How to Make Zoo Animal Masks in 5 Steps
This blog post will show you how to make zoo animal masks in 5 easy steps. You can use the same steps to create amazing foam masks in any design, without having to draw them freehand.
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I’ve recently started adding more structure into our day by planning out activities for the whole month. Lots of our activities this week have had a zoo theme. There’s nothing better than the real thing and we are planning a trip to the zoo very soon (they have just reopened after lockdown from Covid-19).
But in the meantime, I thought I’d make some foam masks for my little one to have a bit of fun with. He loves playing peek-a-boo so I hoped he would like these. Masks are great for developing infants’ communication and language skills. They can use them in addition to dressing up costumes or as part of role-play activities.
You can buy foam masks on Amazon but they’re so simple to make. You don’t even need to be great at drawing to make them. Just follow my 5 simple steps and you will be making fun foam masks in no time.
For this project you will need to use:
- Canva – a free online design software
- A printer
- A pencil
- A4 foam sheets
- PVA glue
- Elastic, string or ribbon to keep the masks in place
- Sharpies (optional) (link)
Step 1: Google Zoo Animal Masks
First, you will need to find an image of pre-made foam masks you like the look of by doing a Google image search.
Then you will need to right-click and save the image to your computer.
Step 2: Canva
Once you have done this, you will need to use Canva. It’s a free online design software that’s so easy to use. Once you have signed up, you can use it to create posters, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, invites and so much more!
Go to create a new project. Then click custom dimensions. I like to use the dimensions 29.7cm width and 21cm height. This is A4 size but in landscape. I find that this helps me with the rough sizing of the mask.
Remember the image we saved earlier? You will now need to upload it on Canva.
Once you have uploaded it, click onto it and it will appear on your page. You may have lots of masks in your image at first. So you will need to crop it so you can see just one animal picture. To do this, just use the lines around the edge of the image.
Finally, make the image bigger so that it is the rough size you want the mask. I hold an a4 sheet of paper to my face to try to gauge to rough size.
Step 3: Save and Print an Individual Zoo Animal Mask
Next, you will need to download and save the image as a PDF. After this, you will be able to print it out. It will probably print out blurry and that’s ok. We are only using it as a template.
Before you go on to the next step, check that the mask will be the correct size by holding the paper to your own or your little one’s face. If you find it’s too big or small, you can just go back to Canva and resize the image.
Step 4: Creating the Mask
In this part, we will deconstruct the image we have printed out to create the mask.
All you have to do is cut out the individual parts that make up the image. Start by cutting out the biggest shape first and draw around it on your foam sheet. Then repeat with the smaller shapes. So in this example, I cut around the whole of the lion’s face. Then I cut around the next biggest shape, which was the yellow part. After this, I concentrated on the smaller parts such as the nose and black part of the ears.
Once you have drawn around all of the pieces you need on your foam sheet, cut them out. Then glue them together.
- I find that it’s best to use a pencil to draw around the shapes on the foam sheets. It doesn’t show up as much on the finished mask. I also like to turn over the shapes where possible so the pencil markings are on the back.
- I like to cut out the eyes as this helps me to draw them in the correct place on the foam sheet.
- You may find that it’s easier to draw some parts instead. I drew on the black spots using a Sharpie because they were too small to cut out.
Step 5: Elastic
Wait for the glue to dry before using scissors to pierce holes either side of the mask. Then starting at the back of the mask, push a piece of elastic (or ribbon or string) through to the front and tie a knot in it so it can’t come back out again. Take the elastic round to the other side of the mask. Push it through the hole and tie a knot in it on the other side. The elastic should then be well attached to the back so that kids can easily slip the mask on and off their heads without having to tie it up each time.
If you don’t have elastic, you can use string or ribbon. But I would recommend having two separate pieces so that you can tie them at the back.
And that’s how to make zoo animal masks without having to draw them yourself. To make masks with other designs, all you need to do is complete the same process of cropping the image on Canva, and printing it out. Then cut out the individual pieces, draw around them on a foam sheet, and glue them together.
Don’t have foam sheets at home? You can use coloured card to make the masks instead. If you have older kids, you can also turn it into an activity where they have to glue the pieces on. Or you could use white card for the template and different pieces and have them decorate.
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram in any foam masks you make. I’d love to see them!