Raye loved playing dress-up so much that she went on to study costume and makeup for her BA, then got an MFA in surface design.
Making Fun Masks For Kids
If there's one thing that works for school plays, playing dress-up, Halloween or just passing the time on a rainy day, it's having kids make paper masks. They get to use their imaginations, practice manual skills and be creative all at the same time.
Here is a collection of printable masks that are free downloads, featuring different animal designs as well as people and favorite characters. I've also included some tips for wearing masks. There are also links to books which offer collections of cut and make masks or punch-out masks with lots of designs and themes that kids love. Those are especially fun for having at children's birthday parties or for playing games at sleepovers.
Cut and Make Mask Books
- Animal Masks to Print Out
Different free animal mask patterns
- Cow Mask Printable Coloring Page
Cow Mask Printable Coloring Pages, free to download and print
- Printable Masks from Nickjr
Polar bear, lions (male and female), hippo and elephant masks
- Penguin Mask - Free Printable Halloween Face Mask
Free printable circus lion mask for kids to print and cut out for dress up, halloween costume, carnival, mardi gras, circus games and masquerade activities.
- Make a Wolf Mask
The International Wolf Center provides complete wolf information on wolf biology, their environment and interaction with humans.
- Dragon Mask Coloring Projects
Here is a wonderful Dragon Mask to print in Black and White and color. From The Stories of Phee McFaddell
Favorite Masks Poll
Paper Plate Masks
Supplies To Make Paper Masks At Home
Making masks at home isn't too hard to do, but it helps to have a good selection of supplies. If you have crafty kids, you probably will find you have most of this on-hand already.
- Cardstock or Paper Plates - Printing on card stock makes a much stronger mask then regular printer paper. But if you don't have any, you can also glue regular paper to a paper plate after coloring and that adds some reinforcement.
- Crayons or Markers - I always liked a big box of Crayons as you get the most colors that way and they hold up a bit better to gluing without the colors running if they get a bit wet.
- Hole Punch - This is the easiest way to put holes near the edges of the mask to attach string or ribbon for wearing. Don't make them too close to the paper edges or they can tear more easily. One trick is to put a piece of sturdy tape on the back where you want to punch the hole and then punch through that area. That can really reinforce the hole.
- Tape - For adding decorations or reinforcing string holes.
- Glue - For adding more paper decorations, glitter or any other sticking-together actions. Glue sticks are great as they aren't as wet as other forms of glue and can't be spilled.
- Scissors - For cutting out eye holes, mouths and making decorations.
- Yarn, Ribbon or String - For making ties so that you can wear your mask. Paper is often very light in strength and using elastic pulls on it too much, so I like to use skinny ribbon or fat yarn when I make ties on paper masks.
Or Try A Paper Bag!
Bug & Insect Masks
- Bug masks
Download and print one, two or all three bug masks in either black and white or color.
- Butterfly mask
Make a beautiful butterfly mask. Decorate it with glitter and bright colors.
- Cleveland Indians Midge Mask
Created to "bug" the opposing team during games
Tips and Tricks for Mask-Wearing
Here are a few things to think about which make for a better experience when it comes to making and wearing paper masks.
Eye holes - The biggest problem with masks that most people have is with the eye holes, and this can be a big one for little kids. The trick is to make sure the part of the mask that fits the bridge of your nose is as accurately measured as possible. Start by cutting smaller eyes and make them larger if you need since it's always easier to make the eye holes bigger.
Head-strap Breaks and Tears - Most often if a paper mask breaks while you're wearing it, the breakdown occurs where the head strap fastens to the mask. To prevent tears, don't attach straps to close to the mask edge and reinforce that area with tape or extra staples. Carrying tape while you're out wearing it for quick repairs is a great idea.
Claustrophobia - Some kids and adults feel too closed-in when they wear a mask and it can be distressing. Try making a half mask (leaves the mouth and lower face open) and see if that's better. For people who don't want their eyes covered but don't mind having their mouth covered, you can also make half masks which cover just the lower half of the face.
Durability - There are a few tricks for making a paper mask stronger so that it lasts longer. One is to use card stock and not regular paper. Another is to put a layer of clear contact paper over one or both sides of the mask. If you don't want the surface to be shiny, only apply it to the inside surface. If you are going to put it on the outside, only do so after the mask has been colored.
