Paper Mache Holiday Projects Paper Mache Masks

How to Make a Simple Paper Mache Mask

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 3

Monica Franco sent us some excellent instructions for making a simple paper mache mask. Thanks, Monica, for submitting your guest post for our online Halloween Mask Party!

And now, here’s Monica:

I made a simple wearable mask by

1) cutting cardboard into the rough shape of a head

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 1

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 1

2) build up the facial features (use a mirror as a reference)

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 2

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 2

3) dip paper strips into a bowl of water and layer it on form

4) dip paper strips into flour and water paste and layer it on the water layer immediately

5) wait for both layers to dry

6) remove from form, cut eye holes and nostril holes ( your gonna need these)

7) add more layers of paste on the inside and out till its as strong as you want

8) decorate

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 3

Simple Paper Mache Mask, Step 3

Thanks, Monica!


About the author

Jonni Good

I'm a sculptor, author, gardener, and grandma. When I'm not catering to the needs of my obnoxious cat, I make videos, create stuff, and play around with paper mache. I'm also the author of several highly-rated books on paper mache. You'll find them in the sidebar, and on


  • Are the facial features mentioned in step two built up on top of the flat piece of cardboard that is cut out for step one? You layer them on top of the flat cardboard to build up the features?

    • Brian, I don’t know if Monica is still watching her post for comments, so I’ll jump in and try to answer your question for her. I’m sure she builds up all the shapes on top of the cardboard, using crumpled newspaper and tape. The cardboard shape helps to make sure the outside shape of the mask stays the way she wants it. Then the rounded shapes of the face are built up on top of it. You could also use a plastic mask form, if you have one. There are a lot of ways to make masks, and you can see a lot of different methods here.

  • Hi,

    I am trying to make some costume heads out of paper mache. I need the mask to go over the head. How would I do that? With a balloon? Or what? I want to get a base for the head then I can add the dimensions and details of the head afterwards with the paper mache clay.

    • I suppose if you get a really big balloon, it would work. I would probably try to make a base out of cardboard pieces taped together. Then you could try it on before adding the paper mache. If you didn’t want the cardboard to stay in the helmet, you could cover it with plastic before adding paper mache. By the way, you have very little time left, so do start soon. Paper mache takes time to dry.

  • Looooove the simplicity! This could be an easy base for pretty much anything that you could imagine! Thanks Monica, great idea! Would love to see the finished peice!

    Jonni I love Erika Takacs!! I love her sculpture “Fledgeling” it’s my favorite!

    • Thanks Jonni, I actually didn’t finish it yet. That was an experiment, and it went exactly the way I thought it would. I’ll post the finished mask when its done.

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