How to Create a Simple African Mask Step-by-Step

Written by kelly sundstrom
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How to Create a Simple African Mask Step-by-Step
You can create a simple African mask out of basic crafting materials. (African mask image by Joann Cooper from

Many parts of African tradition display beautifully ornate and colourful masks, which symbolise spirituality, fertility or bounty. If you are teaching children about different African traditions, you can supplement your lesson plan by helping your students recreate an African mask out of craft materials. Your students can use their masks to put on a geographical play or to re-enact a historical scene.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paper plate
  • Tempera paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Craft glue
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Single hole punch

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  1. 1

    Cut two holes out of a paper plate to serve as the eyes of the African mask.

  2. 2

    Paint the front of a paper plate with tempera paint, any colour. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  3. 3

    Punch holes around the rim of the paper plate, spacing them around 1 inch apart.

  4. 4

    Insert a pipe cleaner into each hole, twisting the end so that it remains secure on the plate.

  5. 5

    Straighten the pipe cleaners so that they stick out around the plate.

  6. 6

    Scrunch a piece of newspaper up, forming it into a nose shape.

  7. 7

    Glue the nose-shaped newspaper onto the front of the mask.

  8. 8

    Paint the nose the same colour as the plate and allow it to dry completely.

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