Cub Pack 230

Doing Our Best Since 1989
Nativity of Our Lord RCC,  Orchard Park NY

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Make a Paper Mache Mask


Bear Elective 10: Mask

In This elective the Cubs will build a form for a mask and paper mache it. They will then paint the mask and present their masks at a pack meeting.

Materials List

- Cardboard for base
- Baloon for mask form
- Newspaper for building up mask and for paper mache
- 12 or 16 ounce cups
- Elastic bands
- Trays to hold paper mache paste
- Paints and paint brushes
- Paste (see How to make paper mache paste below)

How to make paper mache paste

Four Paste:
Mix one part flour with 5 parts water. Bring to a boil on the stovetop and simmer for 3 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of salt to help prevent mold. You will have consistency like thick glue. Let cool and pour into a plastic left-over container. (you will need to refrigerate in-between use)

Liquid Starch:
Faultless Liquid Starch, Concentrated, is a good substitute and can be purchased at most supermarkets.


Follow these instructions to build a bear mask.

1) Make a work base:

In a 16x16 inch piece of cardboard draw an 8 inch circle just above the center line of the cardboard. Then extend the bottom edge of the circle about an inch to make an oval. Cut out the oval shape. Cover the top side of the work base with masking tape. This will stop the papermache from sticking to the base.

2) Make the mask form:

Blow up a baloon to be about 2.5 times the size of the hole in the cardboard. Position the baloon in the hole so about 1/3 of the balloon pokes through the hole to about 3 inches above the cardboard. Position that high point above the center line of the cardboard. Tape the baloon in place.

3) Make the nose form:

Tape a 12 or 16 oz cup to the balloon so the rim of the cup aligns at the center point of the cardboard and the vertical center of the balloon.

4) Make the ear forms:

Tightly roll one sheet of newsprint along the long side. Twist the rolled paper to give it body. Cut two sections of twists about 10 inches long. Bend the twists into "C" shapes and tape to the ballon so the y point forward and to the sides. Align the ears so the top edge aligns with the top of the cardboard hole.

5) Side view of step 3 and 4:

Note position of the nose and ear forms. Note how the ears form does not touch the cardboard base.

6) Make the eyebrow form:

Tightly roll one sheet of newsprint along the long side. Twist the rolled paper to give it body. Cut two sections of twists about 20 inches long. Bend the twist to make a "V" with a flat bottom and curved tops. Position the eyebrow so the bottom rests on the cup and the tops rest near the lower edge of the ears.

7) Side view of step 6:

Note how the eyebrow is only resting on the top of the cup. This will form the top edge of the bear cubs nose and the eyebrow as well. The paper mache will drape from this form to the cup and balloon.

8) Make the mold release:

Carefully cover the forms and ballon with masking tape. This will help to hold the forms in place and act as a mold release after the paper mache dries.

9) Apply paper mache:

Tear newspaper into 6 to 8 inch strips. Put one layer of strips on and let dry. Overlap the base about an inch to give the mask a boarder for trimming. If using the flour and water paste, store the paste in the refridgerator overnight. Put a second layer of paper mache on paying attention to alternate the direction of the strips. Put a third layer of mache using smaller 2 or 3 inch pieces to give the mask strength (The third layer may not be needed if the first two layers were applied heavily. Three thin layers is better than one or two thick layers.)

10) Trim and edge the mask and paint:

After the final coat of paper mache dries carefully remove the mask from the forms. Trim the edge of the mask and cut eye holes. The trimmed edges might be be sharp and may unravel so you may need one last cover of paper mache to bind the edges. Add holes to attach a sting and paint the mask. Maybe trim the mask with some uneaven edges to simulate fuzziness. Try to paint the mask to simulate fur... darker in the ears and under the brow, lighter on top of the ears, head and brow.


   Copyright Pack 230, a Charter of Nativity of Our Lord RC Church Orchard Park NY, and member of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council #380 of the Boy Scouts of America.
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