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Celebrate Mardi Gras

January 3, 2011
Mask made with feathers.

Feather mask ready for a night of fun during Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated on the Tuesday prior to the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras translated means Fat Tuesday. Many people also enjoy the Polish sweet pastry, paczki on Fat Tuesday (in English, the common pronunciation is ponch-kee). Get in the celebration by making masks and downing festive attire.

Make a Mardi Gras Mask

Materials:

  • paper mâché mixture or liquid starch
  • balloon
  • tissue paper (optional)
  • ribbon
  • paint
  • feathers, beads, etc.
  1. Have your child draw out a design that they would like to create while you blow up a balloon and gather the supplies to make paper mâché.
  2. Your child will cover the entire balloon with paper mâché to create 2 masks. They’ll need to put several layers to make the mask sculpture sturdy, drying it between each layer.
  3. You can also do the last layer of paper mache with tissue paper.  Just put some paper mache on the area then touch the tissue paper to it.  It sticks nicely but don’t try to move it for it will tear.  Then wipe the rest of the tissue with a hand covered in paper mache.   It looks great, makes a professional look and requires no paint.  You may want to paint with a white glue wash (equal parts glue and water mixed) to cover any parts that aren’t stuck down.
  4. When it is dry, cut the paper mâché in half lengthwise with a razor. You will need to trim the cut edge so it will fit your child’s head and neck. Cut eye holes and a hole on both sides of the mask that will line up with the temples to string a ribbon through. You want the ribbon to lay on top of their ears to help support the mask. After wearing it, you can use the ribbon to hang the mask on the wall.
  5. After you trim the edge and make the eye holes, apply a layer of paper mâché so the cut edge won’t be scratchy.
  6. When the paper mâché is completely dry, it’s time to paint.
  7. When your child is finished painting, they can add details like feathers, beads and ribbon and you can hot glue them on.

Check out the Mardi Gras books in our Amazon store to continue the fun and help your child understand the tradition.

A variety of masks.

An assortment of masks made with festive feathers!

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