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Make your own masks from PJ Masks using tissue paper and glue

Sep 27, 2022

Into the craft cupboard to save the day!

Gekko, Catboy and Owlette are a trio of heroes your kids may know as PJ MasksAnd like any good hero, these kids wear some very cool masks. 

Sure, you could go to a store and pay a lot of money for a mask. And your kids would love it. But I'm here to tell you that you can make your very own masks for Gekko, Catboy and Owlette with some hot glue, tissue paper and a bit of patience. 

That's right, you may already have everything you need. Or it's just a quick trip to your favourite dollar store. 

Ready to get started? Let's go!

What you’ll need

How it's made

Once you’ve printed a mask template, check to make sure it’s a good proportion for the mask wearer you have in mind. Use the template as a basic guide to plan your PJ Masks details around. Sketch your plans on one half of the mask — this will help create a symmetrical template you can use in your next steps. If you're using a pre-made PJ Masks template, you can jump to the gluing stage. 

For Owlette, I created a bigger, rounder eye shape and added lashes. I drew a wing shape sweeping upward, a domed line for the top of the head and I extended the bottom of the mask a little bit downward.

For Gekko, I added height to both the mask and eye shape. I added an eyebrow and a gecko crest on top. I extended the bottom of the mask downward.

For Catboy, I added height to the mask and eye shape. I added an eyebrow, stripes to the forehead and cheek as well as a cat ear. I extended the bottom of the mask a little bit downward.

Once you’re happy with your plans, fold your template in half and cut it out.

Use your template to cut a mask from construction paper or cardstock.

Create details for your mask with the help of a pencil. For Owlette, I redrew the wing shape and lashes. At the top of her head, I drew upside down tear shapes for her feather texture.

For Gekko, I redrew his crest and eyebrows, then added rows of wavy lines to make his scale texture. For Catboy, I redrew his eyebrows, ears and markings, then added his signature cross-hatched texture — two sets of lines on opposite diagonals.

Lay down a tablecloth or some newsprint to protect your work surface. Job for adults: Warm up the glue gun and pipe a bead of hot glue along all of the lines you’ve drawn. Try a few practice lines on some scrap paper to get the hang of it before starting in on your mask.

TIP: Instead of touching the nozzle to your paper as if you were drawing with a pencil, you’ll want to keep the nozzle slightly above the surface and let the bead of glue flow downward onto your lines as you go. Don’t panic if you muck up the lines. The tissue paper step that comes next is very forgiving and will hide lots of imperfections and blunders!

NOTE: As with any time you use hot glue, be really careful of cords, the nozzle and the hot glue itself.

Once the glue gun is safely away and the glue has fully hardened and cooled, get the kids back in the game! Tear coloured tissue paper into pieces (a few cm x a few cm is great!). Work in sections. Use a paintbrush and paint a bit of white glue onto the surface of the mask. Stick a piece of tissue paper down, then paint a thin layer of white glue over top of it. You’ll want to smush the paper into all of the nooks and crannies to help your textures stand out. Cover the entire mask with tissue and set it aside to dry.

Next, add details like the eyebrows, eyelashes, crests and markings using contrasting tissue paper colours. Best to wait until the masks are fully dry — I tried adding details while my masks were still wet and the colours became transparent. You can see the difference in the photo above. Pay attention to the left and right eyebrows.

Trim excess and overhanging tissue from the eyes and edges of the mask.

Carefully poke holes on the edges of your mask, add a length of elasticized string and double-knot it to keep it from slipping back out. You might like to add tape on the back side of the mask to reinforce the hole — this will help to keep the mask from tearing while putting it on and taking it off.

Now you’re ready. Suit up in your PJs and your masks! It’s time for heroic adventures after dark!

Article Author Mara Shaughnessy
Mara Shaughnessy

Mara is a children’s book author and illustrator who’s big into scissors and glue, making cake from the box, wrestling with her dogs and doodling with felt tip pens. You can check out her latest work at The Little Monster or craft along with her at Craft University.