You might have a skull mask to wear for Halloween, but why not take it to the next level by making a skull mask with a moving jaw? Kids and adults alike will be awestruck with the skull as it moves with your mouth. It's a perfect choice for a spooky gathering. If you're not all that into costumes yourself, this also makes a fun craft for kids. They might even be interested in making a wolf skull mask with a moving jaw or one that uses a bird, deer or dog skull.
Skull Mask With a Moving Jaw
To make a skull mask with a movable jaw, you will need cardboard or poster board, pencils and a skull template. Look for the human or animal skull template online and print it out for the corresponding size of cardboard or poster board that you have on hand. Trace the template onto it and glue it down with strong, clear-drying glue. When the glue is dry, cut out all the parts of the skull where indicated. Using a hole punch, punch out the holes in the skull and jaw and align them with each other.
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Poke through brass prong paper file fasteners (1 to 1/2 inches in size work best) and open them to secure them. Test the jaw to see that it moves freely and loosen the prongs if it does not.
Decorating Skulls and Other Mask Options
Now, you can decorate the skull however you like. Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls are very popular, and learning about their role in Mexican culture can be a great project with your children. Use paint, markers, glitter and pipe cleaners to make your designs. You can also cover it with a dark hood to make it look scary.
Of course, you can also buy a plastic skull mask with a moving jaw to wear on Halloween. Most of these masks fit right over your head, are inexpensive and come in a variety of different sizes and colors. Some even have scary light-up eyes that you can use to scare your friends.
Why Are Skulls So Fascinating?
Human beings have always been fascinated with skulls. This obsession goes back much farther than the first Halloween. Medieval thinkers knew that bones make up the body's foundation, providing the framework for muscles, veins, nerves and flesh. Opening bodies to examine bones and skulls was frowned upon, and it was not until many years later that research and anatomical teaching with skulls and skeletons became accepted practices.
In the 1700s, the science of phrenology came into vogue. At the time, many scientists deduced that the shape of one's skull indicated that person's character traits and mental faculties. Certain regions of the brain were also associated with parts of the personality, such as self-esteem, color perception, hope, conscientiousness and so forth.
Empty skulls look scary because they remind us of our mortality, and it is a given that when we are long gone, a skull is all that will be left of our head. Still, Halloween skulls don't need to be frightening. Just look at the beauty in the Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico for proof. You can also make your skull mask funny by decorating it with a top hat, crazy hair, sunglasses and a cigar if you'd like. Children might also like to put googly eyes inside the eye sockets or give the mask some lipstick. The possibilities are endless!