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African Lion Mask Craft Project

Jaynie has delighted in creating awesome craft projects with her 2 daughters. She loves to find innovative ideas and make them her own.


How to Make an African Lion Mask

If you’re looking for a great project to do with your kids, try making one of these darling African lion masks. They are easy and inexpensive to make, and the kids love them both as decorations and cute playthings.

What You'll Need

  • Piece of corrugated cardboard
  • 10-inch plate
  • Felt: yellow, brown, red, white and orange
  • Raffia: tan, dark brown or rust and red
  • Hot Glue
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Scissors
  • Elastic string
  • Hole punch or screwdriver


1. Gather your supplies. Place your 10-inch plate on a piece of corrugated cardboard and trace a circular pattern. Draw eyes about 13 cm. from the top. Eyes should be flat on top and rounded at the bottom.



2. Draw a triangular nose that is flat at the top and bottom and widens as it lengthens. Cut out the eyes. Cut out the nose, leaving it attached at the top, creating a flap. Next, lay the cardboard onto a piece of yellow felt and trace the circular pattern, eyes and nose. I find it best to cut the felt about 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the edges of the cardboard. Cut out the head, eyes and nose leaving the nose attached on top just as you did with the cardboard.

3. Using Elmer’s Glue, secure the yellow felt over the cardboard and allow to dry. Next, use a hole punch or screwdriver to punch holes along the entire perimeter of the cardboard, assuring that they are close enough together to create a thick mane when raffia is threaded through them.

4. Cut raffia into 10”–13” pieces. Combine 2 pieces of raffia and fold in half. Push raffia through a hole, creating a loop on one side. Thread raffia through the loop and pull tight. Alternate colors to create a more colorful mane. I match two tan pieces followed by one tan and one rust-colored piece. Then match tan and red-colored pieces and begin the pattern again.

5. Next, refer to the photo to fashion the face. On a piece of red felt, draw the mouth in a loose figure-eight shape and glue onto the face. Cut several sharp teeth of varying lengths from white felt and glue onto the mouth.

6. Lay a piece of white felt over the eye holes and trace the shape of each eye. Make the white outlines about 1/3 of an inch thick and cut them out. Glue onto the face to outline the eyes. Using your red felt, cut two red eyebrows and glue over the top of eyes.

7. Using more yellow felt, cut out fist-sized ears that are flat on the bottom. Each ear should be fashioned from 2 pieces of felt that are of equal proportions and glued together. Using brown felt, cut smaller circles and glue into the center of each ear. Cut a slit into the bottom of each ear (about 1 inch in length). Overlap the flaps and hot glue them together. Hot glue the ears to the sides of the head.



8. Using brown felt, trace a half circle with a short stem as the nose and hot glue onto the face with the stem pointing toward the mouth. The nose should cover the flap that you previously cut into the cardboard and yellow felt.

9. Using orange felt, create small shapes such as stars, flowers, or moons and use them as accents by gluing onto the cheeks.

10. Thread elastic string through previous poked holes (or punch two new holes) and tie off. This is used to secure the mask to your face, so make sure it is not too loose.

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© 2011 Jaynie2000


dearabbysmom from Indiana on March 04, 2014:

Wow, these are way cute! I'm expecting my first grandchild and this idea is going into my "grandma box". Looks like a fun thing to do together on a rainy day, thanks for sharing!

Jaynie2000 (author) on July 20, 2011:

Thanks! That's what so many of my friends have said as well!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 20, 2011:

This is TOO CUTE!!! Heck, I want to make one for myself. Heheeee!!!

Jaynie2000 (author) on July 16, 2011:

Thanks so much. They were great fun to make! The kids love them.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on July 16, 2011:

A very creative idea for kids to do,the finished mask looks awesome !

Jaynie2000 (author) on July 13, 2011:

Thank you so much. I think it is the eyes that make it scary, which could be corrected by rounding out the eye brows and giving less of a slant to the eyes themselves. You could also make the mouth into a more smiley shape for younger kids and/ or round out the teeth instead of making them as fang-like as we did.

With my young kids I cut out all the shapes including the eye holes and nose. I also threaded the raffia and then had the littlest kids piece the faces together like puzzles and I glued the pieces on for them.

Erin Bower from Georgia on July 13, 2011:

So creative! That's great for children. The masks might be a little scary for really young kids, though. Overall, this is a great hub; I voted it up and useful!

Jaynie2000 (author) on July 13, 2011:

I'm so glad you liked it. We loved making them and they turned out pretty cute.

tnderhrt23 on July 13, 2011:

very cute idea I shall try with my grandson! Thanks!

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