How to make a homemade african mask

Updated April 17, 2017

African masks reflect a culture connected to nature and spirituality. Originally created by tribal artists, masks were worn during traditional ceremonies and rituals. Bold patterns and intense colours indicated tribal social status or an individual's religious or magical powers. Made of wood, metal and leather, African masks are popular artefacts to collect. Once you have completed this mask, use your imagination to create others. Research African culture for ideas, or create a design based on your family heritage.

Fold all the card stock in half lengthwise.

Draw a heart on the 9 x 12 card stock. Starting at the crease of the folded card stock, draw half of a large heart. Round the bottom of the heart, as shown in the picture.

Draw a mouth on the red card stock. Starting at the crease of the card stock, draw half of a circle.

Draw eyelashes on black card stock. Starting a quarter-inch from the crease of the card stock, draw thick lines for eyelashes.

Cut the pieces out, keeping the card stock folded. Open card stock to reveal two sides. After eyelashes are cut out, unfold the card stock and cut along the crease for two eyelashes.

Draw designs on the heart using the markers. Using the black marker, draw a circle in the centre of the mouth.

Glue the eyelashes and mouth to the heart.To make the mask three dimensional, glue only the centre of the mouth to the heart and glue the bottom of the eyelashes only, gently curving the lashes to make them stand out.


Allow a slight crease in the mask for a three-dimensional effect.

Things You'll Need

  • card stock: 9 x 12-inch, light colour; two smaller pieces of black and red
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • markers: red, yellow, black
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About the Author

Debra Stein lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She writes promotional and informational materials for artists, political candidates, small businesses, and non-profit arts and service organizations. She is passionate about promoting performing and visual artists, and arts organizations. She has been a professional dancer and has taught dance for more than 30 years.