Papier-Mache Sugar Skull Masks

papier-mache sugar skull mask Last year for our Halloween costumes we made papier-mache masks inspired by Day of the Dead sugar skulls.  I never got around to writing a post about it, and with Halloween 2014 right around the corner, I figured now would be a good time to do so.

At age 2, Little Bug didn’t really know what Halloween was, so I took it upon myself to decide what he would dress up as.  I found a cute and simple skeleton romper at Old Navy, but wanted his costume to be a little bit more creative than just a store bought onesie.  I figured there was no way he would let me paint his face, so then I thought, hmm, what about masks, what about papier-mache, ooo, what about sugar skulls, ooooo!

Sugar Skull inspired Papier-mache mask

To make the masks I followed a tutorial I found on the Inside Nanabread’s Head blog, here.  The steps are pretty simple, you create a mold of your face using Aluminum Foil, cover that with strips of paper dipped in homemade glue, let it dry, and then draw and or paint on your design.

backside of papier-mache mask

It’s a bit tricky to mold your face using foil and to have it keep it’s shape.  Even more tricky to mold the face of a 2 year old.  Overall I think our masks came out really well.  After I did a few layers of newspaper “mache,” I did a final layer with regular white printer paper so I would have a blank surface to work with.  I also did a fair amount of reshaping during the drying process so as not to lose my facial details.  It seems as the mask dries it tends to want to flatten.  Once dry, the masks were a bit rough on the underside and sides.  So, I did a bit of trimming around the edges of the masks and covered the cut edges with paper.  If you are going to try your hand at making one of these masks, be sure to give yourself 2 or 3 days.  They take some time to dry and you may find that you need to add some more paper here and there, as well as do some clean up, to get it how you want it.

Toddler papier-mache mask

I did all the papier-mache-ing, The Mister drew the faces on with pencil, and I painted Little Bug’s mask and mine.  The Mister painted his own mask.

The Mister's Skeleton mask My Mask

We were up past midnight working on these masks and the next day, Little Bug ended up wearing his for all of 30 seconds.  Just long enough for me to take a couple of photos!  Which of course I can’t seem to find.  (He was kind enough to let me take a few photos of him with his mask today so I could do a blog post.  Thanks for being a good sport Buggy Bug!)

Happy Halloween!

Folk Art Papier-mache

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