Also available individually for $12 each –
How to make your lion masks:
Print the pattern, stick it to cardboard, and cut out the pieces.
Tape the pieces together and add foam balls for eyes.
Add one layer of strong, fast-drying paper mache.
Bring your mask to life with acrylic paint (and maybe a mane)
My downloadable PDF Patterns come with full instructions.
There’s no waiting for your pattern to arrive, and no shipping costs, so you can start on your project right away.
Click here if you’d like to know more about how the patterns are delivered. And remember – if you have any problems downloading your files or putting your pattern together, just let me know. I’m always happy to help. 😀
Approximate finished size of the adult lions. Simba, Mufasa and Scar:
About 10 inches (25.4 cm) high, 10.5 inches (20.32 cm) wide and 12 inches (30.48 cm) deep, not including the raffia mane.
The lioness and lion cub patterns are slightly smaller.
All of the patterns can be customized to fit the actors who will be wearing them.
Watch the videos below to learn more about the Lion King headdress mask patterns:
To make your lion masks you’ll need:
- Copy paper or full-sheet labels
- Glue stick if using copy paper for pattern (the full-sheet labels are much easier to use)
- Cardboard from 5 standard-sized cereal boxes for each mask*
- Sharp scissors for cutting cardboard
- Tape, both clear plastic tape and masking tape
- 1 ½” (4 cm) Styrofoam ball, cut in half
- Aluminum foil
- Glue gun
Paper strips and paste (or use Titebond III wood glue, like I did – recommended, see video)
- Spray primer – black for the back, and white or tan for the front
- Acrylic paint and matte varnish
- Golden brand Soft Gel Gloss and black tissue paper for the eyes (optional – see the video above)
- Black felt (optional but recommended). I had to buy a package of assorted colors, but one sh1eet of 8” x 11” felt is enough for several headdress masks.
- Raffia “Tiki Bar Fringe,” for manes. (One 24’ long skirt is enough for several adult male lion masks).
* If purchasing cardboard in place of the cereal boxes, it will be sold as “light chipboard.” The thickness will be about 24pt or 1/41 of an inch. Medium or heavy chipboard is too stiff to bend well.
More Lion King Headdress Patterns:
Have you made a Lion King mask that you’d like to show off?
Upload a photo or two on the Daily Sculptors Page. Our community would love to see how it comes out. 🙂
Some of the masks that have been made with patterns from the Lion King collection:
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Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?
If you have a question about putting your pattern together or painting it, leave a comment below or on the Daily Sculptors page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might ideas for you, too — we have a very supportive community on this site.
Downloading your files: To see exactly how the downloading process should work, click here. If your pattern doesn’t download correctly and you can’t see the solution on that page, let me know right away so I can help. This is a one-person business, but I check my inbox regularly and will respond as fast as I can.
48 thoughts on “Lion Headdress Mask Patterns for the Lion King Jr. Play”
I am so in love with your lion masks! I have a lion king display in my room and I want to make the masks to add to it. Problem: I don’t have a printer and with the quarantine, I can’t get to the library to use theirs. Is it possible for you to mail the pattern? Response would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Kristie. We’re in almost the same situation, I’m afraid. I have a printer, but it’s almost out of ink. They have my brand at Walmart, but I’m trying to avoid the big stores. Do you have a neighbor who might be able to print the patterns for you?
We started our mask yesterday and are ready to paper mache today. My daughter and I are so excited! Thank you so much for this wonderful pattern. We so have one quick question. Why are the eyes a different color than the rest of the mask when you do the paper mache?
Hi Sonia. I’m glad you and your daughter are having fun. 🙂
I used newspaper for the eyes, because it’s lighter than the brown paper. That makes it a little easier to make it smooth over the eyes.
I’m currently making a 200 percent version of your elephant for my sons Lion King play at school.
I also need to make him a Pumba costume. I’m wondering if you have any forms that would at least be a good starting place for Pumba the Warthog.
Thanks for your wonderful site and patterns.
Hi Lorin. I don’t have a Pumba mask pattern yet, but I hope to have one in the next month or so. I’m sure that’s too late for you. The only thing that’s somewhat related is the pig wall sculpture pattern. He doesn’t have tusks or bumps, and his snout is much shorter, so it would need a lot of changes to make him look like a warthog. And it wasn’t designed as a mask, so that’s another design problem.
We would all love to see how your elephant comes out.
Hi. Thank you for this art. It is amazing!
I want to buy some patterns for a play that I will present on April. I need to start working on the masks as soon as possible to have them ready, but I couldn’t find at the check out how much time it will get to arrive to Central Florida USA.
