How to Make a Day of the Dead Mask

How to Make a Day of the Dead Mask

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrating lost loved ones and it’s celebrated around the same time as Halloween. Making a Day of the Dead mask is a great way to teach kids about the holiday while also passing a fun afternoon making cool crafts. The easiest solution, especially if you’re doing this with young children or as a classroom activity, is to print out skull templates. Then, just cut them out and decorate them however you’d like!

Part 1 of 2:
Creating the Base

Image titled Make a Day of the Dead Mask Step 3
1
Search for a Day of the Dead skull shape template online. You can find a lot of cool Day of the Dead mask templates online. If you have small children or are planning this as a classroom activity, this is a great option. Run a search for “Day of the Dead mask template” or “calavera template” and browse through the available options. [1] X Research source If you’re having trouble finding templates, check out the 4 printable options here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B95QypGcCj4ZT2x5NnBNb2VUd00/edit You can find another template option here: https://www.triedandtrueblog.com/triedandtrue/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/diadelosmuertos_printable_heart1.pdf You can also check your local craft store for wooden skull masks or Day of the Dead skull coloring pages.[2] X Research source
Image titled Make a Day of the Dead Mask Step 5
2
Print out the template on regular printer paper or cardstock. Regular white printer paper will work just fine for this, but if you want something sturdier, use construction paper or cardstock for your mask. You don’t need any colored ink for this—black ink works perfectly and creates an authentic look. [3] X Research source Don’t worry—you'll be decorating the mask later, so you can make it as colorful as you like at that point. Many templates have designs on the skull already, which makes it super easy to create an authentic-looking mask. You can choose a blank skull template and draw in your own designs if you prefer, though!
Image titled Make a Day of the Dead Mask Step 6
3
Cut around the perimeter of the skull to create the base of the mask. Printable templates have easy-to-follow lines that you or your child can easily cut out. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut out the skull template and toss the excess paper in the trash. [4] X Research source Cut out the eye holes if you want a mask you can see through. You don’t have to do this, but it can make the masks more fun and interactive!
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Part 2 of 2:
Adding Decorations

1
Draw in traditional Day of the Dead designs with a Sharpie, if desired. The easiest templates already have authentic details and designs included on the skull face. If you printed out a blank skull template, use a permanent black marker to draw on flowers, hearts, curlicue shapes, and other traditional Day of the Dead designs. [5] X Research source It can help to look at traditional designs online and mimic them if you aren’t sure what to draw on your skull!
2
Use markers or crayons to color in the designs any way you’d like. Day of the Dead skulls are traditionally quite colorful, so feel free to use any colors that you’d like to fill in the designs. Bright colors like orange, yellow, and aqua are common, but you can really go with any color palette you want. Encourage the kids to get creative! [6] X Research source
3
Add fun accents like glitter, sequins, or stick-on rhinestones, if desired. Feel free to customize your mask any way you’d like! Glitter glue is an easy, no-mess way to add some sparkle. Stick-on rhinestones and other cool stickers are great options. Gluing felt designs onto the face or a plastic flower at the temple can also look really cool. [7] X Research source Use hot glue to attach felt, sequins, or plastic flowers securely to the mask. If you’re working with small children, you might want to handle this part yourself. Try puffy paint if you want to add some texture to the mask.[8] X Research source
4
Glue the paper mask to the top of a wooden popsicle stick. Add a dab of hot glue to the end of a wooden popsicle stick or craft stick. Then, press the chin area of the mask carefully onto the glue to attach the wooden stick. Give the glue a few minutes to dry and hold up your Day of the Dead mask to your face! [9] X Research source School glue or super glue will also work.
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Part 1 of 2:
Creating the Base

Image titled Make a Day of the Dead Mask Step 3
1
Search for a Day of the Dead skull shape template online. You can find a lot of cool Day of the Dead mask templates online. If you have small children or are planning this as a classroom activity, this is a great option. Run a search for “Day of the Dead mask template” or “calavera template” and browse through the available options. [1] X Research source If you’re having trouble finding templates, check out the 4 printable options here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B95QypGcCj4ZT2x5NnBNb2VUd00/edit You can find another template option here: https://www.triedandtrueblog.com/triedandtrue/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/diadelosmuertos_printable_heart1.pdf You can also check your local craft store for wooden skull masks or Day of the Dead skull coloring pages.[2] X Research source
Image titled Make a Day of the Dead Mask Step 5
2
Print out the template on regular printer paper or cardstock. Regular white printer paper will work just fine for this, but if you want something sturdier, use construction paper or cardstock for your mask. You don’t need any colored ink for this—black ink works perfectly and creates an authentic look. [3] X Research source Don’t worry—you'll be decorating the mask later, so you can make it as colorful as you like at that point. Many templates have designs on the skull already, which makes it super easy to create an authentic-looking mask. You can choose a blank skull template and draw in your own designs if you prefer, though!
Image titled Make a Day of the Dead Mask Step 6
3
Cut around the perimeter of the skull to create the base of the mask. Printable templates have easy-to-follow lines that you or your child can easily cut out. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut out the skull template and toss the excess paper in the trash. [4] X Research source Cut out the eye holes if you want a mask you can see through. You don’t have to do this, but it can make the masks more fun and interactive!
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Part 2 of 2:
Adding Decorations

1
Draw in traditional Day of the Dead designs with a Sharpie, if desired. The easiest templates already have authentic details and designs included on the skull face. If you printed out a blank skull template, use a permanent black marker to draw on flowers, hearts, curlicue shapes, and other traditional Day of the Dead designs. [5] X Research source It can help to look at traditional designs online and mimic them if you aren’t sure what to draw on your skull!
2
Use markers or crayons to color in the designs any way you’d like. Day of the Dead skulls are traditionally quite colorful, so feel free to use any colors that you’d like to fill in the designs. Bright colors like orange, yellow, and aqua are common, but you can really go with any color palette you want. Encourage the kids to get creative! [6] X Research source
3
Add fun accents like glitter, sequins, or stick-on rhinestones, if desired. Feel free to customize your mask any way you’d like! Glitter glue is an easy, no-mess way to add some sparkle. Stick-on rhinestones and other cool stickers are great options. Gluing felt designs onto the face or a plastic flower at the temple can also look really cool. [7] X Research source Use hot glue to attach felt, sequins, or plastic flowers securely to the mask. If you’re working with small children, you might want to handle this part yourself. Try puffy paint if you want to add some texture to the mask.[8] X Research source
4
Glue the paper mask to the top of a wooden popsicle stick. Add a dab of hot glue to the end of a wooden popsicle stick or craft stick. Then, press the chin area of the mask carefully onto the glue to attach the wooden stick. Give the glue a few minutes to dry and hold up your Day of the Dead mask to your face! [9] X Research source School glue or super glue will also work.
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