African Masks

African masks were traditionally made for rituals and ceremonies. They are often carved from wood, painted with ochre or other natural colourings and decorated with leather, straw, animal hair, copper, shells or feathers.

Have fun making your own African masks with kids of any age.


  • Cereal box
  • Hessian (or other rough material)
  • PVA glue
  • Popsicle stick (or a natural stick)
  • Scissors
  • Brown paint and brush or roller
  • Scraps of fabric, cardboard, paper, feathers, buttons, leather etc
  • Hole punch
  • Raffia

African Masks Kids Craft

  • Cut a mask shape out of the cereal box.

  • Glue hessian (or other coarse fabric) onto the mask shape and trim.
  • Paint the mask with brown paint. We mixed green, orange and black paint together to get brown.

  • Leave to dry then cut out eyes – you could try round holes, rectangles or triangles.
  • Glue on scraps of fabric, cardboard, papers, feathers etc to decorate your mask. We cut triangles, rectangles and circles. We chose earthy tones (browns, reds, oranges) as well as some metallic scraps.

  • Use a hole punch to make holes around the top of the mask.
  • Tie lengths of raffia through the holes to make hair.

  • You could also try finger painting dots of white, red or orange paint to decorate.

  • Glue a popsicle stick onto the back of the mask to make a handle.

Your African mask is now ready to play with or hang up. Have fun!

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