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How to make Brazilian carnival masks

Carnival, known in Portuguese as "Carnaval," is a celebration held 40 days before Easter in Brazil. It ushers in the Catholic Lent, in which adherents abstain from physical pleasures. This festival features parades, samba dancers, plenty of beer, and colourful masks. If you can't make it to one of the Brazilian coastal cities to take part in this celebration, you can make your own Carnaval masks for a private party.

Measure the distance between your ears across the bridge of your nose, and the distance from the top of your forehead to your mouth. Transfer these measurements to a piece of poster board and cut out a rectangle.

Measure the distance from the top of your forehead to your eyes, and the distance between your eyes. Use these measurements to place ovals for your eyes on the poster board.

Draw a slot in the mask for your nose. Draw the outside of the mask along the edges of the rectangle in a free-flowing curved design. The outer design should generally follow the shape of the rectangle, but does not need to touch the edge of the rectangle. For example, the design could be a series of semicircles joined together to roughly make a rectangular outline. You can make the outer profile of the mask as simple or complex as you want.

Cut around the outer design of the mask, and cut out the eye holes.

Cut a piece of elastic about eight inches long and staple it to the sides of the mask.

Glue decorations such as feathers and sequins to the front of the mask. You can use colours that will compliment the rest of your costume. You can also use markers or paints to decorate your mask. Let the mask dry and enjoy your own Carnaval party.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster board
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Elastic
  • Glue
  • Decorations
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About the Author

Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.