DIY: Felt Masks for Kiddos

HAPPY FRIDAY! I had so much fun making the felt robot masks for Gabe's birthday I decided to expand our collection during my hiatus from shop work earlier this spring. They are really easy to make if your good with glue and/or a sewing machine.  For a printable version of instructions click HERE.

What You Need: 
Paper, pen and some creativity or...
a PDF pattern (Click HERE for a free copy of my panda bear pattern)

Felt in different colors (8"x11" sheets from the craft store are great and usually cost 4-$1)
Extra black, brown or grey felt works great for double layer/backing

1/4" black elastic to make them wearable...
or if preferred you can glue them to a wood stick like a masquerade mask

Fabric or quick drying tacky glue
Sewing machine and coordinating thread
Fabric scissors
Yarn as needed for lion manes, horse hair, etc.
Embroidery thread in different colors to add whiskers, details, etc. 

To start we picked out a few of bubs and my favorite animals and I drew up some patterns then scaled them to kiddo and adult sizes on my copier. If your not comfortable drawing your own patterns and know how to search you can find free patterns online or you can buy PDF patterns from Etsy artists. Click HERE for a free copy of my panda bear pattern. 

We had to test try them for size before cutting into the felt... :)

After I got all our patterns drawn and to size I made an extra copy of each so I could cut out the overall animal pattern and all the little pieces for the layers. I then started marking and cutting the felt in all the different colors.  I went with typical animal colors but you can get as creative with it as you want! As you can see I even coordinated my lunch while working with foxes. 

In addition to cutting the colored mask pieces I cut a second overall piece to double the felt strength and make a back so I could hide my elastic in between. 

After I cut out all my pieces I set the second backing piece aside and used quick dry tacky glue (in moderation so it doesn't seep through the felt) to glue the smaller eye, ear, and nose pieces onto the larger mask. We double checked they fit and sized the elastic band to fit around the head at the temple.  

At this point if your not big on sewing you can glue them to recycled cardboard and a flat stick to make a masquerade mask. You can find more detailed instructions HERE

After the glue dried I pin the elastic band about 1/2” to one inch on either side of the mask, roughly at the temples, then pin the backing; hiding the elastic between the two pieces.  I just used simple brown and black threads in a straight stitch on my machine to finish off the masks.  If you prefer you can also hand stitch with embroidery thread. It works best to sew around the outer edge of the mask then stitch the smaller pieces in place as needed.  At this point I also added extra felt and orange yarn in between the mask and backing on the lion to create a mane. 

(When it was all said and done Gabe wouldn't try the finished masks on so we experimented on the other kiddos, hehe)

If your feeling extra creative you can finish your mask off by hand stitching details to create textures, whiskers, patterns, etc. with different colored embroidery thread.  I stitched whiskers on the lion and texture around the owl eyes as you can see below. I also made duplicate sizes in a couple of the animals so I could have fun too. :) 

Now he finally wears the masks on occasion (his robot still being his favorite). I think he looks like Night Owl in this one...

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