How to Make a 3D Face Out of Paper

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Three-dimensional paper faces can be used as masks, part of a school project or as room decorations. They are simple to make and are eco-friendly, since this craft recycles paper that would otherwise be thrown away. This is a good kids' craft project because it doesn't require any tools or special skills. The only skill you need for this craft is the ability to get a little messy, so you may want to lay newspaper over your work area before you start.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 newspaper
  • Warm water
  • Large bowl
  • Colander
  • 1-foot by 1-foot pieces of corrugated cardboard
  • 1 cup white flour
  • Pencil
  • Shred a newspaper into 1-inch by 1-inch bits with your hands.

  • Put the newspaper bits into a bowl and fill the bowl with warm water. Let the paper soak for three to four hours or until the paper is very soft and can be pulverized into pulp between your index finger and thumb.

  • Drain the water by pouring the paper into a colander and then put it back into the bowl.

  • Add a cup of warm water and a cup of white flour to the paper. With your hands, kneed the flour and water into the paper. The paper should disintegrate and combine with the water and flour to make a dough-like substance. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little water and kneed it some more. Likewise, if the mixture seems a little wet, add a little flour and kneed it some more. Keep experimenting until you get smooth, non-gooey dough.

  • Take a handful of the paper dough, about the size of a grapefruit, and put it a piece of cardboard. Spread it out with your hands until it resembles a flat oval that is about an inch thick.

  • Pinch the center of the oval with your index finger and your thumb. This will create two hollowed-out areas for eyes and the bridge of the nose.

  • Take a walnut-sized amount of dough from the bowl and roll it between your index finger and thumb until it is a cylinder. Stick it to the end of the bridge of the nose. With a pencil, poke two nostril holes into the end of the cylinder. This will not only create nostrils, it will also flair the nose, making it look more real.

  • Take two more walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll them into cylinders. Place them where the lips should be underneath the nose. Pinch the ends of the cylinders together to connect the lips. Gently press the cylinders with the pads of your fingers to flatten out the lips. This will attach them to the mask and make them look more shapely.

  • Roll two more walnut-sized pieces of dough into balls. Place them in the hollowed out eye areas. Push the dough "skin" around the eyeballs up and around the eyeballs with the pads of your fingers.

  • Scratch eyebrows into the area above the eyes with a sharp stick or an old ink pen.

  • Let the 3D paper face dry. This may take a few days depending on the humidity and heat of your area. When it is hard and dry to the touch, you can paint it and decorate it any way you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can cut out the eye area with a craft knife to make a mask.
  • Do not use hot water during any step of this paper craft. Hot water may burn you as you test the paper. It may also cook the flour in the pulp mixture.

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