How to Make a Giraffe Mask – Guest Post

paper mache giraffe mask[Edit – this video is no longer available on YouTube, so we can’t view it. However, if you like Giraffes, you can see my pattern for a Giraffe Sculpture here.  It isn’t a mask, though. If you’re looking for Lion King masks, click here (no giraffe mask, yet, though…).]

We have a treat today – a video guest post with detailed instructions for how to make your own giraffe mask. Kevin Doheny created the video, and graciously agreed to let me post it here.

Kevin’s a great teacher, so the video is very detailed – it shows exactly how the armature was built, how he made sure the mask would fit, how he added the paper mache, how it was painted – plus much more. Just watching the video made me want to make a giraffe mask for myself.

If you’re looking for a paper mache project and you love giraffes, be sure to check out my new giraffe head pattern for a fast, easy project that looks fantastic when it’s done.

OK, I’ll stop talking and let Kevin take over –

©2015 Kevin Doheny

I made this mask as part of an upcoming Lion King Jr. production.  It is made using various paper maché techniques, including techniques found here on Jonni’s site.

The production is going to be next year, for my daughter’s middle school.  She has been involved in the school plays for the past couple of years and I have heavily volunteered designing and sewing costumes (another “hobby”).  We just did Sound of Music and had 205 costumes!!

The school hires the same (wonderful) professional costumier every year, but for next year she’s unavailable.  Since I’ve been volunteering with them for a couple years and they know my work, I was asked to take on the whole Lion King Experience myself!  So I made a couple of prototypes, and I met with the two drama/choir directors and showed them my stuff, and they hired me on the spot to do the show AND doubled the costume budget for me.  Pretty awesome!

I’m always glad to jump on any chance to unleash my creative side.  Over the years, I’ve done so many things like stained glass, making Renaissance costumes, masks for our garden, scrapbooking, and just about every crafty thing you can think of.  It’s going to take me months to do all these masks, and I’m looking forward to every minute of it!

I picked up the clay and plaster wrap today for my next project (never used that before so I’m excited to try!!).  I found double coupons online, so I dragged my husband along to the art supply store and made him go through the line so I could get double the supplies (with double coupons!).  Now there’s a good tip for your readers, making your spouse double down on the coupons with you!  LOL

Feel free to comment with any questions.

18 thoughts on “How to Make a Giraffe Mask – Guest Post”

    • Terrific artwork for Lion King Jr.! I am the costumer for the same production which our small charter school is putting on in May, and your videos are a TON of help! What I’d like to know is how do you attach the head masks to the head? Are you using baseball caps or hard hats, or maybe the adjustable hard hat inserts? The light weight and security of the head masks is mandatory because of the choreography. Just a side note…on Simba’s mask you are using “kukui” (koo-koo-e) nuts. These trees are very prevalent in Hawaii and other tropical areas. The nut is edible, but in limited amount – mostly medicinal. Thank you for your help.

  1. Kevin, that is a great tutorial. I hope as you make the other masks for the play, you will make other tutorials also.

  2. Very nice video, very complete and a fabulous outcome! This brought back fond memories for me as I also was in charge of costuming for a Lion King production many years ago- for middle school as well. We made a ton of masks, props, costumes out of paper mache but we did not have the benefit of Jonni’s paper mache clays. I think yours will hold up better because the smooth clay really does dry super hard… middle school kids are hard on costumes! We had a bunch of different colored duct tapes on hand for “emergencies”. We even had a large elephant made from paper mache (pvc and chicken wire as armature) that 4 students fit into and rolled across the stage. Your masks will have a big “WOW” factor. I hope you will show us a picture or two of the students in their costumes. Good luck!

    • Thanks Eileen. Yes, I have been so inspired and helped by Jonni’s blog and videos. She is the undisputed queen of paper mache!! I will be doing more videos and pictures of the costumes/masks in progress and then for the show next year.


Leave a Comment

Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.

Heads up! You are attempting to upload a file that's too large. Please try a smaller file smaller than 250KB.

Note that images greater than 250KB will not be uploaded.