Perhaps the best part about Halloween — for children and adults alike — is the freedom to mask yourself and let another persona take over. To help celebrate the spirit of dressing up, whether it's for a Halloween costume or for year-round playtime, we've created these whimsical, woodland animal masks using wood veneer paper.
The tradition of mask-wearing originates back centuries, when the Celts wore scary masks during the festival of Samhain as a way of sheltering their own identities to ward off evil spirits. During the Italian Renaissance, masks were lavishly beautiful and worn by the upper class during extravagant masquerade balls to protect their identities during an evening of revelry, debauchery and self-indulgence. Today, masks can be spooky or sweet, showy or simple, storebought or handmade.
This wood paper version is deceptively simple to make and only requires a few basic supplies. Paper is usually thought of as strictly flat, but with a few strategic cuts and some glue, you can make endless varieties of three-dimensional masks. Plus, the natural, warm brown and tan tones are perfect for recreating the fur and feathers of woodland creatures. Working with the wood veneer paper is similar to working with traditional paper. However, it's important to be mindful of the grain of the wood, as the paper can crack when handled roughly. We've included templates to make an owl, fox, or bear. But feel free to make a one-of-a-kind mask that reflects your spirit animal.
Using the template provided, cut out the shapes for your mask. Here, we are making the owl mask. While you can use just one shade of wood, we love using two or three for added interest, depth and detail. Punch holes where marked.
Following the dotted line on the templates, lightly score the masks with your craft knife. The middle line will be scored on the front side, the other two lines will be scored on the back.
Next, assemble your mask. Use hot glue to attach the front piece to the back layer, allowing the nose to fold where you have scored it. Use the glue pen to attach the smaller pieces, such as the eye details.
Lastly, add a length of elastic cord to your masks, tying knots at each end.
Become a fox!
Or a wise owl!