Creation Station

Go Wild with Paper Plates

Masks are easy to make with this picnic staple

Some arts and crafts projects are meant to be hung and admired, some to be played with and some to be worn. This month’s project — Paper Plate Animal Masks — is all three!

This project is great for toddlers to teens and the masks can be as simple or as intricate as they feel like making them. When they are done, your kids and their friends are ready to play, or even put on a theatrical show! What creatures will you create?

Here’s how you do it:

Materials needed

  • Large paper plates (the more rigid the better)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tempera paint
  • Paint brush
  • Elastic band (we used elastic hair bands)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Embellishments — have fun with this!

Directions

  1. Make a template, using the instructions below. Proper measurements are important when determining the correct spacing for the eyeholes.
  2. Make a small mark 1.5 cm to the edge of each eye — this will mark where you will make a hole for the elastic band.
  3. Using the edge of a pair a scissors, punch a hole on those marks.
  4. Plan your animal design. Lightly sketch on the mask where any stripes, whiskers or markings will be.
  5. Paint your mask and then allow it to dry.
  6. Thread one end of the elastic band through one hole and tie it off to the band on the backside of the mask. Thread the loose end of the band through the other hole and tie off on the back.
  7. Use glue to add embellishments such as ears, whiskers and other decorations. Make ears with the cut pieces of paper plate. Add cotton balls for a nose. Use pipe cleaners or string for whiskers or feathers for bird masks. Other ideas are glitter, silk flowers, stickers and beads. Use your imagination!

Hints

  • The sturdier the paper plate, the better. The ones we used were Chinet fabric plates.
  • Adjust your child’s involvement by age. Toddlers may need to stick to the painting and wearing of their mask. Young children can do some cutting with child safety scissors, but may need a grownup to cut the eyes out for them. Older kids can likely do most of it on their own.
  • For some embellishments, glue sticks work better than liquid glue.
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