Papier-mache Masks

Shannon and Song's papier-mache masks

Shannon and Song’s papier-mache masks

2nd graders are finishing up their papier-mache masks.  This is their longest project of the year, but it’s worth every moment!  Here is an outline of the process:

  1. Build an armature using a paper plate, masking tape, newspaper, and cardboard.
  2. Apply two layers of papier-mache.  Students tore strips of newspaper and dipped them into paste, then smoothed them onto the mask.  When it dries, papier-mache is very lightweight and quite sturdy.
  3. Paint the mask.  We used tempera paint with acrylic gloss medium mixed in to make it a little more flexible.
  4. Collage details onto the mask.  We have gems, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, yarn, foam, fabric, buttons, and puffballs.  Students can use any or all of these items to create their mask’s features.  I love to see creative uses of materials, such as Shannon braiding the fabric to create her unicorn’s mane!

The masks are coming along wonderfully!  When we are finished, I will hot glue a jumbo popsicle stick onto the backs so students can hold their masks.

Inaya and Meg's papier-mache masks

Inaya and Meg’s papier-mache masks