Making a Kandi mask can be quite tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will find it is one of the most fun weaving projects ever! After a while, the process of weaving the beads onto the string comes to you like second nature.
So how do you make a Kandi mask? The Perler bead fused method is the easiest way to make a Kandi mask. There is very little weaving involved. The top and bottom are woven, but the bulk of the beads in the mask are fused. The ear loops are also woven, but this is very simple.
The main key is to start off slowly. Get the feel of the weave down pat before you try to go fast. You want the final product to be tight enough to fit snug, yet loose enough to fit comfortably.
Keep reading to learn how to make a Kandi mask, step by step.
How to Choose Materials for Your Kandi Mask
Before I can get to the how-to portion of this article, I have to talk about all of your options when it comes to supplies! You can use many types of string and beads.
When I walk you through making a Kandi mask, I’m going to teach you how to do it using Perler beads. However, there are other options available to you, so keep that in mind as we go through this list of materials you can use to make a Kandi mask.
The Best String for Kandi Masks
Some people find the elastic string suits this purpose best, while others feel the elastic is too sloppy and makes the mask saggy. The second group prefers fishing line or fabric craft cord.
Fishing Line – Typically used for catching fish, fishing line has become a favorite tool for crafters and home improvement projects. The thin, flexible line is versatile, super tough and in most cases, nearly invisible. It comes in different strengths and thicknesses. For a Kandi mask, a fishing line is a perfect choice.
Fabric Craft Cord – This 1 mm string is a rainbow color, but it is also available in solid white or black. It is made of a polypropylene fabric material that is very durable and flexible, perfect for beading projects.
Crystal Elastic String – Only 0.8 mm, this super fine string will barely be noticeable in your Kandi mask. The elasticity might make the mask part look a bit sloppy and floppy, but it is the ideal choice for the ear band part of the mask.
5 Types of Beads to Make Kandi Masks With
The beads are the meat and potatoes of your Kandi mask. Before you choose your beads, you should have some idea of what kind of mask you want to make.
Do you want large beads? Small beads? Colorful beads? Or does your pattern call for a specific set of colors? It might make sense to choose your pattern before you buy any beads, but this is just the planning stage. Right now, all you need is a vague idea of what kind of mask you want to make.
Seeing the variety and types of beads available can help you decide on a pattern later.
- Darice Pony Beads – Plastic pony beads are by far the most popular type of bead for making all kinds of crafts. From bracelets to necklaces to Kandi masks, the pony bead is a favorite because it comes in a huge variety of colors and in big packages that are fairly inexpensive.
- The average size of the bead is 6×9 mm, which makes it easy to hold and the large holes make stringing the beads super easy. The large size bags are great for big projects or sharing with friends.
- Naler Alphabet Letter Beads – Alphabet beads allow you to create truly unique and personalized masks. You can weave your name or a friend’s name right into the mask! The Naler beads are acrylic and measure 6 mm round.
- The Naler alphabet beads are also available as cubes for a completely different look. Most Kandi bead masks look better with round beads, but a mask made of cubes could be quite the conversation starter!
- You could even incorporate different types of beads into the same mask. The main body of the mask could be round beads with a row of cube beads through the middle spelling out your name.
- Once you really get the hang of Kandi mask making, you could interweave all types of different beads for truly original pieces. For example, if your mask has a face, you could use gemstone beads for the eyes or maybe wooden colored beads for the mouth?
- Natural Stone Beads – Very unique beads you can use to create a mask with your personal birthstone. The beads are 100% Genuine natural stones and come in a variety of colors. Each stone measures 6 mm with a 1 mm hole.
- Trixes Colorful Wooden Beads – Perfectly crafted round wooden beads that measure 7 mm in diameter. The large variety of colors makes them great for a clown or rainbow mask. Wood won’t easily break and each piece is guaranteed not to leave splinters.
- And, if you don’t have the color you need, wooden beads can easily be painted any color you like. You can even add smilies or other cute designs with a pen or marker.
- Perler Beads – These are small plastic beads with a hollow center. Made with food-safe plastic.
- Perler beads are fused together with heat, this makes them very quick and easy to work with because only a few of them need to be woven. Until you get the hang of weaving, this may be the way to go.
How to Make a Kandi Mask with Pony Beads
I really want to teach you how to make a Kandi mask with Perler beads, so the video below is how to make a Kandi mask using pony beads.
What’s the difference?
Perler beads require heat to fuse together, and honestly, I prefer the look of Perler beads, which is why I instruct you step-by-step after this video.
However, since pony beads are the most commonly used, I knew I had to find the best tutorial on YouTube to show you, and I think I found it. Check out this video by iHeartRaves to learn how to make a Kandi mask using pony beads!
How to Make a Kandi Mask with Perler Beads
You can find Perler Bead Kits on Amazon. Everything you need to create fabulous fused art!
- Gather your Perler beading supplies.
- You will need a flat surface, a pegboard, parchment paper, Perler beads, and an iron.
- The pegboard can be blank, where you create your own design or pre-printed with a pattern of your choice.
- Or, you can use a separate pattern that will sit under the pegboard. Choose a size or pattern that fits your face. This pattern will be your Kandi mask, so you want it to fit well.
- Choose the color beads you wish to use. The pattern will have a color guide to help you select the colors you need, but feel free to be creative and use any colors you wish. The design might also call for a specific number of beads. Pick out a few more beads than suggested, just in case some go missing while you work.
- Lay the pegboard on the pattern and put the beads on the pegboard according to the pattern. Make sure the pattern is lined up properly. Working from the center outwards works the best.
- Or, you may prefer to go up and down. From the outside it doesn’t work too well because the beads will get crowded and you may not be able to get the last ones in place.
- Heating your beads. Place the parchment (or ironing paper) on top of the beads on the pegboard. Be careful not to accidentally knock off your beads or jiggle them out of place. With your iron on medium heat, slowly move it over the paper in a circular motion.
- Keep ironing over the entire pattern for about ten seconds. The amount of time it takes for the beads to fuse properly could vary depending on the type of iron you are using. If your iron has a steam function, make sure this is turned off.
- Check on your beads every few seconds to make sure you are not applying too much heat.
- Allow a few seconds for your beads and board to cool down and then carefully flip it over. The fused beads should slide off easily. Place the parchment paper on this side of the beads and gently iron them with medium heat. Both sides of your beads should now be fused into the shape of your pattern.
- Carefully remove the parchment paper. If done correctly, it should be fine to use again for your next project!
- Allow your beads to completely cool down, then take your elastic string and cut four pieces about 6 inches long each.
- Take one piece of string and tie it to one side of your mask. String it with beads.
- You might find it more comfortable to leave some space so that you don’t have beads behind your ears, but it’s up to you. Take the other end and tie it through the same bead to make a loop that will wrap around your ear. Do the same on the other side of the mask.
- Take one of the remaining strings and weave it through the bottom few beads. Pull tight to make a small cup for your chin. Try it on to make sure it fits before you tighten too much. Tie it off tight.
- Take the last string and do the same on the top to make a little cup for your nose.
- Alternatively, you can leave the top open for your nose to peek out over the top of the mask.