How to Make a Zero-Waste Mardi Gras Mask

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This colorful holiday is all about excess. But while we love all the buttery, sugary, deep-fried goodness that this epic celebration is known for, we aren’t huge fans of all the cheap, wasteful junk that passes as decorations this time of year. So we committed to making a Mardi Gras mask from things we already had around the house. From old costume jewelry, we haven’t worn in years to craft paints on the verge of drying up to a handful of colorful feathers, we pulled together a magical mask without making more waste. Party on!


What You'll Need

1. Creativity: All these materials are optional, and we recommend just looking through what's in your recycling bin, craft area and jewelry box for any items that will work. We used the following.

2. A sheet of yellow foam paper for the mask base. We were out of yellow paint, so this was the solution! Before we stumbled on this at the bottom of the craft box, we had sliced a rectangle of cardboard off the box that held the garbage bags.

3. Paint, markers or glitter glue. Traditional Mardi Gras colors are yellow, green and purple, but we promise, any colorful outfit will be welcome on Mardi Gras.

5. Feathers and glue.

6. 3-4 rubber bands connected into a daisy chain.

7. An old beaded necklace that we deconstructed.

Other suggestions: Colorful cereal, macaroni or other pasta, beans, glitter, googley eyes, sequins or gems. 


What to Do

1. Cut a mask shape out of your base. Leave a little extra space up top to hold plenty of feathers or other decorations.

2. Draw a simple diamond pattern. If you have paint, outline a simple diamond pattern (a traditional Mardi Gras motif) and have your child paint it in.

3. Decorate! Now that you have a simple, Mardi Gras-themed based, just go nuts! We used two layers of feathers for the top, then decorated with beads.

4. Use a hole punch or scissors to make two holes for the rubber band.

5. Don your mask and DANCE!


–Erin Feher

All images courtesy of the author

Feature image: Izzy Park via Unsplash


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