How to Make a Cardboard Mask


People wear masks for a variety of reasons, such as protection, disguise or performance. Decorative masks have a rich history in many cultures, and they are still worn today at carnivals and masquerades, and during Halloween. Whether you're dressing up for a costume party or a theater performance, or just need a fun art project for kids, you can make a simple full-face mask from cardboard and common craft supplies. Decorate your mask any way you like.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Piece of cardboard larger than your face
  • Scissors
  • Utility craft blade (X-Acto knife)
  • Hole punch
  • Paint
  • Markers
  • Curling ribbon
  • Tape
  • Sketch an egg shape on the cardboard using the pencil. Make the egg shape by starting with a circle and extending the bottom of the circle downward into a soft point to make a chin. Ensure that the shape is the approximate size of your head.

  • Fold the cardboard down the vertical center of your sketch.

  • Choose one side of the folded cardboard, and cut along the outline of your sketch with scissors.

  • Unfold and draw a horizontal line across the middle of the mask lightly with the pencil. Draw an almond-shaped eye hole midway between the central fold and one edge of the mask.

  • Cut out the eye hole using a utility craft blade.

  • Fold the mask in half again and trace the outline of the eye hole onto the other side of the mask.

  • Unfold the mask and cut out the other eye hole.

  • Punch a hole near the edge of both sides of the mask with the hole punch. Make the holes parallel with the eyes.

  • Find the "right side" of your mask by flipping it so that the peak of the central fold faces upward. This way, when you put it on, it will fold outward to accommodate your nose. Erase any stray pencil marks on the mask's right side.

  • Decorate your mask. Use paint and markers to create an emotive face, or just cover the mask in colorful geometric patterns.

  • Cut 30 lengths of curling ribbon about10 inches long, and attach one end of each strand behind the crown of the mask using tape. Curl each ribbon using the scissors to create a mop of hair. You can even create a beard by taping the ribbon to the chin.

  • Attach one piece of curling ribbon to each of the two holes on either side of the mask. Place the mask on your face and tie the two ribbons together behind your head to wear it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Punch two holes near the nose of your mask to facilitate breathing.
  • Use a strip of elastic or two pieces of fishing line instead of ribbon to make the headband.
  • Cover your mask with three-dimensional embellishments, such as stick-on gems, feathers, glitter glue, rocks, dry beans or pasta shapes.

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