How to Make a Lion King Head Mask

Written by jennifer meyer
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How to Make a Lion King Head Mask
Note the rounded ears. (lion image by John Hofboer from

With the introduction of modern plastics and clays, the mask maker now has tremendous and varied resources to draw from. Even an amateur maskmaker can achieve stunning effects with simple materials bought from the local craft store. Of these materials, air-dry clay is perhaps the easiest medium for a beginner to work with and forms a durable, lightweight mask. With it, you can create your own mask based on your favourite Lion King character.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Reference picture
  • Craft mask
  • Cling film
  • Air dry clay
  • Acrylic paint
  • Brush
  • Clear craft seal
  • Ribbon

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  1. 1

    Measure your face with a ruler from the tip of your chin to the top of your forehead. Add an inch to this, and draw a line this long on a sheet of paper. Create an oval around the line. This oval represents your head. Use the ruler to measure how far up your eyes are and mark them in the oval.

  2. 2

    Use a reference picture to draw a face over the oval based on a Lion King character. Be sure to match up the eyes with the marks on the paper. Cut the face out when you have finished.

  3. 3

    Place the design over a plastic craft mask such as you can find in most craft stores. Make sure that it is a full face mask and not a half mask. Place a layer of cling film over both the design and the mask.

  4. 4

    Sculpt a thin layer of air-drying clay over the mask, using your design as a guide. Sculpt the basic shape of the mask first, leaving large, almond-shaped holes for the eyes. Be sure to add ears at the top of the mask. Note that if you're basing the mask on a lion character that lions have round ears, unlike domestic cats. Smooth around all the edges of the mask with your fingers. Keep your fingers wet as you work with the clay for the best result.

  5. 5

    Fill in the details, including the snout and mouth, and any characteristic details you noted from your reference picture. Compare the mask to the picture often as you work. Turning both upside down and comparing them can help you notice telltale difference between the two without being distracted by what the mask actually represents.

  6. 6

    Use a pencil to poke holes on either side of the eyes that are large enough to fit ribbon through.

  7. 7

    Allow the clay to harden overnight. Paint the mask with acrylic paint and seal it with either a spray-on or paint-on clear craft sealer. Tie two 2 strips of ribbon to the mask using the holes on either side of the eyes. Peel the mask away from the plastic backing. The mask may still be damp on the back, so allow it to dry overnight before wearing it.

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