Mardi Gras: Mask Up

Originating in France, the term Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday is a carnival traditionally held on Shrove Tuesday. The popular celebration is a Christian holiday and this year it falls on March 1, the day before Lent. 

Tied to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, the tradition dates back thousands of years to Europe. There are still debates between the states of Alabama and Louisiana as to where the first American Mardi Gras took place. But according to legend, French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville first introduced Mardi Gras to America in 1699. 

Today’s festivities last in various locations for weeks, and Orlando is no different. So, if you and your family plan to experience Mardi Gras, here’s your guide to creating the perfect mask!

  1. Determine what you want your mask to look like

There is an abundance of options when it comes to making your Mardi Gras mask. Do you prefer a beaded mask or a printable one? A wearable mask or a handheld one? Answering these questions will help you put together a list of materials needed to bring your idea to life.  

  1. Gather your materials

Now that you’ve selected the type of mask you’d like, it is time to gather your materials. Remember, materials can vary depending on the type of mask you are trying to make. So, here is a list of some of the most common materials you may need: 

  • Hot Glue or Glue
  • Plastic Mask  
  • Pile of Beads
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Crayons/Markers
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape
  • Feathers
  • Gems/Jewels
  • Glitter
  • Paint brushes/Foam Brush 
  • Stick or Square Wood Dowel 
  1. Start designing the mask 

Now it’s time to get creative. Here are a few different sets of instructions for designing a mask based on the type of mask you have decided to make.

Instructions for a beaded mask Courtesy of MomDot

  • Warm up your glue gun and follow a line of glue around your mask. 
  • Stick your beads together along the line of the glue
  • Make sure that you are pushing your beads together, leaving no space in between 

Instructions for a printable mask Courtesy of Kids Activities Blog

  • Color each piece of your mask using crayons or markers. This includes your decorations (feathers, gems etc.) 
  • Cut out each piece of the Mardi Gras printables.
  • Proceed to use glue or hot glue and a hot glue gun to decorate the mask with all the pieces you’ve colored.
  • Once you are finished decorating your mask, use a hole puncher to create a hole on each side of the mask.
  • Tie string through each hole and then you can tie the mask on to wear it.
  • If you don’t want to use string, you can glue the mask to a stick and carry it instead.

Instructions for a painted mask with glitter, jewels, and feathers Courtesy of Craft Project Ideas

  • Take your mask and cut the strings from it.
  • Use a paint brush or foam brush to apply the paint color of your choice to your mask. 
  • Let the mask dry
  • Line the outside shape of your mask with glitter glue and then set aside to dry.
  • Take your paint brush/ foam brush and paint your Square Wood Dowel
  • Let the Square Wood Dowel dry
  • Glue your jewels onto your mask in a desired pattern
  • Once dry, flip over the mask and glue on feathers at the top center 
  • Use duct tape or a hot glue gun to attach the Square Wood Dowel to the back of the mask

And just like that, you have the perfect Mardi Gras mask!

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Written by Alexis George

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