How to Make an Anubis Mask

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Use old newspapers to create a paper-mache mask.
Use old newspapers to create a paper-mache mask. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Anubis is an ancient Egyptian god of the dead who would greet them as they arrived in the underworld. He was the caretaker of the cemeteries and the subject of prayers at Egyptian funerals. His black head resembled a jackal, while his body was human. Making an Anubis mask can be a hands-on learning tool for children studying the gods of ancient Egypt or a cool, original way to show up at a costume party.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Newspaper
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Compass
  • Elastic

Measure the wearer's forehead with a tape measure from temple to temple. Draw the shape of a jackal head onto a piece of cardboard using the measurement of the forehead and taper it down to a narrow snout.

Use scissors to cut out the shape of the head. Hold it up to the wearer's face and make pencil marks where the eyes go. Then cut out holes for the eyes.

Draw the outline of two pointed ears, cut them out and use craft glue to attach them to the back of the head shape.

Make a paper-mache glue by mixing 1 cup flour with 1 cup water. Mix until it’s well-blended.

Cut a newspaper into strips approximately 1 inch wide. Dip the strips into the paper-mache glue and begin to cover the cardboard head and ears. Cover both the front and back with the paper strips. Aim for at least three layers of the paper. Allow it to dry overnight.

Paint the entire mask black using acrylic craft paint. Once the black paint dries, use grey or white paint to add facial details. Create a small slit for the mouth toward the bottom of the snout and two dots for the nostrils about a 1/2-inch above.

Use a compass or similar sharp instrument to puncture holes at the midpoint of the mask on either side. Thread a piece of elastic through each hole and knot it to secure.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can spray paint the mask black to save the time of hand painting it.
  • Wear the mask with a black apron-like skirt, no shirt, sandals and bracelets around your arms and ankles. Hold a large shepherd's crook.

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