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Make your own Halloween Mask

Updated on October 3, 2014

Halloween masks are easy to make

Kids of all ages love to dress up for Halloween and there are so many different ways to get the look you want. It's not always easy finding a mask to go with your costume so making your own mask is a simple and easy way to create the look you want.

There are several methods shown here. The paper mache mask takes some time to make so start early. The others are cute, quick, and easy.

Our child wants a costume that is really scary and I object to that. As a trade-off, he will be making his own mask which will be less gruesome than he wants and at the same time, allows him to be creative. For me, that's a win-win.

Milk Jug Masks - The one he decided to make


Utility knife or scissors

Paint that will cover plastic (acrylics will work) or masking tape to cover mask. Paint sticks to the masking tape.

Scraps of fabric, yarn, glitter or other craft supplies to decorate the mask.



Wash the jug with hot water and remove all stickers.

Using a pen, draw in the shape you will be cutting. We did not have a standard milk carton so was not able to use a corner for our design. Still, as you can see in the pictures, we came up with a mask that is unique. We actually used the remaining carton to create the back of the mask. We don’t know what this will be yet because until you start painting is it still a blank canvas. This is where it is fun as you are bound only by your imagination.

Cut the jug. Parents should be involved here. While it is easy to cut, it is just as easy to slip and cut yourself.

Draw in and cut out the spaces for the eyes.

Although it is possible to paint on the plastic, it is easier to cover the mask with masking tape and paint over that. The corners of the mask should be covered with masking tape regardless. These edges are sharp and can cut.

Paint the mask. Some areas will need to dry before the next layer of paint can be added. When all the painting is completed, it is time to add the decorations.

Cut one hole on either side of the mask to add the ribbon or strings to secure the mask safely.

This mask can also be paper mached. See instructions below.

Milk jug mask steps

Just starting on jug mask
Just starting on jug mask | Source
Front view, ready to tape and paint
Front view, ready to tape and paint | Source
Side view
Side view | Source
Taped and ready to paint
Taped and ready to paint | Source
Painted and eyes cut out
Painted and eyes cut out | Source

Here's a shortcut

Male Blank No Face Plastic Mask
Male Blank No Face Plastic Mask

Instead of making the whole mask, the blank faces are great for painting and decorating. They don't have to be left white. The eye masks can also be decorated with feathers, glitter or anything else that comes to mind.


Paper Mache masks - Something to try next year


Aluminum Foil or Round Balloon


Paper Mache Paste - cheaper to make your own

Acrylic Paint


Paper Mache is easy but messy so if you care about your work surface, you might want to cover it. It doesn't matter what you use as long as you can scoop it up when you're done.

As mentioned, this requires drying time so plan ahead. Give it at least two days.

There are many ways to make a mold for a paper mache mask but the two most popular are the balloon or aluminum foil. Older kids love the aluminum foil.

The process for the paper mache is the same for both molds.

For the balloon mold, blow up the balloon and tie it. It is easier to set it into some kind of cup of bowl to make it steady while you work. Once you have one layer of paper mache on the balloon and it is dry, you can use whatever material at hand to create facial features. Folded poster board makes a great nose. Secure the features with masking tape and then add three or four more layers of the paper mache.

For the aluminum foil, tear pieces of foil twice the width of the child's face and fold in half. Press the foil against the face creating the shape. This is slightly more difficult and children many need some help. Once the shape is done, the mold will need to be supported as the layers of the paper mache are added. Newspaper can be wadded up and used to prop up the curved sections. Go easy when adding the paper mache because the aluminum foil is very fragile. Add four or five layers and let it dry.

The process for both is to tear newspaper into strips about one or two inches wide and anywhere between four and eight inches long. Below is the basic recipe for paper mache paste or you can cheat and purchase it.

Ready to paint - If you used the balloon, pop it and remove the pieces. For both masks, cut the eye holes and punch holes on either side to attach a ribbon or string. Paint away. This is where it is really fun for the kids who can be as creative as they want. Pull out scrap yarn, bits of fabric, beads, and glitter. We have found that a bit of yarn painted red is a great scar. (I know, back to gruesome but not as awful as what is on the market.)

Make your own mask glue

How many years ago did I learn to make this in Kindergarten? A very long time ago.

Materials Needed:




Mix 1 part flour to 2 parts water. It needs to resemble thick glue but not paste. You will want it to be the consistency of thick glue, but you also want it to be runny and not thick like paste. Adjust the consistency by adding more water or flour. Stir to get rid of any lumps.

The glue will last for a few days in the refrigerator. We don't live in a place with humidity but for those who do, add a few teaspoons of salt to keep it from molding. The only thing that molds here is the cheese that someone stuck in the back of the refrigerator.

Or you can just by Elmer's Paper Mache Glue

ELMERS Art Paste, Paper Macha, 2 Oz (99000)
ELMERS Art Paste, Paper Macha, 2 Oz (99000)

This product is the best consistency for making paper mache projects.


A couple of more ideas

Eveyone has a different style

Which mask would you make?

See results

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