About  |  Contact

Mask Lesson Ideas

First lesson idea submitted by: Bunki Kramer

Lesson: Foil Tooled Embossed Masks


Bunki uses 36 gauge aluminum Tooling Foil. from Nasco (38 gauge metal is too flimsy) She cuts the 12" (30.5 cm) wide roll into 8x12" (20 x 30.5 cm) individual pieces with her paper cutter. She also cuts 1x12" (2.5 x 30.5 cm) strips for practice.

Students get 8 ½ x 11 (21.5 x 28 cm) sheet of Newsprint.. Fold it hot-dog or hamburger style... whichever way they want their face to go. They draw their face shape with pencil onto the folded sheet and cut it doubled so when they open it up, it's the total face shape. The can also cut out the eyes (paper folded still) and any other shapes to be symmetrical. Open it up and draw sections of design for ideas to be transferred later.

repoussee mask

Foil Tooled Carnival Masks

Students get a 1x12" (2.5 x 30.5 cm) strip of metal and a magazine. Discuss how the pencil pushes down and "indents" the metal which is what Repousse. is. Have them practice different patterns and designs on the strip. As they are half way through this exercise, discuss "counter Repousse" which is flipping it over on the back and going on the outside and inside of the previous lines drawn on the front causing a re-indenting or emphasizing the original indention. Try dots, strips, zigzags, etc. She has tried other utensils but most kids prefer the original pencil and Bunki does, too.


After practicing with the strip, take the newsprint mask design and tape it with two little pieces of Masking Tape. onto the metal. Trace the outline with the pressure of the pencil onto the metal (again with magazine. underneath). This metal is light enough to cut out easily with reg. Scissors..


Submitted by: Christina Salinas
Lesson: Masks around the world

The students start this project with a research paper on a cultural mask. The mask may be from their culture or from another culture. Part of the criteria when creating their mask, is to change it in some fashion personalizing the mask. They are not to make an exact replica of the cultural mask.


asian mask The students choose masks from all over the world, which makes it interesting and exciting to see what masks catches their attention.  Masks are given a modern look with metallic and pearlescent paints. Students begin with a draped slab process. Check her Artsonia site to see all of the wonderful ideas - be sure to check previous years.


Shown Asian style mask. See Lesson Plan

See Masks Around the World


Submitted by: Stacey Fisher, Lakeview Middle School,

Winter Garden, FL
Lesson: Plaster Cast Clay


Here are a few examples from this mask project. Stacey does this every year. Students take basic Plastic Face Forms. cover them with plastic wrap or foil and build up Moist Clay. in different ways. Then they cast the clay form in plaster cloth. Remove it from the clay and paint it with Acrylic Paint. or Tempera Paint.. Lesson takes about 2 weeks total with the set up and final assessment. It is always a popular project. Shown: 7th/8th grade masks. Note: save clay for this project and reuse from year to year. Keep it separate from your clay for ceramics as small particles of plaster embedded in clay can make clay projects explode when fired.


art mask art mask art mask art mask

Submitted by: Marcia Lavery
Lesson: Expressive Masks - Mixed media

Marcia's student use plaster gauze and plastic face molds. To get a smoother surface for painting, student layered the strip INSIDE the face mold. Apply at least two layers gently pressing into the features of the face. Cast faces were glued to cardboard (Canvas Panels. could also be used) and plaster strips applied around the edges. Board and mask form are gessoed. Once Gesso. is dry, students paint and collage to finish the relief sculpture creating a mood or emotion.


art maskFrom Marcia: MASKS FROM MANY CULTURES: if you're doing a lesson on masks, this is a "must-have" video. I show it every quarter to my 7th grade students. It's entertaining, informative and chock full of mask examples from many cultures. I have them divide a notebook paper in half. On one side, they make a list of "Materials that masks have been made from throughout history", and on the other side they make a list of "Purposes/Uses of Masks". This helps them to focus on the content of the movie and even my special needs kids can make these lists. I want them to see how different cultures use masks and they are amazed at the variety of materials masks can be made from.


When all the Repousse work is completed, her students use permanent colored Sharpie Fine Point Markers. for color. Each student is given a small square of wood and Dowel Rods.. Wooden squares are pre-drilled for the dowel. Students paint both with Tempera Paint. (Acrylic Paint. may also be used). When dry, add Velcro strips. to back of mask and to dowel to attach. Holes can be punched into metal easily to add ribbons, Beads., and Feather Assortment.. Students like to add as much as possible so they need a light hand guidance for decorating. Sometimes they can get carried away with features. Use your judgment. See Foil Tooled Mask Lesson Plan

art mask


Submitted by Bunki Kramer
Lesson: Mask-scapes

Cast mask by smoothing plaster strips to the inside
of the plastic mask form to give a smooth surface for painting. Glue mask to Canvas Panels. (heavy cardboard or Masonite). Paper Mache. edges around the mask - Gesso. - then paint with Acrylic Paint.


art mask


Submitted by Ann Gray
Lesson: Stuffed paper masks

For this lesson, students worked in groups. Large masks were made from craft roll paper and assorted papers. Each student made a small paper design and then a vote was made on which one to make large. The shape was cut from bulletin board paper and then other colors collaged on. A backing was cut and the two shapes glued together leaving an opening to stuff with newspapers. These made a sticking display hanging from the ceiling. African masks were motivation for this lesson.

foil mask

Submitted by Liz Menichino
Lesson: Foil Tooled Masks with collage frame

African masks served as motivation for this lesson. Students also looked at pattern in textiles.


See lesson plan for steps to make foil tooled masks. Students worked both sides of the foil.


Once masks were complete, they cut them out and mounted them on corrugated board for added textural interest. Collage frames were made using Construction Paper. and assorted texture papers, including animal patterns.


Foil Tooled Mask Lesson Plan

Submitted by Nan Hathaway
Lesson: Into to Masks - Mask drawing


art mask mask drawing


styrofoam mask

Submitted by: Ainsley Burdell
Carved Styrofoam heads/masks

These larger than life heads were carved from Styrofoam., sealed with Gesso. and painted with Acrylic Paint.. The artist is Giuliano Perez Reyes.

These were used for a theater performance.

Nan teaches in a Choice Based classroom setting. She introduces mask making with a mask drawing. For this lesson, she provides a collection of cardboard half face masks. Students pair up. One student poses with the mask of his or her choice while the other student does the portrait. Students can then switch positions. See Nan's Blog for more mask projects. Cardboard masks can be found a numerous sites online.


Related Lesson Plans on the Incredible Art Department



Add to or Comment on this Page:

privacy policy