Friday, December 13, 2013

8th Grade Sugar Skull masks

Here is just a sample of the fun Sugar Skull masks we made.  The kids loved it!  I will post more examples and my lesson plan soon.
(done with a fine point Sharpie -- drawn in pencil first)

So here is what we started with.  Each student received a plastic mask form.  To prevent the paper mache from sticking to the mask (when we need to pull it off later), we put a sheet of foil on as our first "layer".

The green mixture in the cup is a simple mix of glue, water, and food coloring.  The reason for the color?  Just for fun.  It was near the Michigan/Michigan State game and I was showing my support for State.  Go Green!  ;)

Every other layer was newspaper, then torn brown paper towel.
They ended up with a total of 6 layers.
The brown paper towel was the last layer.

After the last layer was dry, students painted on a layer or two of white gesso.
This made for a nice "blank canvas".

In the photo above -- you can see the student has removed the paper mache mask from the plastic form.  

Now that they have their mask -- it's time to decorate!

Students were told that they had the choice to make a Sugar Skull design or another design idea.  The paint we used was works so much better than tempera.  Markers were also used.
Here are more student examples:


  1. Hi there!
    I would like to teach this lesson to my middle schoolers. I was wondering, did you use paper mache paste? Also, how long did it take for your masks to dry?
    Thanks so much,

  2. Where do you get the plastic mask/mold?

    1. Most craft stores carry the mask. I purchased the Jason mask after Halloween for little or nothing and used that as my form

  3. Can I possibly get a copy of the rubric you used here?

  4. Could I please have the rubric and your wrap up sheet? This is great!

  5. Could I please have a copy of your rubric and wrap up sheet as well?

    A brand new art teacher who needs some help:) Thanks!! love your lessons!

  6. Learning goals and success criteria or rubric, please?

  7. Learning goals and success criteria or rubric, please?

  8. Please send me a copy of your rubric. Thank you very much.

  9. Was also wondering if I might be able to have the rubric-

  10. These are great! About to try today =)

  11. Hey, Holly, just blogged about it. Gave you credit. Tagged the artist of the coloring book. Check it out when you get a chance. Thanks for sharing! Kim

  12. Would love a copy of the lesson and rubric. :) Please email it to Thank you!!

  13. Thank you for sharing such details!Rubric and lesson please?

  14. Did something like this before. I used regular paper mache' (Elmers) without the foil and it popped right off. I also tried it with a sturofoam head and it also worked. But, I like the trick with the foil when you use glue. Great examples. Yo can also get plastic face forms from art catalogs like Blick or Sax. They come in a variety of ethnicities too.

  15. Could I have the rubric too? My kids would love this!

  16. Love the Day of the Dead Masks! Where did you post your lesson plan you mentioned? I would love a copy of your rubric also! Thank you! Lisa B at

  17. I would love a copy of your rubric as well.

  18. Rubric and lesson plan, please? Email:

  19. I would love your lesson plan and rubric! Thanks!

  20. Hi-
    I too would love your lesson plan and rubric. If you don't mind emailing me:
    Thanks in advance!