Halloween traces its roots to Celtic pagan traditions. Originally called Samhain, it was a harvest festival to mark the start of winter. And it was thought that during this time the veil between life and death thinned and spirits walked amongst the living. Thus the reason for wearing homemade Halloween masks.
“The young men of the village would
put on grotesque masks … before travelling out, to avoid being recognized and ‘taken’ by any of the spirits,” reports True Highlands about Halloween celebrations on the Outer Hebrides. The tradition of wearing Halloween masks continues today and if you want to keep the old school spirit alive, make your own.
All it takes is a little patience and some crafting materials. The tradition of mask making has been around for eons and shows up in nearly every culture. And while every community has created different forms of mask making, the basics remain the same. Find some kind of material that you can use to build your mask, be sure to include eye holes, and then figure out a way to secure it on your head. With those steps taken care of, you can get creative building the actual character your mask is meant to portray. For kids, animal masks make great Halloween costumes. Those can be fashioned from cardboard, fabric, or even papier-mâché. Use these homemade Halloween mask instructions to get started.
1 Super Hero Mask
Whether your child wants to be a specific Superhero (Spider-Man or Super Man, perhaps) or just wants to create their own
superhero, you can get them well on their way following this homemade mask suggestion from 30 Minute Crafts. The idea is to use felt to build an eye mask that secures in the back with the same piece of fabric. It doesn’t get much easier than that. And once you have the basic shape figured out, your little one can get to work decorating their mask with all kinds of bits and bobs. Sequins? Why not? Puff paint? Sure. 2 Lego Face Mask
Want a mask that doubles as a personal safety device? It’s not a bad idea considering doctors are still encouraging children to mask up while trick-or-treating this year. You can easily make a great face mask that also looks like part of the costume if your
child is going as a Lego by using 30 Minute Crafts’ tutorial. By applying vinyl appliques to the front, you can create whatever Lego character face you’re after and yellow fabric will bring the whole look together. 3 Leopard Mask
Another great homemade Halloween mask idea, that would work especially well for a parent, is this masquerade ball mask tutorial. Basically you’re going to fashion using deco foil to
give your mask a super charged leopard print look following 30 Minute Crafts instructions. A little glue and some patience is really all you need, plus a plain masquerade mask in black. You can find these at craft stores. Give it an extra posh look by a attaching a handle so that you can take the mask down and reveal yourself to neighbors as you head out into the night for the evening’s festivities. 4 Fox Mask
Have a child that’s itching to be a fox for Halloween? Whether it’s Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox,
or Beatrix Potter’s Mr. Todd, by following A Beautiful Mess’s instructions and print out pattern, you can easily complete a convincing homemade Halloween mask for your child. You’ll need one large piece of felt fabric and felt scraps to make the eyes and nose. Plus some embroidery floss to secure them and add a charming homespun look. Then a bit of sewn on elastic secures the mask in place. 5 Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Masks
If you’re after a full family Halloween mask idea that also makes a big statement, get ready to blow up some
balloons to become Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This hilarious mask pattern from A Beautiful Mess, uses the old trick of papier-mache-ing balloons to form large solid orbs. These will fit on your family’s heads. Then by gluing cardboard ears and noses, painted, of course, and adding cut outs for eyes, you can wear the bear heads over your heads. Make a Goldilocks wig out of yellow yarn for your other child and you’ll be a walking storybook come Halloween. 7 Frankenstein Mask
Frankenstein has been a classic Halloween costume since author Mary Shelley published the eponymous book in 1818. So it makes sense if your kiddo wants to become the sapient creature.
