This easy Day of the Dead mask craft for kids of all ages celebrates Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.  Start your Dia De Los Muertos Mask with our free printable Day of the Dead mask template, an ordinary paper plate and whatever craft supplies you have around the house. In a few minutes you will have a beautiful customized decorated sugar skull Day of the Dead mask.

Text: Day of the Dead paper plate masks - Kids Activities Blog - 3 day of the dead masks using paper plate craft activity for dia de los muertos
These Day of the Dead masks are easy to make with our printable mask template!

Dia De Los Muertos Masks You Can Make & Wear

A Day of Dead mask is also known as a Calavera mask (we often think of them as sugar skull masks, but a sugar skull is a type of Calavera (which is a representation of a human skull) and are an artistic delicacy made with sugar paste.

Each family member can make their our own Day of the Dead mask with our printable template.

This article contains affiliate links.

Day of the Dead Mask Template You Can Print

  1. Download the Dia De Los Muertos Mask tempate pdf file by pressing the orange button below.
  2. Use a printer to print the skeleton masks on white 8 1/2 x 11 size paper.
  3. Keep reading to learn how to turn this sugar skull mask template into a mask you can wear.

Paper Plate Day of the Dead Mask Craft for Kids

supplies for making paper plate masks for day of the dead sugar skull masks
This is all you need to make a Day of the Dead Mask!

Supplies Needed for Making the Day of the Dead Masks

Instructions to Make Dia de los Muertos Mask

Step 1 – Cut Out the Mask Pattern

Using your printed Day of the Dead mask template, cut the outline, eyes and nose using scissors and a craft knife.

Tip: Kids may need help with this step. I often prepare the skull pattern ahead of time or save the one we made last year.

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 Skull Mask Template onto Paper Plate

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

Step 3 – Repeat

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 – Outline Important Skull Details

Use a black marker to add different patterns around the eyes and for the teeth portion of the masks. For inspiration, look at pictures of Day of the Dead masks, sugar skulls and other intricate patterns.

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 – Decorate Your Mask

Now take the rhinestones in bright colors and glue to decorate your day of the dead masks.

Allow the glue to dry.

Tip: 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 – Cut Out Mask Facial Features

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 – Modify So Day of the Dead Mask Can be Worn

There are two easy ways that you can make it so you can wear your calavera mask:

  1. 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.
  2. Or you could just glue a craft stick to use it as a photo prop on the Day of the Dead party.
day of the dead sugar skull masks decorated with only markers
Isn’t this so simple to make?

Your Day of the Dead Mask is Finished & Ready to Wear!

You are finished with the mask craft and now the fun begins…unless you want to make another one!

  • 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.

It is a fun craft to do together and then each can wear their Calavera masks as 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.

Yield: 1

Day of the Dead Mask

diy day of the dead masks ready to wear for the party

This ornate Day of the Dead mask craft is simple enough for kids of all ages because it starts with our printable Day of the Dead mask template. Use it as part of your Dia de los Muertos celebrations

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $2


  • 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 from Kids Activities Blog


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? How did you use the Day of the Dead mask template?

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *