How to make papercraft masks

With a PIXMA printer, some creative flair and Canon Creative Park, make colourful paper masks to wear to a fancy dress party or display as home decor.
Four people hold papercraft masks, created using Canon Creative Park and a PIXMA printer, up to their faces.

We're approaching Halloween, so why not set yourself a craft project to create a unique outfit to wear to a party? Whether you celebrate the holiday or simply want a fun craft activity and striking props to play with, these Canon Creative Park templates could be for you. Both adults and children can make papercraft masks using the many patterns available on Creative Park.

An affordable, fun and plastic-free alternative to traditional fancy dress masks, this is more than just an entertaining activity. It can act as a mindful crafting experience and a great way of spending time with friends or family.

Designer and illustrator Pippa Hiscock chose to make a range of masks using templates from Creative Park, including a harpy eagle, a bull, a fox and a cat. A handmade mask makes for the perfect addition to any fancy dress party and it's a great way of showing off your crafting skills. Find out how Pippa did it, and discover top tips for making your own unique papercraft masks.

You will need

• Canon Creative Park app or website
Canon Matte Photo Paper
Canon PIXMA printer, such as the Canon PIXMA TS5350a Series
• Scissors
• Glue stick/glue gun/glue dots/sticky tape
• Ruler

1. Select and print your templates

A hand holds a smartphone above a Canon PIXMA printer, a bull mask template from the Canon Creative Park app visible on the screen.

It's easy to search for templates on Canon Creative Park. If you're using the app, you can print directly to your Canon PIXMA printer, making the process quick and easy once you know what you want to create.

A print of a Canon Creative Park template emerges from a Canon PIXMA print

When printing your templates, make sure to read the instructions carefully so you make the mask in the correct order. However, if you do make a mistake that can't be undone, you can recycle your creation and try again.

When you're browsing through the templates on Canon Creative Park, remember to check the difficulty rating so you can gauge how long each project will take. Choose simpler ideas if children are getting involved.

Pippa printed her templates by connecting the Creative Park app to her Canon PIXMA printer via Wi-Fi. You can also do this by visiting the website through a browser.

As the printed templates landed in the tray, Pippa was impressed by the vivid colours from the PIXMA printer. "The colours came out lovely, bright and clean, making the decorations and masks really stand out," she says.

Pippa is a paper collage artist so is used to working with the medium. "I really love how much can be done with it," she says. "It is a craft that anyone can have a go at, and even if you cut the wrong bit or get glue in the wrong place, it can easily be recycled and you can start again. I had to do this when I punched a hole too close to the edge after I had finished making one of the masks!"

2. Fold, stick and assemble

A pair of hands cuts out a bull mask template printed via the Canon Creative Park app.

Some templates involve more cutting, folding and glueing. Make sure you leave enough time for the glue to set before you use or display your mask, and consider using a stronger glue if you're in a hurry or your design is more complex.

Assembled cat, fox, eagle and bull masks are placed on a table next to a cutting board and other folded pieces of paper.

Some of the templates on Canon Creative Park are for full-head coverage masks and some more traditional face-covering masks, so you can create the templates you feel most comfortable with. You could also use the masks as an educational tool for learning about culture and history, incorporating some of the other templates Creative Park has to offer, such as an Aztec mask or an Ecuadorian Tigua mask.

When all the pieces are cut out, it's time to score the lines before folding. Pippa recommends using a folding tool or a blunt butter knife to mark the lines as this makes them easier to shape when you begin glueing.

Once scored and folded, it's time to assemble. Pippa used a glue stick for this but you can use whatever you prefer, including glue dots or even a glue gun. Give your model time to dry before making any more additions.

For Pippa, the trickiest part of making the masks was holding things in place while the glue dried. "The eagle masks were the trickiest, especially when folding curved lines for the beak," she says. She used double-sided tape to support her creation while it dried, but you could also try propping it up with books to make sure it dries in the correct shape. If you really struggle with this aspect, perhaps try a fast-drying glue, such as a glue gun.

3. Final touches

An eagle mask is positioned upright as a piece of decor, with the edge of a cat mask seen displayed to the side.

As well as wearing your papercraft masks to a party or on Halloween, they can also be displayed on a shelf or as part of a tablescape for a themed dinner. You could add personalised touches and even trailing elements by attaching ribbons or feathers around the edge which would cover up any glue marks or dents.

Pippa holds a completed bull mask up to her face.

Making paper masks was a fun activity which Pippa and her friends enjoyed. They used them to take pictures and bring an added level of celebration to the gathering.

Once the glue is dry, your masks are ready. Now is the time to personalise your creation, such as painting on a pattern or adding glitter. It's a great way of making your handmade masks unique. "I didn't personalise the masks as they were so vibrant and colourful already, but I think a bit of glitter glue to highlight some of the patterns would have looked really good," says Pippa.

You could also attach a wooden skewer or paper straw to your finished mask to give it a handle, or a bit of string or elastic to the back to make it easier to wear. The templates come with a section to punch a hole to thread string through for this reason.

"Hand-making the decorations means they can be much more personal," says Pippa. "It also adds a bit of excitement in the build-up to the event, even getting the guests involved before the day so that everyone feels more connected and involved."

Whether it's for a fancy dress party, a Halloween celebration, or a child's birthday, there is a whole range of mask templates of varying difficulties available on Canon Creative Park. Give making papercraft masks a go and let your creativity run wild.

Written by Tamzin Wilks

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