Activity – Mask Making

The results of this mask making project are so fun! This mask can be painted anyway imaginable and the artist can use anything from paint, to an assortment of embellishments. This activity requires sitting still and having something that covers the face so it is most likely for ages 7 and up. If the child is not comfortable with his or her face being covered in entirety, there are several options, such as only doing the top half of the face (forehead to end of the nose) or you can make a cast of the hand.

You will need:

  • Vaseline
  • Plaster cloth gauze (can buy from medical supply store or on Amazon.com)
  • Bowl of water
  • Several towels
  • Headband straw cut in half (optional)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Embellishments (your choice)

mask making materials

Directions:

  1. Cut the plaster cloth into strips
  2. Place a headband over the hairline so hair does not get caught in the plaster cloth.
  3. Place a towel underneath the head.
  4. VERY IMPORTANT – Cover the face with Vaseline, especially the eyebrows and eyelashes so that the casting material does not adhere to the hair.
  5. Wet a strip of casting material in the bowl of water. Run your fingers along it to gently squeeze out excess water.
  6. Begin laying the strips across the face in a thin layer.
  7. VERY IMPORTANT – DO NOT cover the nostrils with plaster cloth. Lay strips around the nostrils, leaving that area open. You can place the straws into the nostrils but it is not necessary if you are leaving a gap around the nostrils. (Most people think the straws are too irritating anyway).
  8. Let it dry
  9. When is it is firm enough but not totally hard, begin to gently pull the mask up and off the face. If the mask starts to bend while pulling it up stop and wait a few more minutes.
  10. Lay the mask on a smooth surface and allow it to dry completely
  11. Gently sand the mask to smooth it out for painting.
  12. Blow or wipe the sand particles off before paining the mask
  13. Paint the mask with a layer of paint (acrylic paint works well)
  14. Have fun decorating the mask with your creativity and embellishments: an array of paint, jewels, feathers, flowers, etc.

day of the dead mask making
activity mask making

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