I love to play make-believe with my kids and sometimes taking things to the next awesomeness level means getting creative. I came up with these simple paper-plate masks and they have been a big hit. Not only are they fun to play with but they are fun to make! Take a look at our build video for some inspiration and to get some context for what I am referencing before taking the following steps.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
You will probably have these supplies around the house except the elastic string which you can find at a crafts store or simply order it online. Here is what you are looking for...
- 2 to 4 paper plates per mask
- Elastic string
- Hot glue sticks
The number of paper plates needed for your mask depend on what kind of creature you are making. For a wolf or a bear I only needed two but for the dragon I needed four. More on that in the next step.
Step 2: Assemble the Basic Creature
Mark two plates as shown in the picture above and cut along the lines. The plate on the left is the face and the one on the right is the snout. When you cut out the hole in the face plate you will have an extra piece which is enough to make ears out of. You can always just cut into another plate to make ears or horns etc., if needed. Fold the snout around to make snout end 1 and snout end 2 meet at the snout end meeting point. Glue this in place. It should look something like the end of the wolf mask shown above. Then, turn up the tabs on the snout and place it within the faceplate hole so that you are able to glue the tabs to the inside of the face plate.
Step 3: Snip and Color
From here you use your scissors to change your mask to look like the creature you want to make. For a wolf or a bear, I cut the outer rim to look like shaggy hair. For the dragon, I added a couple of other plates to make it have spiky frills and a couple of bumps for nostrils. Cut teeth or a beak, etc. into the snout and before long your creature will emerge. Let your creativity guide you and don't be afraid to make a mistake.
I am willing to make a print out with exact plans for a wolf, bear, and dragon if people are interested. Otherwise you may be able to pick up more insight by watching our build video.
Finally have your kids (or you) decorate the mask using washable marker. It is surprising how varied and personalized these can turn out!
Step 4: Strap In...
To make sure the mask stays on your face, add an elastic strap to the back. I punched a small hole on the right and left sides of the face plate, passed the end of the elastic strap through one hole going from back towards the front of mask and tied a knot at the end to make sure that it could not pull through the hole. Then I adjusted the length of the strap by placing the mask on my kid's face, passing the strap behind their head and finding the length that felt comfortable. I then tied off the second end the same way. Finally I hot-glued the string to the plate to prevent it from pulling through.
Step 5: Go on a Creature Adventure!
There is something freeing about a mask that allows your inner creature to run wild.
Join us in our Dad Venture video as we build our masks, howl, growl, and attack! Subscribe for a fresh dad-and-kid friendly Instructable weekly and if you are curious where the swords and shields came from, I have linked to my Instructables for those as well.
Happy creature mask creating and have fun!
Thanks for joining us in this adventure! If you enjoy spending time with your kids and would appreciate fresh ideas and inspiration weekly, consider subscribing to my youtube channel where I do a weekly project with my own kids. I would love to have you join our family!