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How to Make Paper Masks

Papier-Mache Mask

Make a half-oval as the mask frame by stapling bands of newspaper together.
Make a half-oval as the mask frame by stapling bands of newspaper together.

When you make a papier-mache mask, it can be a work of art. But don't plan on wearing a papier-mache mask for Halloween or playtime -- it's a creation that should be displayed. (And it probably would be uncomfortable to wear!)

If you've ever worked with papier-mache, you know it can be a little messy -- it's created out of newspaper strips and paste -- but most kids enjoy that! This is a fun project for adults and kids to work on together.


What You'll Need:

Newspaper cut into 1x4-inch strips

Scissors or craft knife

Stapler and staples

Masking tape

Flour and water (for paste)


Acrylic or poster paints

Acrylic sealer

How to Make a Papier-Mache Mask

Step 1: Cover your work surface with newspaper. Fold several sheets of newspaper into long bands. Using the illustration as a guide, make a mask frame (an oval half) with bands of newspaper stapled together.

Step 2: Mix flour and water together to make a paste. (Use 1 cup of flour for each cup of water.) Blend until the paste is smooth.

Step 3: Dip a strip of newspaper in the paste. Rub the strip between your fingers to remove any extra paste. Put the strip over the mask frame and smooth it in place. Repeat until the mask is covered with four or five layers of strips.

Step 4: To add more dimension to your mask, tape on projections before you add the last layer of newspaper strips. Use paper rolls or cones for horns, ears, and a nose. Let the mask dry overnight.

Step 5: Cut out the eyes and mouth (this is best done by the adult); then paint the mask and let it dry completely. To make your mask shiny, apply a coat of acrylic sealer.

For fun masks you can wear, try the quick, cool masks on the next page. Keep reading to learn how to make them.

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