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Crafts for Kids

 
October 2008 Project of the Month
Halloween Masks With Paper Mache
by Susanne Myers

You'll need just a few things to make just about any mask you can imagine. Those items include balloons, newspaper, wallpaper glue and some acrylic paint. A pair of sharp scissors comes in handy to cut out eyes and mouth. Wear old clothing, or put an apron on both you and your child. Making the mask can get a bit messy.

Cover your work area in plenty of newspaper to protect it from glue and paint. Next, cut several newspapers into strips. Blow up a balloon so it is slightly larger than your child's head. Now dip a newspaper strip completely in the glue and stick it on the balloon. Continue doing this back and forth until you have the entire balloon covered in several layers of newspaper. Work out any wrinkles as you go along. The more layers of newspaper you have, the sturdier the mask will be.

Finally add any features specific to the mask you are making. For example, if you are making a frog mask, sculpt two ball shapes at the top of the mask that you can later paint as eyes. If you are making a cat, dog, or monkey mask, form the snout and of course don't forget about ears. The only limit is your imagination.

Allow the mask to dry completely, preferably over night. Once it is completely hardened, start cutting into the mask to pop the balloon. Cut a large enough opening so your child can get his or her head inside the mask, then cut eye and mouth openings. For younger children, you may prefer to cut the back of the mask out completely, and, instead, wrap a piece of ribbon or yarn around the back of the head to secure the mask to allow better air-passage.

Paint the mask in a solid color and allow it to dry completely. Then add details like eyes, nose and lips in different colors. Once that coat of paint is completely dry, it is ready to wear. For a longer lasting and shiny mask, cover the mask in several layers of hodge podge before using it.

About the author:
Would you like to quickly make creative Halloween costumes that you and your children will be proud of -- for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Susanne Myers has co-authored a book to show you how -- no sewing involved. Visit http://www.ILoveHalloweenCostumes.com to learn more.

Do you have an idea for another Project of the Month for our Crafts for Kids Cubby? We'd love to hear from you. Email our moderators with your suggestions!

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