Can you please let me know?
Hi Sandra. The patterns are all available as soon as you order. You should see a window with the download links immediately, and you’ll also receive an email with the download link. Be sure to look in your spam folder if you don’t see the email in your inbox right away. Once you download the patterns to your device, you can print them and get started right away.
I hope this helps. Have fun making your masks. 🙂
I would like to use your templates for our school production of Lion King. They are amazing! Do you happen to do to tax-exempt sales for purposes of a grant? That is required for me to purchase with school funds or grant money I have received.
Hi Meghan. What state do you live in?
My husband and I are trying to make the Lion King masks for an upcoming production; however, our first attempt has come out terribly mishapen which I suspect has to do with the way we taped the darts tohether. Do you just tape them side by side or do you overlap a bit to create 3 dimension? I wish there was a video showinghow to bend and tae those darts together. Any hints?
Hi Lori. I bend the cardboard so that the edges of the darts come together, and then tape them side by side. No overlapping. I do show the darts in my video about the pig mask, starting at 4:38.
If that doesn’t explain it, send me an email with a photo of your lion, so I can see how to help you better.
Jonni, my daughter’s high school will be doing the Lion King, Jr. for their High School Musical in March of 2020. I am in awww of your designs and can’t wait to try them. Praying I can make them look half as amazing as you have. I am so thankful I found you on the internet. These will make our production amazing. Can you please tell me how many sheets of the full sheet labels you use to make one of the designs? I am going to order them and wanted to know how many sheets I would need per lioness. Also, in regards to the paper strips, do you just tear pieces of brown paper? Thank you again. I can’t wait to get started!
Hi Misti. You’ll need 8 full-sheet labels and 8 pieces of lightweight cardboard (like the kind they use to make cereal boxes), for the lioness pattern. All of the lion patterns use about the same amount.
And yes, I just tear pieces of brown paper when I use the wood glue method. I always have the brown paper that’s used inside boxes from amazon.com, but you could use brown paper bag paper, too.
I hope you have a lot of fun making your masks. 🙂
Thank you so much for your fast response. I am also wondering, how do you place the aluminum foil for the ears and the nostrils?
Hi Misti. The instructions that come with the pattern have photos that show you where the foil goes. We use foil around the inside of the eyes, inside the nostrils and around the ears. You can use hot glue to attach the foil, or just use masking tape. You’ll need to cover the foil with masking tape anyway, because paper mache won’t stick to foil.
Hello- I am tackling making masks for our fall musical of “The Lion King”. These are GREAT and I am super excited to get going. Do you have suggestions how to get the lion and the elephant to be “helmet” style like the lions? I would be interested in whatever advice you might have to finish those off so kids can wear them on their heads as well. If the kids agree to The Lion King, I will be ordering the patterns.
Hi Sarah. The lions already have the helmet attached, so you were probably referring to the giraffe and elephant. I didn’t design those sculptures to be used as masks, but quite a few people have modified the patterns to work for the play. Most people use a bike helmet under the giraffe, and just tape the bottom of the neck to the top of the helmet. That’s a great idea, because the height of the giraffe will tend to cause it to tip forward or backward, and the bike helmet would prevent that from happening.
I don’t actually know how people are converting the elephant head, but I know some people have done it. The easiest way to do it would be to attach a stick to the flat back of the head, so the actor could hold the head in front of him or her.
Good luck with your project!
Hello! Two questions – Are the hyena mask patterns now include the caps for the kids to wear? Also in your video you mention using brown paper with the titebond – can you elaborate on what type of paper to use? Is it kraft paper or something else? Thanks so much!
Hi Melinda. The hyena mask pattern was the very first mask pattern I ever made – and it does not include the cap pattern. I hope to redesign that mask in the next few months, but I probably won’t have it done before you need it. We do have a guest post on the site that could help. Kevin shows us how to attach a mask to a ball cap so it can be worn as a headdress.
Hi there is there a video showing how to paint the mask . Using all the color you have mention on the list.
Hi Phurba. I didn’t make a video of the painting. I painted the faces with the tawny golden color, then brushed the white over the muzzle. There wasn’t much more to it than that, because the masks will be seen from a distance. There is also a white line around the eyes, which helps them stand out.
I used the paper mache recipe in your book Make Animal Sculptures but the surface came out quite coarse. Do you have any suggestions? I want to be able to paint my sculptures so I’d like to get a smoother texture. Thank you for any ideas.
Hi Eileen. The easiest way to make the surface of your mask smooth is shown in this video. Be sure to use a rubber spatula, to get the smoothest surface and the lightest coat.
