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Paper Mache Masks

Paper Mache Masks

Making paper mache masks is a fulfilling yet relaxing way to spend your weekend. The act of making the masks themselves is a peaceful and often soothing one – perfect as an activity to take up with children. Take the time out to allow each layer to harden before applying the next one. It may seem time-consuming, but it is worth the effort. This activity uses a balloon as a base to build the mask, rather than shaping it around a face.

INGREDIENTS

1. 1/2 cup water
2. 1 cup flour
3. Old newspapers
4. A large bowl
5. Broad paint brush
6. Vaseline or aloe vera gel
7. A balloon

METHOD

1. Inflate the balloon to the size of the mask you would like to make.

2. Rub Vaseline or aloe vera gel on one face of the balloon. Remember you will be layering only one side of the balloon with newspaper, no need to coat the whole balloon.

3. Mix the flour and water in the large bowl to create a paste, mixing it well to beat out any lumps.

4. Tear the newspaper into long, even strips and place them aside.

5. Start by dipping strips of newspaper into the flour paste and laying them in an even layer on the lubricated side of the balloon. Once you have done so, wait for the layer to set for half an hour and then layer on another even coat of dipped newspaper strips.

6. After 4-5 layers, allow the balloon to dry in the sun or a room with a fan, overnight.

7. When the mask has hardened, pop the balloon with a pin and peel it off the back of the mask. The vaseline or aloe vera gel previously applied will help with the removal.

8. Use a pair of scissors to cut away at any uneven edges of the mask and using a cutter, cut out shapes for the eyes and the mouth.

9. Alternatively, if the mask is for decoration, there is no need to cut out the eyes and the mouth, they can be painted on instead.

10. These masks can be painted with acrylic paints as per your own choice and decorated with beads which have been glued on.

This is an easy activity to include children in. They can mix the flour paste, layer the newspaper strips and decorate the masks. In case you have chosen to cut out the eyes and mouth, make sure an adult does so – do not allow children to use scissors or cutters without adult supervision.

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