Looking forward to celebrating Mardi Gras with the kids in time for Lent? How about making some adorable and easy DIY Mardi Gras Masks from Paper Plates? Paper Plate Masks are SO easy and fun to make. There is no real “right or wrong” and you can just go to town with the embellishments and decorations.
This is a fabulous little guest post from my friend Bern at Posh Lil Divas! She created this craft with her little ones many moons ago and I dug it back out for you to share with you today.
These Paper Plate masks for Mardi Gras can be made for any fancy dress occassion – just switch out the colours and you can use them masks for other events (like Halloween) too!
Once you have made your lovely Mardi Gras Masks, you are ready to go join a parade with your kiddos!
When is Mardi Gras 2023?
Mardi Gras is always the day before lent. As Lent always begins with Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter (to symbolise Jesus’s 40 days of fasting in the desert), Mardi Gras will always fall on a Tuesday. Which means Lent begins on the 22nd February and Mardi Gras falls on the 21st February. Most commonly Mardi Gras is in February. Occassionally it is in early March.
What is a good Mardi Gras Craft?
There are lots of fun things to make for Mardi Gras! I would say the most popular Mardi Gras Craft for kids and prescholers is indeed the Mardi Gras Mask – festive masks – which are such a big part of the Mardi Gras Carnival celebrations. But Mardi Gras Crowns and Jesters are also popular. The colours of Green, Yellow and Purple are common. And many kids also love to make shoe box floats. We have a great set of Mardi Gras Crafts for you to browse soon!
Why are Mardi Gras colors purple, green and yellow?
The popular Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and yellow are derived from the New Orleans Parades dating back to 1872. That year’s Rex, chose these colours and later, it was claimed that the colors had the following meaning:
- Purple for justice
- Green for faith ad
- Gold for power
However, these colors tend to mostly be used in America only. If you go and visit the carnival celebrations in Venice or Brazil, all colors of the rainbow are presented! You can read more about the Mardi Gras colors here.
Easy Paper Plate Mardi Gras Masks & Pancakes!
I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like holidays are flying by in a blur! I can not believe that Mardi Gras has come & gone – I certainly didn’t get to celebrate the way I wanted to with the Lil Divasbut we did get to make these super easy (& cute!) Paper Plate Mardi Gras Masks &Mardi Gras Inspired Pancakes!Here are the super easy masks we made –
Craft supplies needed to make Paper Plate Mardi Gras Masks
As with all the crafts on Red Ted Art, do keep your supplies simple and don’t make any unnecessary purchases! To be honest, you can even replace your paper plates with some cut out cardboard from a cereal box. But Paper Plates are easy enough to get hold of, not too expensive (especially if using in the classroom or in day care) and of course biodegradable, so eco friendly too!
- half a paper plate per mask/ per child
- Paints in the fun Mardi Gras colours: green, purple & yellow paints (we used watercolors but tempera paint or even acrylic craft paint works well too)
- feathers (you can make paper feathers too if you don’t have any) or maybe you would like to add some artificial flowers/ paper flowers instead?
- craft sticks/ popsicle sticks (some people like to use a long dowel instead or even a chop stick will do)
- glue stick
- (optional) decorations/ embellishments – sequins, buttons, biodegradable glitter paint, gems, rhinestones, stickers, beads, ribbons, straws… whatever you have to hand in your craft stash – avoid additional / unnecessary purchases from the dollar store
Note: no printable is needed to make this lovely mask, as they are so easy and straight forward to create!
How to make a Paper Plate Mardi Gras Mask with Kids
As mentioned, these festive masks are a great craft for kids of all ages, but Preschoolers will love them especially. You can make these at home or in the classroom. The kids can simply have fun and explore creating!
So.. how do you make a Mardi Gras mask out of a paper plate? Follow these simple step by step instructions!
Mask Instructions – 6 simple steps
1. Take 1 paper plate & cut it in half, using 1/2 plate for each mask. Real Mardi Gras masks are often “half masks”, so we are making half masks too!
2. Fold the 1/2 plate in half again to make a light crease and locate the best position for the eyes. Cut out eye holes.
3. Now you can have lots of fun with paint. You can go crazy or you can paint some patterns. As you can see both my girls approached the painting differently. Once dried you can even add extra features using markers. If you are working with a large group of kids in the classroom and can’t get the paints out… you can of course also decorate the paper plates with a crayon or two or some felt tip pens in the Mardi Gras colors.
4. My girls also had fun adding feathers!
5. Finally, you can add any optional decorations and embellishments. We used some gorgeous purple bio degradable glitter glue. So fun! Sequence or gems would look great too. Creativity knowns no boundaries and let the kids have fun!
6. Glue craft stick onto the back side of the mask to make handle (you can use a hot glue gun for this if you wish, but a craft stick or PVA glue should work just fine too!)
7. Enjoy! Hope you have much fun with this cute craft!
Don’t you think this Mardi Gras Mask/ Paper Plate Craft turned out cute?
Pancak Day Tradition
In the UK Mardi Gras is actually celebrated as “pancake day” – and we have lots of great Pancake Day Activities for you too. Both Pancake Day and Mardi Gras mark the day beginning of lent – well more specifically the day before Lent. You can learn more about pancake day and why it is called Shrove Tuesday with our pancake day quiz.
In the meantime Posh Little Divas, also made some special Mardi Gras Pancakes with her girls:
Mardi Gras Pancake Day fun
The Lil Divas are used to my “festive” pancakesso eating weird colors and shapes, isn’t new to them.
I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of our pancakesin festive purple, yellow & green Mardi Gras inspired colors!
I used a bit of food coloring &cooked them on the griddle – oh, how I love my griddle pan! It gets used so, so much.
I thought this was a super simple and fun Mardi Gras activity to include in your Paper Plate Mask making session. So fun and simple!
I hope you had LOTS of fun with us today and that youa re inspired to make a Mardi Gras Mask yourself with the kids!! Enjoy!
More fun Mardi Gras Crafts coming soon.
In the meantime, I will leave you with some Pancake Day Activities: