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How to Make a 3D Greek Mask

Greek masks were used during Greek plays to show the emotions of the characters at the time. This was done because most people sitting far away from the stage could not read the expression of the actors on stage. The masks made it possible for everyone to tell what was going on in the play. It also helped people understand plays produced in an unknown language. Children can make their own 3D Greek masks from plastic milk jugs and papier mache.

Cut a milk jug in half vertically. Use both sides of the jug for masks. Use the handle as the nose for the handle side of the jug and the other bumpy part of the jug as the nose for the other half.

Place the masks against the person's face and draw the placement of the eyes and mouth with a permanent marker. Cut out the outlines. Shape the desired design for the eyes and mouth at this time, whether you want it to be happy, sad, angry or whatever. Round eyes look scared, triangle eyes look angry, and straight eyes look apathetic.

Tear strips of newspaper into two-inch wide strips. Mix three parts glue and one part water in a plastic bowl.

Cover the milk jugs with three layers of papier mache. Crumple up some papier mache pieces and use them to mould different eyebrow shapes, lips, foreheads or any other details. Allow the papier mache to dry, which can take anywhere from one to three days.

Paint over the masks with acrylic paints. Use any colour desired to help the masks look more expressive. Draw on tears for sad masks, angry eyebrows for angry masks or any other facial cues you want. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Things You'll Need

  • Milk jugs
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Newspaper
  • White glue
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hole punch
  • Elastic cord
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.