Grrrreat Homemade Animal Fancy Dress Masks

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If you and the kids are struggling for ideas on what to make, why not try making one of these animal fancy dress masks for kids?

Whether you want to play with them afterwards or you're just looking to get the arts and crafts bit out - these ideas are bound to bring you hours of fun. Don't worry these are all lockdown-friendly ideas, as they use minimal arts resources and materials - just bring your imaginations and allocate one afternoon! From the classic DIY paper plate masks, to free printable masks, to more intricate masks for the older, more creative kids - we've got it covered.

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Owl masks

Bear masks:

Try making bear masks - perfect to use for storytime or role-playing for popular stories such as The Three Little Bears. Create a family of bears for your family to play with - by giving each bear mask a unique character by decorating with coloured paper to create hats, bows, spectacles, moustaches, or something else! Colour them brown to make brown bears, white for polar bears, or black to be black bears. Try one of these free printable bear masks for younger children who aren't yet confident in drawing!

Paper plate lion mask:

Using a paper plate for the face you can start to create your King of the jungle. If you don't have paper plates, don't worry about it! Just use a regular plate draw around it onto a piece of cardboard or thick paper (old cereal boxes work great!) or use a margarine/ice cream container lid. Then to turn it into a mask, cut holes for the eyes and attach a lolly stick or elastic band to hold it in place.

Foam animal masks:

If you happen to have some soft craft foam lying around during lockdown then this a great crafting material for kids to make animal masks with - as they love to use scissors (under supervision of course), and there’s no danger of paper cuts. If you don't already have some - perhaps consider buying some online to get delivered. Get little ones started by cutting a few simply shaped animal heads which they can then decorate with black stripes for a zebra or spots for a leopard. An elastic strap can be attached and then they're ready to be worn. The foam makes very comfortable masks for kids - ready for a day of playing around in the character of the animal that they have made, along with their siblings.

Children making masks

Fox leaf masks:

These are great fun to make because they involve taking a walk into the garden or your local woods to find some leaves beforehand - and it's free! The stem of the leaf provides the method in which you can hold it up. Orange, red and white pens are now all you need to make your fox face. It is best to prepare for this activity in advance as you will need to place the leaves between the pages of a book with a few more heavy books on top for a few days to flatten them. Once your leaf is flattened and dried out you, simply cut out some eyes then draw on the nose and mouth and any other detail that you wish to make your fox come alive! If the leaf is quite flimsy, consider adding some paper to it with glue to strengthen!

Pet masks:

Do your family have pets? Then why not print out pictures of their faces onto paper and decorate them to turn into masks? Or, combine this idea with the paper plate idea and encourage kids to draw their pets onto paper plates. Kids will find it a lot of fun pretending to be the pets all day - and interacting with the pets themselves. Use whatever materials you have lying around to make this mask idea - just get out all of your DIY crafting bits and let the kids' imaginations take over. It should be easy to copy with the image in the background to stick things onto!

Paper mâché wolf mask:

Take a look at this amazing paper mâché wolf masks tutorial from YouTube! The video is just 18 minutes long and comes with all the information you need to make your very own! It also includes a free printable template in the description below. The result is really quite impressive and will definitely be one to put on the wall! This would be perfect for budding artists to get involved with as it would suit the perfectionist-type more than those just looking to collage lots of bits!

Magazine/newspaper collage mask:

This is a perfect way to recycle magazines and newspapers - whilst also being a free and creative way to have fun! Rip up your newspapers into strips of black and white areas to make a zebra, or make a black and white lion with words as the mane! You could get really creative with these ideas. Just make a card or cardboard base to stick the collage onto and you're away!

Cardboard layer masks:

We also found a really fun website with lots of free ideas on how to make a mask out of cardboard by layering it up. Take a look here for some inspiration on what to make - we just love the frog idea!! Once dried, these would be perfect for painting or sticking coloured paper on. Again, these ideas would suit slightly older kids, as the technique is slightly harder and it may take a little more concentration and patience.

Annabelle Beaumont
Passionate about recycling

Originally from Bournemouth, Annabelle spent her childhood travelling and exploring. She moved to Bahrain at the age of 13 and then to London at 19 where she attended Chelsea College of Arts, UAL. She loves all things creative - especially if they involve recycling materials, as this is what she is most passionate about. Aside from art, Annabelle also enjoys walking her dogs and cooking for friends and family.