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Learn How to Make
Paper Mache Masks

Making paper mache masks is a great way to pass the time when looking for fun and interesting activities to enjoy with the kids. Not only is it quite easy to create paper mache masks at home, but it also uses common household items in the process.

When it comes to this activity, there are no limitations to how far you can explore your child’s creativity.

From aliens to scary monsters, the number of characters you may construct is never ending.

The materials for this fun kids project include: one-gallon plastic milk jug; newspaper (torn into 1 inch by 6- to 8-inch strips); paper mache paste (flour and water mixture); salt; scissors; craft knife; white computer paper (torn into strips); and decorations, such as acrylic paint, feathers, and glitter.

Before getting ready to start this project for paper mache masks, you should set aside a clean work surface with a layer of newspaper or an old tablecloth that can get soiled. This project involves a lot of sticky stuff that makes this quite the messy adventure.

In preparation, make sure you have plenty of torn newspaper strips that measure about 1 inch by 6- to 8-inch. The more jagged the edges, the better.

Making the Paper Mache Paste

In order to hold everything together, a paste made from flour and water is required. Combining one part flour with five parts of water creates this mixture, which is then placed in a pot on top of the stove and brought to a boil.

Next, you should simmer the paste for three minutes. In order to prevent the formation of mold, you should add one or two tablespoons of salt to the paste. In the end, the mixture should be the same consistency as glue. The last step is to cool the mixture and then place it in a plastic container.

Cutting the Milk Jug

Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut a milk jug in half, starting at the top. Some people like to use the handle of the jug to make interesting creations.

Next, soak the jug to remove any labels, and then rinse and dry. Holding the jug half upside down, start to envision your mask and when you have found the perfect place for the eyes, use the craft knife to make the holes, which could be round, rectangular, or triangular. Making various cuts throughout the milk jug will help create cool designs.

Layering the Paper Mache Mask

To add strength and body to your mask, dip newspaper strips into the paste to coat, and then place on the milk jug in a horizontal pattern. Add strips in a slightly overlapping manner, continuing across the entire jug.

Next, wrap short strips about the eyeholes from the front to the back of the mask. Then, allow the first layer to completely dry.

You should know that it takes each layer 24 hours to dry, so place leftover paste in the refrigerator. To revamp the mixture for the next day, simply place the paste in the microwave for one minute.

When it comes to the second layer, you should angle the strips in a horizontal pattern, still overlapping. This will be the final layer, but this time you will use torn strips of white computer paper so you will have an easier surface to paint and decorate.


Allow the last layer to dry before decorating. You may paint paper mache masks one solid color, and then add details as you go. You could paint rings around the eyeholes, or include stripes or spots in your decoration.

Use hot glue to attach feathers for the look of an animal or add old buttons to make another odd creation. You may even use glow-in-the-dark paint to expand your ideas. Some mask ideas to consider includes Zulu warrior, mummy, ghost, alien, and zoo animals.

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