Mosaic Aztec Mask Project

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This is another project I did with one of my 5th and 6th grade classes this year.  I tied it in with their study of the Aztec and Mayan cultures and the early explorers. This took two 2 hour class periods.


wood board
acrylic paint in yellow, orange, turquoise, white and black
watercolor paper
cardboard  (for the nose)

I had created a mask template (with eyes cut out) that each student traced around onto their board, then they attached a piece of cardboard we cut for a nose shape using tape. The inside of the mask was base coated black (except for the eyes and mouth), and the outside of the mask was base coated white. While that was drying, I had the students paint 1/4 sheets of watercolor paper with a med., dark, and light turquoise color streaking it on the paper instead of blending it in ( to make it look like real turquoise). When the paint was dry they cut these into small tile pieces. After the mask board was dry they added a border with a ruler and painted that in yellow, and the background orange. Next step was adding the mosaic pieces with some mod podge, being careful to leave the black showing thru on all sides of each piece. This was a time consuming process, but produced a very real mosaic look when finished. After painting the teeth and eyes in they went over the whole mask with the mod podge.  They each finished the piece with their own border design, and a Sharpie outline between the background and border. I forgot my camera that day and so I don't have any pictures of the student's work. Here is my sample:

You can find lots of pictures of a similar Aztec mask online.


  1. I found your blog while searching for art lesson ideas teaching students about artist Joan Miro. What a wonderful blog and I am excited to use your ideas with my preschool class as well as my own children. I too love art myself and it is so much fun to share that love with children. I look forward to reading new posts as well as reading past posts. I am a new follower.
    Take care and thanks for sharing your ideas,

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  3. Thanks so much Ashford. I hope you find some lessons you can use on this blog. I have tons more to publish so keep checking back. :)


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