Jake's Journey in Art Mask Making 101: Phineas Mask and African Art Mask for Mardi Gras

How to make a Phineas Mask for Mardi Gras or Halloween Costume. Tip: It starts with a birthday party hat.

This latest in a series of Jake's Journey homeschool projects teaches the art of Mask Making and formal balance. We included a tutorial to make an African Art Pende Mask and a Phineas mask which is a little more fun for kids. You might also enjoy this Mardi Gras Bird Mask. Enjoy!

How to Make a Phineas Costume Mask Art Project
How to make a Phineas Mask 
for Mardi Gras, Halloween, or a Birthday Party Hat.

You need a cardboard birthday party hat, a cereal box, egg carton, gift bag, and construction paper. First, draw Phineas' hair (think reindeer antler.) Cut two sections, glue  a red gift bag (as pictured) or construction paper pattern onto the cardboard, let dry, and cut out. Cut a 2" slit in the center of the base of each hair piece, and slide them into each other. Next, cut about 1" off the top of the party hat. 

Draw pattern as pictured on paper folded in half.

Pattern for How to make Phineas and Ferb Hat Mask Costume
It should look like this, cut two.

Take the hair piece and insert it into the hole in the top of the hat. Secure on the inside with tape.  Now, take your birthday party hat and wrap it in pink construction paper and tape with clear tape where it overlaps. Grab a second piece of pink construction paper and holding it in a cone shape, insert it inside the base of the party hat and attach with tape. For this step, it is helpful to have another set of hands. Push the interior cone to the front and attach a hairband inside the hat. Cut out two egg holders from the egg carton, color the center for eyes and attach (hot glues works best) to the front of your hat/mask.  Place the headband on your head as shown in the above picture. Voila!

You might also like to make a Perry the Platypus costume from a cardboard box. 

How to make Masks for kids Phineas and African Art  Homeschool Projects
Make your own Phineas and Ferb Mask 
for a Costume from a birthday party hat.

Masks are a great way to teach the art of formal balance when both sides are exactly alike. Mask can look like animals, humans, or your favorite cartoon hero such as Phineas above. Make these masks to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Many tribes in African countries still use masks as part of their special occasions, or ceremonies.  Examples of Tribal African Mask  Jake chose the Pende Mask, "Panya Ngombe," which was hung above the door of the Chief's dwelling. It is a combination of human and buffalo features with incised triangular grids creating a checkerboard effect. 

Since, Jake seemed to enjoy this project, and the focus was on balance, I didn't split hairs when it came to neatness and creativity (always choose your battles).  Read more about Jake's Journey as a reluctant artist.  Anything to do with mythology, tribes, dinosaurs, he's all over it and loves to learn as much as possible, even if it means doing art!

Pende African Mask Homeschool Projects for Mardi Gras
Pende Mask.

Pattern for African Art Mask (Pende)
Right click to print the Pende Mask Pattern Printable 
(Fold your paper in half).

African Masks for Mardi Gras
Mayhem's "Cat/Person" African Mask.

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Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.