Oh, yes. I just knew I could never find a rubber spatula in Delta, but they were everywhere. And they work great. Just saying.
Yes, I’ve used Jonni’s method she described and it works well.
On 99.9% of my projects, I use a first layer of pm clay. For the second layer, I use the smooth air dry clay. You can get a very smooth, almost porcelain-like finish using it. I use my finger dipped in water to get it smooth. (Keep a towel handy.) At times I use Jonni’s method of smoothing the surface even more. You might remember this tapir I made a while ago. If you’re more patient than I am, you can get a smoother surface.
Can’t wait to see what you’re up to.
Oh, this baby is da bomb! How cuuuuuute!
Continuing from my comment below… Here is the Giraffe…
So, we found Jonni back in October 2018 I think it was. My daughter’s class was setting out to do Lion King for her end of year show June 2019. We got the Lion, elephant, giraffe, and hyena. They worked great! We did paper mache for the giraffes, and used plaster strips for the others for toughness. Although I think in the end the paper mache strips would have done just as well and have been lighter. (Hindsight) Also, we did have to figure out how to get them to sit on the kid’s heads instead of as a face mask, but in the end we figured it out. Thankfully for the rest of you…she has now made these to wear on the head. Thank you Jonni for your easy to follow directions, your well planned patterns, and your excitement for the craft. Here is a look at what we made…
Shellee, you did a fantastic job on these masks, and I’m sure all the students (and teachers) at your daughter’s school are very proud of them. The expressions on those hyenas are especially spell-binding. Nicely done!
Jonni- great set of videos! I wish I had these tutorials and the mask patterns when I had to costume the lion king production years ago, it would have made life easier, we just had to come up with something on our own. Next you have to do the jungle book characters. Oh the possibilities are endless. I wonder if it would be good for you to offer a separate pattern on just the headpiece part that people could use their own creation for the face part and use your pattern so they could use it as a headpiece. I used old baseball caps on mine, it worked but had its limitations.
If people do not want to buy or mess with the dye, similar effects could be achieved with tea or coffee, dip the raffia just like you did with the dye. It works pretty well and is colorfast if you let it dry naturally outside then put it in the dryer to set the color in.
Really nice work on all those patterns, I am sure you will get a big response as that play is so popular. You provide a nice service for all those costume parents out there!
Thanks, Eileen. And yes, I hope this does help some of the brave souls who volunteer to make all the masks for their school’s play. What a huge challenge! I’m not sure how the cap section would work on it’s own, though. It needs a custom-designed back piece for every mask, so people would still need to do some engineering to get it all to work. But it’s certainly something to consider. Right now, I have to figure out how to install some new gutters all by myself. Shouldn’t be too hard …
And I’m going to get out my clay and sculpt a ‘portrait’ bust of a wart hog. I can’t wait to get started.
Here’s a photo of my giraffe acting silly!
Hi Francine. We really want to see that giraffe! But your photo needs to be less than 250 kb to upload to the comment section. If you don’t have an image editing program, you can use this free online photo resizer. Please try again – I’m already impressed, and I haven’t even seen it yet! 🙂
Your new work is fantastic as always! Enjoy this lovely summer!
As for me I’m using some of your tips to do concrete!
I actually made a 10 foot giraffe all concrete for the front of my house.
I want to thank you for all your devotion and great ideas that you put on the site!
Jonni, I love every single one of these. They are beautifully rendered. Excellent work, Madam! Can’t wait to see every ones’ interpretation of them. I try to keep up with the gorgeous, cute, whimsical art on UPM and always want to praise you and the other exceptional artists like Rex, Eileen (Come On Eileen), Susan Stelmack, et al. for all of their meticulous work and incredible sculptures/paintings etc., but usually don’t have the energy. May hop over to “Daily” now though. Thank you, Jonni, for your amazing sculpts and ALL that you do.
Mr. Shelbot, it’s great to hear from you. And with such kind words, too. Thanks so much for dropping by.
I love them. You have taken the next step in greatness! It’s like Herman Melville writing about men sailing around in ships and then finally writing “Moby Dick!” (Does that make sense to anyone?)
How do we get word out to schools doing the Lion King or someone who would like a nice set of lions prowling around?
Hi Rex – I love that question! The best way for teachers to find this page is for everyone to share it on Pinterest or Facebook or wherever. That makes Google think more people should see this page when they look for Lion King mask patterns. Speaking of sharing – I totally forgot to do that myself! I’m a total dud when it comes to social media. I’ll do it now.
And thanks, Rex, for your kind words about the patterns, too. That means a lot to me. 🙂