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Beautiful Day of the Dead Mask Craft with Printable Template

Today we have a Day of the Dead mask craft for kids to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.  Kids of all ages will love turning ordinary paper plates into a decorated skull mask that can be used in Day of the Dead celebrations.

This paper plate masks for the day of the dead is so easy to make.

Paper Plate Day of the Dead Mask Craft for Kids

A Day of Dead mask is also known as a Calavera mask, are fun to make and it is a part of the Day of the Dead celebration holiday traditions. This Mexican holiday is super special because it honors family members and loved ones who have passed away.

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supplies for making paper plate masks for day of the dead sugar skull masks
Gather these supplies to make your beautiful paper plate masks for the day of the dead

Supplies Needed for Making the Day of the Dead Masks:

  • Paper plates
  • Markers
  • Rhinestones
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon, elastic band or craft sticks
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Day of the dead skull outline printable template

Download & Print Day of the Dead Mask Template pdf File Here

Instructions on How to Make Dia de los Muertos Mask

Step 1

Print the skull template and cut the outline, eyes, and nose using scissors and a craft knife.

skull template traced on a back of the paper plate for making maks for dia de los muertos
Trace the template on to the paper plate for making the masks

Step 2

Trace the outline of the skull and also the circles for the eyes and heart shape for nose on a paper plate.

Step 3

Make as many skull masks as you’d like with the paper plates and keep them aside until you’re ready to decorate.

three paper plate template base displayed on a white background for decorating -paper plate masks for the day of the dead
Make bases ready for decorating.

Step 4

Use a black marker to add different patterns around the eyes and for the teeth portion of the masks.

paper plate masks with rhinestones glued on with elmers school glue for calavera masks
Glue the rhinestones n the design you wish to make the Calavera masks

Step 5

Now take the rhinestones in bright colors and glue to decorate your day of the dead masks. You can also use self-adhesive rhinestones if you planning to do this activity with younger kids.

Two paper plate masks embellished with rhinestones for the day of the dead
Which of these designs you like the most?

Step 6

Allow the glue to dry. Cut the eyes and nose parts using a craft knife of the Dia de Los Muertos masks. You could also do this beforehand.

diy day of the dead masks ready to wear for the party
The day of the dead masks are ready to rock welcome your deceased loved ones

Step 7

Add holes on either side of the paper plate masks and then attach elastic or ribbon to the holes so you can wear the masks.

Or you could just glue a craft stick to use it as a photo prop on the Day of the Dead party. Now your Day of the Dead masks are ready.

day of the dead sugar skull masks decorated with only markers
Isn’t this so simple to make?

Craft Modifications

If you don’t want to use rhinestones, you can create this beautiful Calavera masks just by using markers. Draw some basic flowers, leaves, and flourish patterns all around and ask kids to color them to complete the masks.

While we created this sugar skull mask specifically as Day of the Dead masquerade masks, they could be fun as part of your Halloween costumes.

Active Time
20 minutes

Total Time
20 minutes


Estimated Cost


  • Paper plate – we used a white paper plate
  • Markers
  • Rhinestones
  • Glue
  • Ribbon, elastic band or craft sticks
  • Day of the dead skull outline printable template


  • Hole punch
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors


  1. Print out the free Day of the Dead mask template of a skull or calavera and cut it out including the eyes and nose with scissors.
  2. Trace the template on the back of the paper plate.
  3. Repeat for as many skeleton masks as you want to make…
  4. Use a black marker to add patterns around the facial features of the skull.
  5. Take rhinestones and glue more decorative elements to your mask.
  6. Let glue dry.
  7. For craft stick mask: glue craft stick to the back side of the jaw area as a handle.
  8. For the band mask: punch a hole on either side above where the ear would be and thread either ribbon, string or an elastic band through.

More Masks Crafts for kids


And if you are looking for even more Day of the Dead activities, look no further. Celebrate Dia de los Muertos by making masks with paper plates, make colorful papel picado, and even learn how to make the prettiest marigold with tissue paper…

How did your Day of the Dead mask craft turn out? Did you use it as a mask with a string or on a popsicle stick? How did you use it in your Day of the Dead festivities?

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