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How to Make a Paper Mache Mask

Kids love playing make-believe, and these paper masks are the easiest way to get into character! This article explains how to make paper masks.

Paper mache is easy and great fun to make, and there are endless paper mache ideas you can try. Here, we’ll give you step by step instructions of how to make a paper mache mask. 

How to make paper mache

Wondering how to make paper mache? It’s simple! All you need is some old newspaper, some water, and some white glue. Make a paste using three parts white glue to one part water. Remember to do this in a well-ventilated area as some white glues may contain solvents that can be harmful when breathed in. Tear your newspaper into strips, ready for use.

Next, you’ll need a balloon. Blow it up, tie a knot in the end, and you’ll have the perfect template for your paper mache masks. Keep in mind that you’ll need one balloon per mask, because you’re going to pop them later.  

How to make a mask with paper mache

Now, it’s time to start on your paper mache masks. This will get messy! Coat each strip of newspaper with your glue-and-water paste, and lay it out on your balloon. Cover about half the length of the balloon – this will make it easier to get your paper mache masks down to the right size later on.

As anyone who knows how to make paper mache will tell you, it’s best to do around four layers at a time, then let them dry completely before you start on the next one. How many layers should you have in total? That’s up to you and your kids – do as many as it takes to make your paper mache ideas a reality!

Top tip:

Remember you can build up layers in different areas, too. Try making long, elegant brows and a beak if you want to make an owl mask, or what about a round nose for a clown? If you’re doing this, you might find it helpful to mark out where the holes for the eyes will need to go so you can get the positioning right.  

Ideas for decorating paper mache masks

Before you start painting, you’ll need to let your mask dry completely.

Top tip:

Use printer paper or paper towels for your final layer. This makes a better surface for painting on.

Once it’s completely dry, it’s time to burst your balloon! Now would also be a good time to cut out holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. You should take care of this for very young children while older children should still be supervised at all times while using scissors.

Painting will almost certainly make a mess of your children’s skin and clothes, but don’t worry – just choose a non-toxic, washable paint, and remember that OMO is here to help with paint stains! If you want to add some extra special decorations to your mask then remember that you don’t just have to use paint. Stick cotton wool, string, or coloured ribbons to your paper mache masks for hair or go all out with feathers, streamers, and glitter.

The possibilities are as endless as your paper mache ideas, so let your kids’ imaginations run wild. Let everything dry completely, then unleash your paper mache creations and have fun – while your trusty OMO liquid deals with the mess!