How to Make a Chinese Dragon Paper-Mache Mask

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A paper dragon mask can be a good homemade Halloween or costume party mask or a fun dress-up item. No matter what it's used for, this paper-mache mask is an inexpensive and eco-friendly craft project. It reuses items that you probably already have around the house. This project is suitable for young children as long as a parent is supervising and helping with the craft tools.

Things You'll Need

  • • Piece of cardboard
  • • Masking tape
  • • Scissors
  • • 12 to 24 old newspapers
  • • Long stick, spoon or paint mixer
  • • Large bowl
  • • White baking flour (not self-rising)
  • • Warm water
  • • Craft paint in various colors
  • • Craft knife
  • • 6' inches of sewing elastic
  • • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • • Paper egg carton
  • Cut the cardboard into an oval shape that is slightly longer and wider than your head.

  • Tape the egg carton shut. Use the hot glue gun to glue it to the lower half of the cardboard so that it sticks out like a snout.

  • Put two cups of white flour into the bowl. Slowly add two cups of water as you mix with a spoon or stick. The mixture should end up the consistency of thick cream. This is your paper-mache paste.

  • Tear your newspaper into long strips. Dip a strip into the paper-mache paste. Pull the strip out and run it between your index finger and middle finger to remove excess paste.

  • Lay the strip over your mask and smooth out any air trapped underneath the newspaper with your fingertips. Continue laying strips of paper dipped in paper-mache paste until the front of the mask is completely covered. The strips should crisscross over each other to create a strong bond.

  • Wrap the newspaper strips that are hanging over the edge of the mask around to the back of the mask.

  • Let the mask dry. This could take several days.

  • Cut holes in the mask for the eyes using the craft knife.

  • Use the craft knife to poke a small hole on the left and right side of the mask. Thread the elastic through the holes and knot them.

  • Paint the mask with your craft paint to finish the mask.

Tips & Warnings

  • The mask can be decorated with stick-on jewels and glitter.
  • Parents should do steps that include a craft knife or hot glue.
  • Parents should supervise young children who are using scissors.

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