Brenda Ponnay, author of the Secret Agent Josephine blog, is a regular contributor to The Shiksa in the Kitchen. Her craft blogs are kid and family friendly; each project will help children learn the deeper meaning of the Jewish holidays. Today’s craft: Make a Mask for Purim
Here is a homemade Purim mask craft for children using supplies from your local craft store. On Purim we dress up in costumes, have parties, and celebrate the story of Queen Esther. These masks are a fun way to get kids involved in the Purim fun. To learn more about the Purim holiday, click here.
This is a somewhat messy project, and it can get a little crazy with glitter glue, but it’s worth it. Your children will spend hours creating something unique and festive for the Purim holiday. You’ll want to make sure to set up your workspace in an area that you can easily clean up. Line your kitchen table with newspapers or paper towels… or, if the weather is nice, use a picnic table outside.
You will need the following items to complete this craft:
• Craft foam
• Elastic thread
• Craft needle with an eye big enough to thread the elastic thread
• Things to decorate your masks like colorful jewels, feathers, and pom poms (all can be found at your local craft store)
• Glitter glue, white craft glue, and/or a hot glue gun
• Paintbrushes (optional)
• Printable Mask Template
First, you will need to cut your mask out of the craft foam. I’ve created a template for you to make the cutting process easier. You can print it out and lay it over your craft foam to use as a pattern, or just go crazy with scissors and create your own unique shape. Go ahead and go big, Purim is the time to have fun and get silly! Just make sure to keep the eye holes roughly three inches apart. You can measure your own eye distance to be more precise, but I don’t recommend cutting the mask while it’s on your face. That could be dangerous!
Click here for the template: Printable Mask Template
Cutting the eye holes can be tricky. I’ve found the best way is to fold the mask over at the eye location and cut a small snip. Then fold the mask in the opposite direction and cut another slit (see picture below). This will give you a small “X” that marks the spot where the eye holes should go.
Unfold your mask, insert you scissors into that “X” and cut out the circle. You can trim any rough edges afterwards. If you are supervising young children in this craft, it would be best to have an adult on hand to take care of the cutting, since it can be somewhat awkward.
Now it’s time to decorate! Let your children go wild with glitter glue, jewels, feathers and pom poms.
Just remember that everything needs to dry before it can be worn. The thicker the glue, the longer it will take to dry. If you are in a time crunch, glue from a hot glue gun will dry much faster. Because of the heat and electricity factor, they aren’t good for young children, so make sure you have a responsible adult handling the hot glue if you choose to go that route.
Whatever you do, allow your masks plenty of time to dry… that way, you’ll avoid getting glue or glitter in your hair when you try them on.
While your kids are decorating, share the story of Purim with them. You can print it out here: The Story of Purim
Once everything has dried on your masks, it’s time to add your stretchy elastic thread so it can be worn. Thread your craft needle with about 10 inches of elastic thread (enough to go around your head), then push it gently through the mask, about a half inch from the outside edge of one eye hole. Pull it through and tie a knot on the outside of your mask. Poke another hole on the other side and tie a knot on there too, leaving you a loop of thread on the back side of your mask that you can slip over your head.
You may need to adjust the length of the thread for it to fit snugly on your head. If the knots near the eye holes are really visible and you don’t like the way they look, you can snip the excess thread close to the knot and cover it with a feather or a bobble.
When you’re done, have a Purim mask fashion show!
Better yet, act out the story of Purim in your own little Purim Spiel!
Now put on your mask and let’s get this party started! I want to play Esther. How about you?
For other Purim craft ideas, click here!