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How to make greek masks

Updated February 21, 2017

The role of Greek masks in theatre is rooted in practicality: they helped the actors showcase a variety of emotions, they allowed for quick costume changes when actors had to play a variety of characters; and, since women were not allowed to act, they made male characters more believable as female characters. Making Greek masks is a great complementary activity for kids learning about the origins of theatre or Greek culture.

Lay a plate on top of a piece of cardboard. Trace the plate with a pencil and cut out the shape. The is the foundation of your mask.

Hold the mask up to your face and use the pencil to mark the spots where your eyes and mouth are. Draw a mouth that either portrays extreme joy or extreme sorrow. Cut out the mouth shape. Cut out two round eye holes where your eye markings are.

Draw additional facial features such as eyebrows, a nose, cheeks or cheekbones that are in keeping with the emotion that the mouth portrays.

Add "hair" to your mask by cutting thin strips of construction paper in the colour or colours of your choice. You can give your mask straight or curly hair, facial hair such as a beard or moustache or no hair at all. Make the hair curly by wrapping each strip of construction paper around a pencil.

Punch a hole on either side of the mask with a hole puncher, near where your ears are when you hold the mask up to your face. Tie a 10-inch piece of elastic through one hole, across to the other hole. Knot it in place and adjust as necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Plate
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Hole puncher
  • 10-inch elastic
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."