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Paper Mache Masks - How to Make Fun Craft Projects With Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth

Updated on February 13, 2012

This is your DIY, easy way to make a really remarkable paper mache mask from Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth. This mask will be a far leap from those paper ones you made when you were a kid, and it will be more fun to make too!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you made paper masks out of all different colors of construction paper with beads, feathers, glitter, and whatever else you could find?

Well! This craft is a bit like that, with a little twist. First of all, let me make this clear: this project is not JUST for kids! Adults can have a little fun too every once in a while right? If you have never made a paper mache mask, now is just as good a time as any! Plus, you will rock your next halloween costume.

First Things First...

You need to get some materials:

  • A partner in crime
  • Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth
  • Jar of vaseline
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Small bowl of water
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Ribbon
  • Glue gun
  • Old towel or shirt

Set The Scene...

  • After you have all of your supplies ready, move to a kitchen table or kitchen counter. Really any place where you can spread out will work fine.
  • Lay down a few layers of newspaper in your working area so that clean up will be easier and less messy.
  • The first one of you getting your mask done (ahem, guinea pig) needs to sit down in a chair close to the table or counter you are working at.
  • Both of you need to wear old shirts so that the plaster doesn't get on your clothes

Get down to business...

  • Warning!: This next step tends to be the most unpleasant part of the mask making in my experience. The person person sitting in the chair (guinea pig) needs to cover their entire face in Vaseline. Believe me, you will be thankful for the nasty stuff later. This keeps the plaster from sticking to their skin, hairline and eyebrows. So layer it on, and be sure they cover those areas because plaster loves to stick to hair and can pull it when you are removing the mask. Hey, tell them that their skin will look fabulous after you're through! I will pause to give your partner time to grease up...
  • While your partner is greasing up, start cutting the Rigid Wrap Cloth into 1 in. X 3-4 in. strips. Cut enough to cover their face in at least 2 layers, preferable 3 so that the mask is durable.
  • Now that your partner's face is practically dripping in vaseline (and if your partner's face isn't you better layer some more vaseline on!), you can start to lay on the strips. Grab that small bowl of warm (not hot) water you laid out, and dunk a strip in the warm water. Slide the strip between your fingers so that the strip isn't dripping wet. However, you do not want to wring the water out of it. It still definitely needs to be wet.
  • I prefer to start with their nose, because that will be the most brittle part of the mask. Lay the strip on horizontally across the bridge of their nose, then vertically down their nose. I cut a couple very thin strips to be placed down between their nostrils, but leave them room to breath for goodness sake! Once their mouth is covered, their nose will be their only way to breath. The Rigid Wrap is non-toxic, no worries.

  • From here on out, your partner is at the mercy of your hand. Make sure to reinforce the nose area and around the edges of the mask, careful not to get the plaster strips in their hair.
  • Some people like to have the mask cover their eyes ( I sure do), so if this is the case, remind your partner to layer on the vaseline around their eyelids and lashes, as well as their eyebrows. If they want to be able to see, then reinforce the edges of the mask around their eyes, because this will be a brittle area as well.
  • Make sure the mask is about 2-3 layers thick. Once the last layer of plaster strips has been laid, you can smooth out the plaster on their mask by dipping your fingers in a little bit of water. This will leave the mask with a smooth finish, instead of a plaster strip look about the mask.
  • Once you have smoothed out their mask, and it is to their liking, you are finished! The mask will begin to dry and harden on their face. Once the mask has hardened almost completely, they will be able to start moving their face around inside the mask and their skin will start to pull away from the plaster. When they are able to separate their skin from the plaster, tell them to lean over and gently pull the mask with two hands away from their face. Set the mask on a table to dry completely. Leave it there to dry for 24 hours.

Now it's your turn! It's incentive to do their mask well, because revenge can be sweet. 

Cleaning up...

I found that the best way to get the vaseline of your face is to wipe the majority of the goop from your face with a dry napkin or paper towel, or a few of them. Vaseline is water resistant so you will not have much luck with washing most of it off. However, once you have wiped most of the stuff off your face, you can then go wash with soap and water.

Get creative!!!

The fun continues! I know what you must be thinking: "But I already had so much fun with all the plaster and vaseline! Can it get any better than that!?"

Well! Now comes the time to set your creativity loose! Grab those paints and brushes and make your mask your own. Feathers and ribbon are great to use too.

Once you are done, use a hot glue gun to attach ribbon to the inside of the mask on each side.

Warning!: Since you are using acrylic (water based) paints, make sure your mask stays relatively dry. As soon as the mask gets wet, it will start to cave in and lose its shape.


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    • mabmiles profile image


      7 years ago

      Very fascinating hub!Thanks for sharing.

    • Liz Goltra profile image

      Liz Goltra 

      7 years ago

      Very cool idea. Voted up. Thanks for posting!

    • Jaynie2000 profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting project. I love masks. I've always been partial to the Mardi Gras and Kabuki theater masks. I'm always looking for something fun and different to try with my kids. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      its really great

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • cjcarter profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      The masks are really fun to make, plus it's a great bonding experience with whoever you find to partner up with you!

    • agusfanani profile image


      9 years ago from Indonesia

      Great hub, I want to try it ! Thanks for sharing


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