DIY Animal Masks for the Wildest of Kids
It’s no big secret that a love for animals is a huge part of childhood. So is dress up. And both of them go a long way in helping your kids learn empathy and compassion. So whether you’re looking to spark more imaginative play or you want a Halloween costume that has nothing commercial about it, we’ve rounded up the most amazing DIY animal masks that require little more than some cardboard, scissors, glue, and a little time, effort, and attention from you:
Foxes and Owls
Animals can be sly or wise and still be gorgeous to look at. Case in point, these striking cardboard animal masks from Project Nursery. Whether your child is participating in a production of the children’s book The Fox, the Owl and the Big Green Towel by Stephen Miles or they need (or want) to dress up like one of these creatures for another reason, these designs will not disappoint.
Hayley from the blog Grey House Harbor is the mom and artist behind these eye-catching designs, but don’t let the fact that she is a pro intimidate you. She has graciously shared templates and easy-to-follow instructions for each of these masks, including adult and child sizes of both.
Once you trace and cut the shapes from cardboard, grab your glue gun and layer them together as directed. Before you know it, you will have an unmistakable, three-dimensional mask. As Hayley mentions, you could add a length of ribbon to tie the mask onto your child’s head and stop there, as it would still be easy to tell what they are, but paint and embellishments will make the masks stand out so much more.
Don’t worry if your paint skills are not up to par with Hayley’s. A coat of rusty orange for the fox or brown for the owl and some accents, such as a black nose on the fox, a yellow beak on the owl or black and white fringes on either one will look amazing.
Frogs, Griffins, and Hedgehogs
If you are looking for some inspiration, you will love this animal mask menagerie by artist Warren King, who has “sculpted” an array of designs using corrugated cardboard.
His collection of masks, which he made for a variety of theatrical productions includes a frog with bulging eyes and a gaping mouth; a fiercely feathered griffin; a vividly colored parrot; a spiky hedgehog; and a big, bad wolf, among others.
While he does not provide tutorials for replicating these masks, the photos in various angles and stages of completion can help you figure out how to make these three-dimensional masks on your own.
Shark and Lion
Not feeling up to the sculptured cardboard type of mask? No problem. Your kiddo is sure to feel ferocious if you put together either of these masks, which are much simpler to create. These DIY projects are from Nido, a German parenting magazine, so the instructions are not in English. If you use Google Chrome as your web browser, it will give you the option to translate the page.
The shark mask starts as a smallish box, such as a cereal or shoebox. Some grey construction paper makes the shark’s skin and fins while white triangles form the teeth. A rubber band glued onto the back will hold the mask in place on your little one’s face.
The lion begins with a brown paper bag large enough to comfortably fit your child’s head –with eye and mouth holes, of course. Features cut from construction paper and small handfuls of raffia create the taped-on mane. You could also shred yellow, brown, or orange construction paper (or a combination of these) to make the hair for your young lion’s mane.
Any or all of these DIY animal masks would make a fun addition to your dress-up box. They would also make for fantastic homemade Halloween costumes with the right outfits. Start saving boxes and practice your cutting, gluing, and decorating skills now.
Share your DIY creations with us!
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