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Masks for Kids to Make

Updated on August 23, 2014
relache profile image

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.

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Paper Plate MaskPaper MaskPaper Bag Mask
Paper Plate Mask
Paper Plate Mask
Paper Mask
Paper Mask
Paper Bag Mask
Paper Bag Mask

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.

Favorite Masks Poll

What type of mask is your kids' favorite?

See results

Paper Plate Masks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Paper plate cat maskPaper plate elephant maskRabbit mask - this one covers just the top half of the face and leaves the mouth open.Overlapping paper plates can make more complex shapes like this monkey.You can do lots of things to cover up the mask so it doesn't look like a paper plate too.
Paper plate cat mask
Paper plate cat mask
Paper plate elephant mask
Paper plate elephant mask
Rabbit mask - this one covers just the top half of the face and leaves the mouth open.
Rabbit mask - this one covers just the top half of the face and leaves the mouth open.
Overlapping paper plates can make more complex shapes like this monkey.
Overlapping paper plates can make more complex shapes like this monkey.
You can do lots of things to cover up the mask so it doesn't look like a paper plate too.
You can do lots of things to cover up the mask so it doesn't look like a paper plate too.

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!

With a mask like this, you can fold your paper in half and just draw one side before you cut it out!
With a mask like this, you can fold your paper in half and just draw one side before you cut it out!

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.

Did You Have Fun Making Your Masks?

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    • mydubstepstudio profile image

      Paul Perry 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Doing projects like this with kids is so much fun! Thanks for a great hub and some wonderful ideas.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice masks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • PurpleHubs profile image

      Arun Kumar 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Relache, Great creativity. Tried a few of those during my childhood days... This really bring back my childhood memories...

    • louromano profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting ! I like the black cat. These look like a lot of fun.

    • profile image

      Ellie Hall 

      8 years ago

      This was great i made the cat 1 its great work cool ideas x

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow i love it

    • profile image

      stupid anne,,,... 

      9 years ago

      ....i love it but i like simple masks more...,,,,

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      funny! but i like ghost masks more !

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Love the way it inspires young childern to make their own masks. lol

    • crystolite profile image


      9 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice one here for kids. thanks

    • Maria Harris profile image

      Maria Harris 

      9 years ago from Houston

      It must be real fun making masks. We'll give it a try.

      Nice hub.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Love the ideas! I can use them with my kids! We craft all of the time.

    • profile image

      Aischa salem agius  

      9 years ago

      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 profile image


      9 years ago

      Its really creative for school kids

    • cloudhardy profile image


      9 years ago from United State

      Good Hub!!!!!

      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 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great piece of information , it will save a lot of time next Halloween.

    • adorababy profile image


      10 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I say masks are a great way to add zest to the parties. Kids not only are amused to them but adults as well.

    • profile image


      10 years ago


    • Anne009 profile image


      10 years ago

      These are great- can't wait to give them a try! I am sure my kid will love them.

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 

      10 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Fun project!

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 

      10 years ago from Virginia

      I like the black cat. These look like a lot of fun.

    • ainehannah profile image

      Aine O'Connor 

      10 years ago from Dublin

      great idea thanks

    • myownworld profile image


      10 years ago from uk

      I have two small kids so this was most handy. The links were also great! Another helpful hub!

    • Craftsmith profile image


      10 years ago from India cute...cute crafts Relache ! :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      brilliant love the cat

    • climberjames profile image


      10 years ago from Steel City

      Great hub - Ideal for parents & teachers!! - climberjames

    • Unique Kids Stuff profile image

      Unique Kids Stuff 

      10 years ago

      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 profile image

      hinckles koma 

      11 years ago from nyc

      great way to spend time with child.

    • profile image

      Nisha shan 

      11 years ago

      Great... I wish to own this mask..

    • gamezire profile image


      11 years ago

      Oh, THANK YOU for this.

    • ProCW profile image


      12 years ago from South Carolina

      I think the penguin mask is my favorite, but the cow mask comes in at a very close second! :)


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Oh wow, the teachers will love this in we can have a "mask" party! :)

    • magriet profile image


      12 years ago

      Great Hub, I'm going to try these with my granddaughter.

    • Mia Montanna profile image

      Mia Montanna 

      12 years ago from CA

      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.

    • flread45 profile image


      12 years ago from Montana

      think i'll make a mask for halloween

    • Cindy Lietz profile image

      Cindy Lietz 

      12 years ago from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you Relache, what a great resource! I will pass this on to some of the teachers I know.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Nice Hub and good idea!

    • RainbowRecognizer profile image


      12 years ago from Midwest

      How much fun! Great hub :)


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