No dress-up box would be complete without a mask or two. Kids love playing make-believe, and masks are the easiest way to get into character. Creating masks for kids can also be a fun craft activity that you can share with your child, whatever their age.
How to Make a Basic Paper Mask
2D paper masks are so easy to make, and even young children enjoy decorating them. They can be simple or detailed, and there’s a mask theme for everyone – be it jungle animal, masquerade ball, or a favourite cartoon character. You will need:
- Stiff paper or card
- Paints or felt pens
- A hole punch
- 2 lengths of string approx 10 cm long.
- Freehand draw an image large enough to cover your child’s face, or download a template from the internet.
- Colour, paint, or decorate the image, remembering to leave blank areas for eyes.
- Cut out the image and the eye-holes, then, punch two holes on each side of the mask at ear-level.
- Thread and knot a separate length of string through the holes on either side of the mask to complete.
How to Make a Mask From Paper Mache
3D paper masks are a little trickier and an activity better suited to older children. Paper mache can also create a big sticky mess, so make sure to cover surfaces and clothing first! If you do get messy, then remember that you can use OMO to get out any tough stains.
You will need:
- A measuring tape
- Stiff paper or card
- A stapler
- A bowl
- Watered down white glue
- A paint brush
- Newspaper torn into strips approximately 3-5cm wide
- A craft knife
- Measure the circumference of your child’s face and add 5cm.
- Cut a strip of stiff paper or card of about 3 cms wide to the above length and staple the ends together in a loop.
- Create a frame structure by stapling a number of 3 cm-wide strips across the loop.
- Place the watered-down glue in the bowl and lightly dip the newspaper strips in the mixture.
- Lift them out and layer them over the frame in a crisscross fashion, making sure to cover both sides of any staples you’ve used, to seal off sharp edges. Also be sure not to use too much glue as this will cause the newspaper layer sag and tear.
- Leave the first layer to harden for 24 hours. Then, add a second layer. Repeat.
- Now insert objects to give features to the mask, and then add a final layer of paper. Let dry.
- Paint and decorate however you want.
- If you want your child to be able to wear the mask, use a craft knife to pierce eye-holes, but be careful – paper mache can be very tough once it’s dried.
- A ribbon or piece of wool can be stapled to either side, but always make sure the back of the staples are covered up on the inside to protect your child’s face.