Every year we make a mask for carnival in my classes. I usually use the same base template and vary the way we decorate it. This year is a paint and glitter affair with some fancy paper “feathers”, craft feathers and streamers.
- Thick card
- Paints (acrylic or tempera) & brushes
- Coloured card
- Thin elastic
- Scissors, glue, sticky tape
- Materials for decorating:
- Scraps of old wrapping paper
- Coloured stickers
- Sticky gems
- Craft feathers
- Paper streamers or curling ribbon
- Scraps of coloured tissue paper or aluminium foil
- Washi tape
How to make the Fancy Feather Carnival Mask:
1. Print the mask template (see link at bottom of post) onto white card – as thick as your printer can manage. Alternatively print onto normal paper, cut out and use this to trace onto an old cereal box or other thick but flexible card. This is really the better option, as it makes a sturdier mask, but it takes longer to prepare.
2. Paint the mask and while it’s still wet shake glitter onto it. The kids really enjoyed doing this! Let the mask dry (or use a hairdryer to speed things up).
3. To make the paper feathers draw large feather shapes onto coloured card. There are different feather shapes included in the Fancy Feathers Template file (link at bottom of post) if you don’t trust your drawing skills.
4. Before cutting out the feather shape, take strips of wrapping paper or washi tape and stick them on the card horizontally, vertically, diagonally or however you want!
5. Now cut out the feather. If your kids are very young they might have trouble with the fact that they can no longer see all the border to cut. Just retrace it, or have them try and make that connection as they cut. Some of my kids were able to do it, some needed the line re-drawn. Repeat to make two more feathers.
6. Decorate the paper feathers with whatever bright, pretty things you have to hand. Coloured stickers and sticky gems are always a winner, but if you can’t get hold of them you could stick on little balls of coloured tissue paper or aluminium foil.
7. Glue, tape or staple the paper feathers to the top of the mask. Add some craft feathers if you have them to spice it up.
8. Glue or tape some paper streamers and/or curling ribbon to each side of the mask.
9. Finally measure a length of elastic long enough to go around the child’s head, allowing a little extra. Tie a knot in each end of the elastic. Staple the elastic just above the knot to each side of the mask.
10. Put on your mask and enjoy your carnival!
Advice for small group classes:
Depending on the age, ability and size of your group you may have to adapt this craft in order to complete it in under an hour. The paper feathers took my kids the longest to make, so you may decide to limit it to just one nice big paper feather instead of three.
- Precut mask bases and eyeholes before class.
- Precut lengths of elastic beforehand (about 32cm should be OK) and tie a knot in one end of each. This will save time when measuring the length for each child.
- Definitely use a hairdryer to speed up drying time.
Make at least one paper feather step by step together, so the kids get the idea of how to do the rest.
- Pre-cut thin strips of wrapping paper and divide them among several plastic tubs or shoe box lids so they don’t get scattered everywhere.
- Instead of decorating with paper and stickers, kids can colour feathers provided in the Fancy Feathers template file.
- Wet-wipes are a must! Paint + glitter + little kids = very messy hands!
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