Create Simple Wooden Tribal Masks




Introduction: Create Simple Wooden Tribal Masks

In this tutorial, you'll learn a very simple way to make Wooden Tribal Masks! These are great for decorations or for costume parties! They are low cost and can be made right in the comfort of your own home!

Materials needed for making decorative masks:
Wooden planks (Balsa wood)
Wood stain
Paint brushes
Acrylic Paints

Additional materials for making mask wearable:
Power drill

Step 1: Mark Where Eye Holes Would Be (for Wearable Mask Option)

First, you'll need to know where the eye holes should be on the plank. A fast way to do it is to have 2 fingers pointing outwards and position to where your eyes are.

Then bring the wooden plank towards the fingers. Adjust the plank if you feel that it is not straight or centered. Keep your fingers on the plank!

Grab a pencil and make rough markings above your fingers onto the plank.

Use a ruler to ensure that the markings are straight and parrallel to the top edge of the plank.

Draw ovals at where the marks are. These are gonna be the eyeholes to see through.

Step 2: Sanding Away Chips (for Wearable Mask Option)

Be careful when you drill the plank! Make sure they are clamped down well and drill through them slowly. You might get wood chips and splinters jutting out like this.

Use sandpaper to sand the chips away and to smoothen the area.

I used sandpaper wrapped around a bamboo chopstick to sand through the holes.

Step 3: Staining the Wood

Paint the woodstain over the plank. For best results, paint along the wood grain rather than across it.

If you drip on unpainted areas, it's best to spread them out quick before they dry or you will get drip marks. But not to worry, they can be covered up later on with layers.

Once you have the planks stained, give them time to dry. Remember to stain the edges as well! I only stained one side of the planks as the other side wont normally be seen by people, whether these are used as decorations or masks.

Step 4: Decorate Masks

If you are unsure of how to decorate the masks, you could always find reference images online through search engines. There are endless sources of inspirations for these and you can replicate popular masks too (e.g Iron Man).

For these tribal masks, I decided to do the four elements Earth, Wind, Water, Fire. So i used colours that correspond to these elements. The strokes you paint will also add character. Angular lines and strokes will appear more tough and curved, rounded strokes will appear more flowy and mild.

After painting, leave them to dry and they are ready as Decorative Pieces!

For the wearable mask option, continue to the next step!

Step 5: Attaching Straps

Cut the rubber band so that it will become a rubber string. I tied 2 pieces of rubber bands to fit the size of my head. If you have other elastic bands or string, cut them to fit the wearer's head.

Staple the ends of the rubber string to the side edges of the plank, around the same height as where the eyeholes are.

And you're done!

Step 6: Enjoy and Thank You!

Decorate your parties in tribal theme with these masks or go trick-or-treating as a Voodoo Witch Doctor! Go nuts!

Thanks for viewing my tutorial! :)

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    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    7 years ago

    These look great! Is there a video that goes along with this tutorial?


    Reply 7 years ago

    Hi! Thank you! Unfortunately i did not record videos of it being done :( Will do so for my next tutorials!

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Nice way to make a simple tribal mask. Easy costume that looks great.


    Reply 7 years ago

    thanks mate!