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Make a Papier Mache Mask

Make a Papier Mache Mask by Karen Farr Lee

Let Karen show you the magic and mystery of bringing a mask to life!

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  • Date addedAdded: September 7, 2002
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  • Document pagesPage: 2 of 2


The first covering
The first covering


Step four: The first ply


Dip one piece of newsprint in the paste. Strip the excess liquid by squeezing it between your index finger and thumb. Apply to the back side of the jug, beginning at the top.

Work in one direction.

Overlap strips of newsprint, smoothing them out with your fingertips to release trapped air bubbles.

Cover the entire backside of the jug.

Turn the jug over and cover it with newsprint as well. Wrap the handle in strips. Overlap sides.

Hint: Make certain the entire surface is covered with newsprint. Paint does not adhere to plastic.

Step five: The second ply


Reapply newspaper strips This time work in the opposite direction of the first ply.

Hint: For greater durability, apply a minimum of three papier-mache layers. This, however, is optional. Two will work well.

Step six: Drying your mask


Place your mask under a fan or in direct sunlight to dry. If you are working a damp climate you may dry the mask on a lightly oiled cookie sheet in the oven using your oven�s lowest setting. Check after an hour. Remove promptly when dried.



Step seven: Decorating


Base paint your dry mask both front and back using a white or light-colored acrylic paint.

Wait a minimum one-half hour before applying a second coat of paint to cover newsprint bleed.

Let dry for one day.

Paint the face however you desire.

Glue found objects to your mask. Any good glue works well including all the non-toxic brands.

For a durable, easy to clean surface apply polyurethane (satin, gloss or semi-gloss) to front and back of mask. (This should not be done by children.)

Finishing the mask
Finishing the mask


The finished mask
The finished mask


If you wish to wear the mask attach a piece of elastic to the back sides with a stapler.

If you wish to hang your mask, glue a piece of felt (or other protective material) to the back, inside the top of the mask.