Try A Mask Kit
Masks of People and Human Characters
- Pirate Mask 1 Coloring Project
Pirate Mask Coloring Project
- BBC SPORT | Football | Download a football mask
Look like your favourite player with all of our masks. UK soccer player masks.
Did You Have Fun Making Your Masks?
Paul Perry from Los Angeles on April 29, 2013:
Doing projects like this with kids is so much fun! Thanks for a great hub and some wonderful ideas.
bhgfjkg on February 21, 2013:
Arun Kumar from United Kingdom on May 18, 2012:
Thank you Relache, Great creativity. Tried a few of those during my childhood days... This really bring back my childhood memories...
louromano on March 20, 2012:
Interesting ! I like the black cat. These look like a lot of fun.
Ellie Hall on December 29, 2011:
This was great i made the cat 1 its great work cool ideas x
rawdha on November 15, 2011:
woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow i love it
stupid anne,,,... on September 09, 2011:
....i love it but i like simple masks more...,,,,
Efortrade on August 18, 2011:
funny! but i like ghost masks more !
whatda on April 10, 2011:
Love the way it inspires young childern to make their own masks. lol
Emma from Houston TX on March 05, 2011:
Nice one here for kids. thanks
Maria Harris from Houston on March 02, 2011:
It must be real fun making masks. We'll give it a try.
mommyloves2write on February 23, 2011:
Love the ideas! I can use them with my kids! We craft all of the time.
Aischa salem agius on January 27, 2011:
I need to show mt little one how to make a mask I was hoping that this website can help teach him to make a mask so please help me thank you so much thank you
jeremysharon on November 25, 2010:
Its really creative for school kids
cloudhardy from United State on November 09, 2010:
Paper masks are terrifically popular among kids. The magnetic attraction of masks is immeasurably at its peak among children . The technique and information shared is not only fruitful for kids, but also for the grown up too.Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful peace of text. Keep on hubbing.
MyMastiffPuppies on August 06, 2010:
Great piece of information , it will save a lot of time next Halloween.
adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 23, 2010:
I say masks are a great way to add zest to the parties. Kids not only are amused to them but adults as well.
ISABELLA on May 16, 2010:
I HAVE ONE TWINS AND 2 OHER CHILDREN AND IT WOULD BE WOUNDERFULL FOR THEM THEY WILL ENJOY IT SO MUCH
Anne009 on March 20, 2010:
These are great- can't wait to give them a try! I am sure my kid will love them.
Priscilla Chan from Normal, Illinois on March 03, 2010:
Renee S from Virginia on March 02, 2010:
I like the black cat. These look like a lot of fun.
Aine O'Connor from Dublin on February 15, 2010:
great idea thanks
myownworld from uk on February 09, 2010:
I have two small kids so this was most handy. The links were also great! Another helpful hub!
Craftsmith from India on January 28, 2010:
hehehe...how cute...cute crafts Relache ! :)
seasoning on January 15, 2010:
brilliant love the cat
climberjames from Steel City on November 30, 2009:
Great hub - Ideal for parents & teachers!! - climberjames
Unique Kids Stuff on November 06, 2009:
My girlfriend is an art teacher and I'm going to send this to her as she may be able to incorporate it into her plans.
hinckles koma from nyc on September 24, 2009:
great way to spend time with child.
Nisha shan on September 09, 2009:
Great... I wish to own this mask..
gamezire on April 24, 2009:
Oh, THANK YOU for this.
ProCW from South Carolina on July 18, 2008:
I think the penguin mask is my favorite, but the cow mask comes in at a very close second! :)
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on June 12, 2008:
Oh wow, the teachers will love this in school...now we can have a "mask" party! :)
magriet on May 22, 2008:
Great Hub, I'm going to try these with my granddaughter.
Mia Montanna from CA on April 03, 2008:
what a great idea! I love paper mache and all the things there are to do with it. I use it to make puppet heads for my puppets when I was little girl.
Frank from Montana on April 01, 2008:
think i'll make a mask for halloween
Cindy Lietz from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 31, 2008:
Thank you Relache, what a great resource! I will pass this on to some of the teachers I know.
Prosperity66 on March 31, 2008:
Nice Hub and good idea!
RainbowRecognizer from Midwest on March 30, 2008:
How much fun! Great hub :)