How to Make a Dragon Mask Out of a Paper Bag

Written by mackenzie wright
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The dragon is a powerful and fearsome creature popular in art, entertainment and fiction. Dragon masks are the perfect attire for many events, such as the Chinese New Year, Halloween, Mardi Gras and costume parties. With some simple supplies you probably have around the house and a little creativity, you can construct your own dragon's mask. Making masks is a fun project for both children and adults, and having your own mask to wear at your event is the reward for your effort.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Brown paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or chalk
  • Something to prop your bag on
  • Brown paper packing tape
  • Scrap cardboard and newspaper
  • Dust sheet
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of white craft glue
  • Disposable plastic container
  • Craft paints
  • Craft paint brushes
  • Decorative items (pipe cleaners, cotton, etc.)
  • White craft glue

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  1. 1

    Place a brown paper bag on your head. Make slits up the sides of the bag if necessary so that it rests gently on the top of your head. Trim the mask, if necessary, or cut large, round notches into the sides that curve around your shoulders. Keep adjusting the bag as necessary until it sits comfortably on your head and shoulders.

  2. 2

    Feel around for where your eyes are and make light marks with a pencil or chalk. Feel around for your nose and make a mark by the nostrils. Make a line across where your mouth is.

  3. 3

    Cut eye holes out of your mask. Poke holes where your nose is. Make a thin slit where your mouth line is.

  4. 4

    Place your bag on something to prop it up as you work such as a friend's head, back of a chair or unplugged desk lamp.

  5. 5

    Push in the points on the bottom of the bag (which will be at the top of the head) to make them less sharp. Use the tape to help shape the top of the dragon's head. Start thinking about where you want some features to go, such as eye ridges, the snout or ears. Make pencil or chalk marks on the dragon to indicate their placement.

  6. 6

    Begin making shapes with scrap cardboard or newspaper to build out those shapes on your mask. For example, you might make triangles or circles for ears out of an index card. A small scrap of newspaper rolled and twisted can make a ridge around an eye. A curved half-circle of cardboard may form a snout.

  7. 7

    Tape the cardboard and newspaper to the mask with brown paper packing tape. They don't have to be perfect, however they should be symmetrical. Trim them or add to them as you see fit until your dragon's face has taken on a rough shape of features. Try not to cover your mouth and nose slits so you can breathe easily when you wear it.

  8. 8

    Cover your work space with a dust sheet. Mix the flour, water and 1/4 cup craft glue in a disposable container to make a paper mache paste, or use your own favourite recipe. Dip strips of newspaper into the paste and begin laying them on top of the dragon features. You don't have to cover the entire mask with paper mache. Just build out and smooth out the features with the strips.

  9. 9

    Allow the paper mache to dry. Decorate your mask when it's dry by painting it with acrylic craft paints. If necessary, slit the mouth and nose holes again.

  10. 10

    Glue on some details to your dragon, such as cotton for eyebrows or a beard, pipe cleaners as whiskers, or white felt teeth glued to the inside of his snout and sticking out.

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