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Masks for Kids to Make
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
What type of mask is your kids' favorite?
Paper Plate MasksClick thumbnail to view full-size
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
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.