How to make paper mache masks for your whole face

Written by amber christunas
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How to make paper mache masks for your whole face
Making a paper mache mask is simple, but the results can be very impressive. (Getty creative)

Making a paper mache mask for the whole face can be done easily by just about anyone. While a creative and educational craft, it is also an easy way to save money on your child's next costume. Paper mache masks can also make for fun wall artwork and Halloween decorations.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Balloon or aluminium foil
  • Strips of newspaper
  • Paper mache
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Needle (optional)
  • Decorations (tissue paper, yarn, beads, glitter--optional)

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  1. 1

    Tear a piece of aluminium foil, enough to cover your face twice, and fold it in half. Mold it against your face to capture the shape. Then carefully fill the inside with wadded foil or paper. Add extra paper or tape to accentuate the facial features of the mask. This will be covered later with the paper mache. Lay it face up on your workspace.

    If you don't need an exact mould of your face, simply blow up a balloon to the appropriate size and tie it closed. Use a bowl or dish to rest the balloon in while you work.

    How to make paper mache masks for your whole face
    Use aluminium foil to mould your mask's face. (wrinkled foil image by Igor Zhorov from
  2. 2

    Dip the strips of newspaper into the paper mache. Begin layering the wet strips onto your mask, and smooth out any rough areas by adding more paper mache paste with your fingers or a paintbrush. Layer evenly, and let the mask dry as much as you can between layers. Use five to six layers on average.

    How to make paper mache masks for your whole face
    Use a balloon to make your mask. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Let the mask dry completely. This can take up to a few days, depending on the number of layers. Once the mask is dry, you can cut eyeholes, attach string or elastic so you can wear it, and if you used a balloon, it's time to grab a needle and pop it!

    How to make paper mache masks for your whole face
    Tear thick strips of newspaper to cover more areas on your mask. (newspaper roll image by Photoeyes from
  4. 4

    Begin painting the mask, but don't let paint limit you. Add tissue paper, yarn, beads, or glitter. The more creative the better!

    How to make paper mache masks for your whole face
    Once your mask is dry, use a needle to pop your balloon. (BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Choose an area you can easily clean later. Or put down a tarp or extra newspaper. You may also choose to wear gloves. Paper mache can get a bit messy, but it's worth it
  • If using a balloon, only cover half with the paper mache, unless you'd like to make an entire head. Making an entire head works well for creating a cartoon character or skeleton mask.

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