Paper Plate Mardi Gras Masks: a fun, easy and gorgeous Fat Tuesday craft for kids of all ages to make.
Mardi Gras is Tuesday, and I have the most fabulous Mardi Gras craft for your kids to make! The kids in my daycare made Mardi Gras masks out of paper plates the other day, and they look fantastic! This craft is a whole lot of fun, and great for preschoolers right through to tweens.
Believe it or not, this is the first Mardi Gras craft that we’ve ever made here in my home daycare. We don’t celebrate Mardi Gras in our neck of the woods, but I’ve always loved the festive colours and costumes associated with the holiday. I thought it would be fun for the kids to get in on a bit of the action in a crafty kind of way this year.
Before we began crafting, we gathered around the laptop to find out what Mardi Gras is all about. We learned that Mardi Gras, also known as Carnival, is french for “Fat Tuesday”. It’s also called Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday in some parts of the world. Aha! Pancake Tuesday. That’s what we call it here. The holiday signifies the last day of eating rich, fatty foods before fasting for Lent.
We looked at pictures of Mardi Gras celebrations on the internet, and the kids were enamoured by the purple, gold and green masks that we saw in every picture. We studied the decorations on the masks, and then dashed off to the craft room to see if we had what it would take to make some Mardi Gras masks of our own. Paint, check. Ribbons, check. Feathers, check. Jewels, check.
The hooligans rounded up all of the supplies, and got to work.
Just seeing the gorgeous paint colours in our paint pallets, and all of the decorative supplies on the table got me excited. I had a feeling these masks were going to be fantastic.
To make our paper plate Mardi Gras Masks, we used:
- paper plates
- acrylic craft paint (shades of green, purple and gold)
- craft feathers
- craft jewels and sequins
- curling ribbon
The hooligans began by cutting their paper plates in half, and snipping a design into the outer rim of the paper plate. Some made deep triangular cuts into their masks, some made a scalloped edge, and one hooligan chose not to cut the edge of her plate at all.
The next step was to paint the masks. The kids layered their plates with shades of purple, gold and green, and made extravagant designs with squiggles, dots and lines.
They dried their masks with a blast from the hair dryer, and then started in with the decorations.
Time to add a little bling!
The hooligans sifted through our stash of sparkly gems and sequins, and chose craft feathers to decorate their masks with. As they glued on their decorations, the excitement in the room grew. Our paper plates were starting to look like real Mardi Gras masks. So colourful and fancy!
Curling ribbon added a beautiful touch to all of the masks. With younger children, I curl the ribbon myself, but this is my school-age crew, and I figured they were old enough to learn how to curl their ribbon themselves.
I showed them how to hold the ribbon against the blade of their scissors, and pull the ribbon gently across the blade to get a nice, loose curl. It’s a tricky thing to learn. It took many attempts for them to get the mechanics right, but eventually, they all grasped how to do it.
We taped the ribbons to the back of the plates.
For the finishing touch, the girls taped a wooden chopstick to the back of their masks so they could hold them up like real masquerade masks.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
Remember how I said I had a feeling these masks were going to be fantastic?
They didn’t disappoint!
The girls were thrilled with the way their Mardi Gras craft turned out. There was lots of oohing and ahhing as they admired each others’ masks.
Normally, the hooligans set their finished crafts by the front door so they remember to take them home. Not today though. Carrying their masks, they headed off to the playroom to hold a pretend Mardi Gras celebration.
Now we just have to make some of this cool Mardi Gras jewellery by Crafts by Amanda!
For more easy, awesome paper plate crafts to make this Spring, check out:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.