Making your own masks as a kid used to be kinda painful. At the very least, cardboard and construction-paper masks aren't very comfortable. But today we aren't limited to paper plates, we've got convenient sheets of foam.
are a great way to make pretend play dress-up items on the cheap. Craft foam rectangles can be purchased in bulk, in all colors. If you have room, buy several packs so you have a lot of duplicates. The rectangles we get are about 7 inches wide, which is perfect for heads of any size. Foam masks are light and durable (but not indestructable), and take permanent marker and white glue readily.
Full details after the jump.
Sheets of foam
A few minutes
To create the mask, measure the eyes of your kid with just poking your fingers very gently to make a mark, then mark it with a permanent marker (see Fig. 1 & 2).
You can really "eyeball" this (terrible, I know, forgive this one pun).
Anyway, I just freehand draw some crazy thing and use scrap foam to glue accents onto the mask. Depending on how impatient your kids are, you can get elaborate and build up some very cool masks. White glue isn't as permanent as some form of cement, but it's a lot easier to work with (and kid-safe).
Now cut out the mask, being careful to make generous eye holes, yet leave plenty of foam for structural integrity.
Next, poke a smallish hole (more of a slit really) into the foam with sharp scissors, leaving lots of foam around the hole.
You're going to use string to keep this on the head, and I recommend elastic string. It's the same stuff you find on cheap Halloween masks, and it works great. You can buy a whole roll so when the cat chews it off, you can easily replace it. To thread through the slit you'll wanna fold the end of the thread over, to give it more stability when pushing through.
Tie one end with a few square knots, clip a little excess string off, and pull the other side until it is a tiny bit snug-- not tight! You'll tie it off and clip the excess to finish!