beat and/or abduct children. The above depiction of Krampus genuinely disturbs me on a number of levels.
Krampus has been around and celebrated for ages, but is not so well known here in the U.S. Recently it seems he has been gaining popularity, as evidenced by the artist/author Brom's recent book Krampus the Yule Lord, and by the fact that I am invited to a Krampus themed holiday party this year.
Like any respectable Krampus gathering, the guests have been instructed to arrive in costume (or at least masks). I did some research, weighed my options, and decided to try my hand at making the masks out of felt. Have you ever tried felting? I am now a felting addict. Below I have vaguely documented the process of making a felt Krampus mask:
1. Cut out the base shape of the mask (it helps to measure from forehead to chin, and ear to ear, and use these measurements to make a paper template).
2. Start adding some bulk to the mask using roving and a felting needle (there are good online tutorials for this stuff - there is no sewing involved! Hooray!). Roving is basically just loose wool that you can mold and twirl into whatever shape you need.
3. Add some details. Make teeth.
4. Done! The horns each have a pipe cleaner inside so they can be twisted and shaped. You can use sturdier wire, but I liked pipe cleaners because the wool really clung to them and made it easier to shape around them.
Let the devilish good times commence!