How to Make Halloween Masks With Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

Halloween is a great time to be unique, and having a costume that is different from all the others is part of the fun. You can create your own unique costume for trick or treating or the big party. An easy way to make a mask for Halloween is to use paper mache. This technique lets you be creative by forming a mask with paper that has been wet with glue. You can make and decorate paper masks that are as simple or complex as you like.

Blow up a round balloon to a size that is slightly larger than your head. This will serve as the base for your mask.

Prepare the wallpaper paste according to package directions. Begin by making a small batch. You can make more if you need it.

Dip the strips of torn paper one by one into the wallpaper paste and then lay them on your balloon in a crisscross pattern. Lay the strips smoothly in several layers. You will want to cover the "face" part of the balloon, and partway up and over the head.

If you plan to have a nose on the mask that sticks out where your nose will be, form one from aluminium foil and place the foil nose between the balloon and paper mache strips. The foil will be easy to remove when the paper mache mask has dried according to Princeton Online.

Add features that are specific to the type of mask you're making after you've covered the balloon with several layers of paper mache. For example, Activity Village suggests that you sculpt two ball shapes from paper mache and add them to your project to make round frog eyes for a frog mask. You can use this technique to create eyebrows, lips, pronounced chins, horns, or rounded cheeks. After adding the extra features, lay down more strips of paper mache to smooth the features into the mask.

Allow the paper mache mask to dry for at least 24 hours.

When the mask is completely dry, pop the balloon with a pin and remove its remnants. Remove your foil nose as well.

Using a craft knife or shape scissors, cut out eye holes and nostrils. For additional breathing comfort, you may want to cut a hole at the mouth area.

Paint the mask using craft paints. Try highlighting the mask with glow-in-the-dark paint.

Add other decorations to your mask if you wish. These might include feathers, beads, glitter and sequins.

Use a hole punch to create two holes on either side of the mask.

String a long piece of ribbon through the holes on the sides of the mask. Use the ribbon to tie the mask onto your head.


Any Halloween mask must have adequate openings for proper vision and breathing. Make sure you cut eye, nose and mouth holes large enough.

Things You'll Need

  • Balloon
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Newspaper or other used paper that has been cut or torn into strips about 2 inches wide
  • Aluminium foil
  • Sharp scissors or craft knife
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glow in the dark paint
  • Beads, glitter, sequins, feathers and other decorations
  • Craft glue
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
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About the Author

Leslie Lane has been writing professionally since 2007. Her areas of expertise include landscape and garden design; trees, shrubs and perennials; plant care; and plant pests and diseases. An education in landscape horticulture from Lansing Community College is paired with several years experience working for one of Michigan's premier wholesale/retail nurseries and growing farms.