You can DIY the Delia Creates look with this pseudo mask that acts more like a hat. Made from green and black felt, what you’re going to do is essentially make your child a Frankenstein helmet that secures with a button under their chin. Sew on bones on either side of the neck and voila, you have the world’s creepiest science experiment. 8 Ninja Mask
Ninjas make great Halloween costumes. First, they’re easy to put together. All you need is a solid color uniform, then some kind of face covering. And Delia Creates is here to show you how to make the latter. Basically, using a long piece of fabric,
you’ll make a balaclava that wraps around your kiddo’s and mouth then secures on the side using a button. It’s as easy as that. Match the headgear to their outfit and bam, you’ve got one tough ninja on the scene. 9 Crochet Cat Mask
Cats and Halloween go together like M&Ms and popcorn. They just make sense. And if your little kitty wants to prowl while trick-or-treating,
make them this crocheted cat mask. Delia Creates makes it easy by offering readers detailed instructions including exact information on stitches. Even better? The entire project only requires a hook, yarn needle, and yarn of your color choice. How’s that for an inexpensive homemade Halloween mask? 10 Magic Masks
If you feel more confident with glue than with needles or thread, you can still get in on the homemade Halloween masks scene too. Handmade Charlotte has a fun guide to making
a series of miscellaneous masks. You could call them fairy masks for masquerade masks, or whatever character your child can imagine, really. The real thrill of this homemade Halloween mask design is in getting to go hog wild on the decorations. The more sparkly additions, the better. 11 Paper Bag Owl Mask
A brown paper lunch bag can become anything if you have enough imagination. That’s according to Handmade Charlotte. She offers a great spin on the
ol’ paper bag by turning it into an owl mask. Just cut out a shape to fit your child’s face, use a Sharpie and a white pen or even White out to add some accents, then tie it around their head with elastic or yard. You can even use the same paper bag to make a headband of feathers made from either glued on faux feathers or leaves to complete the look. 12 Dia de los Muertos Masks
If your family celebrates Dia de los Muertos in addition to or in place of Halloween, then you might want to try your hand at these festive homemade Halloween masks as seen on Handmade Charlotte.
Called Calavera masks, the idea is that they represent a human skull. Colorful and playful, the best part about this mask idea is that it’s printable. So, provided you have a good printer and some strong paper, you can print this at home, cut it out, and outfit your family in no time. 13 Mouse Nose Mask
With little kids, sometimes a full Halloween mask can be too much. They might find it irritating or it could slip off all night. The truth is, of course, you don’t need a full face covering to become a character. You can simply cover a child’s nose with a mini mouse mask and transform them into the
cutest rodent on the block via this Handmade Charlotte idea. That’s the idea Handmade Charlotte poses here. Just decorate a little cone of paper with glued on whiskers and a black button nose, string it with elastic and there you go, a mouse mask. 14 Bunny Mask
Have some big construction paper? Have a stapler? Then in no time you’ve got yourself
a bunny mask from Handmade Charlotte’s blog. Rather than have a child wear a flat one-dimensional piece of paper over their face, you can add shape by cutting into it at the chin and stapling it to form around the child’s face. Staple or glue on big bunny ears to the top and color it in as you like and your hare will be hopping around the block in no time. 15 Paper Plate Lion Mask
Paper plates are a crafter’s dream. They can be used for so many things, but they’re especially ideal when it comes to
homemade Halloween masks from Handmade Charlotte. The ribbing on the trim makes for a natural main when it comes to creating a lion mask. In fact, your child can make their own following those lines to cut the hair into the shape. Color it all in using red and orange markers then cut the eyes and glue a popsicle stick to the bottom and King of Jungle motif. 16 Mummy Mask
Does our child want to be as spooky as possible? Tell them to go for the classic mummy look then blow their minds with this
two-in-one mummy-meets-Covid-safe mask from The House That Lars Built. What you’re going to do is doctor up a regular face mask with aged gauze to give it that fresh from the grave feel. Then to really sell the look, you’ll want to cover the masks regular straps with even more gauze so it looks like your child’s face is emerging from the bondages of death. 17 Giraffe Mask
Want a mask that won’t drive your child crazy? Use a large piece of construction paper, a la The House That Lars Built, to
create a mask that sits around a child’s face. That’s right, instead of eye holes, you let the face come through a big hole. Then the animal characteristics, in this case a giraffe or elephant ears or horns, pop up around your kid's smile. With a long attached handle, this is about as comfortable a mask as you can make. 18 Frog Mask
For a three dimensional mask that has a lot of personality, The House That Lars Built has a great tutorial. Using cardboard and a super handy
template, you can make a darling frog mask. What you’ll want to do after cutting out your cardboard shape, is use a glue gun to adhere stuffing to the face. Then cover that in a fabric of your choice to give it a puffy look that makes the character seem more real. To secure it in place, simply glue on some more fabric to tie the mask around the back of your child’s head. 19 Pumpkin Mask
Need an activity for an October birthday or just want an easy to produce homemade Halloween mask for trick-or-treating? Grab some more paper plates and make yourself
a pumpkin mask using This Grandma Is Fun’s instructions. You just need some markers, glue, scissors, and colored paper scraps to put this festive face together. Start by figuring out where the large eye holes should go. Then color the plate orange and use the bits of paper to glue on a silly smile. If you want to make it extra easy to use, glue on a popsicle stick to complete the project.
Ready to get crafty? Make this Halloween a homemade one with these great DIY mask ideas.