Picasso Masks-art project

Kids love to do masks I have discovered, and the crazier the better. I came up with this lesson for one of my summer classes and have done it  at one of the schools I teach at too. It is a great mixed media project and combines alot of fun techniques.


paper mache masks-I get mine from Nasco
acrylic paints
Spectra deluxe bleeding tissue paper -Nasco
medium gauge craft wire
foam beads
old toothbrush
colored plastic beads
masking tape
mod podge

First I have the kids trace around the shape of the mask onto scratch paper then basecoat the whole mask with white paint. ( I have pre drilled 5 holes in the top of each mask)While the paint is drying , I have them  draw out what shapes they want on their mask, explaining that one side will be painted and one side will be done with tissue paper.

When the basecoat is dry they draw a line down the middle of their masks with pencil and draw the shapes on the side they will paint. Then they start applying tissue pieces they have torn (on the other side of the mask) with the mod podge layering under and over each piece and overlapping a little. Once they have finished that side they work on painting the shapes they have drawn on the other side.  I use a bright color palette-aqua, yellow, red, orange and green to coordinate with the tissue colors. When it is all dry they will outline their painted shapes in the Sharpie, and draw shapes on top of the tissue paper.They will use a brush to make a black strip over their center pencil line.

 Then they use 5 precut wire pieces to string their foam and plastic beads on twisting the top, and threading it thru the holes (twisting the wire on the back of the mask to hold them. I put  one piece of masking tape over all the twisted ends on the back of the mask to help them stand upright.

Then we cover the top (where the beads are) with a cloth or paper and splatter the whole mask with watered down black paint using an old toothbrush and stylis. The kids love this project! 


  1. Did you split this over two classes? How long did it take for this project?


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