These animal felt masks are a great option for encouraging your kids imagination and creativity. They work well for a wide range of ages and personalities, plus they make gorgeous handmade gifts as well!
The two most versatile types of masks you can make are animal and superhero masks. Kids will play with these over and over again!
Why use felt for kids play masks?
You might have noticed the rise in popularity of kids felt masks. It’s a great option for making kids masks!
- First, it’s soft and comfortable to have around their face.
- Second, it’s easy to cut out shapes, and doesn’t need anything done to the cut edge to hold it, it just stays.
- And lastly, if you don’t want to pull out the sewing machine, you can actually just glue most of these masks. I think the sew lines makes it look a bit more professional, but it’s really not a deal breaker. The only part that requires a little extra thought if you were gluing would be attaching the elastic. If you have super strength glue it might be fine, but you could also either hand stitch the elastic on or even use little safety pins to keep it in place.
What type of felt?
I’ve used 1mm thick felt here. You need some firmness to it, so it’s not floppy, but it doesn’t need to be much thicker than 1mm. I brought a stack online of 40 different colours so I could have a play around with the different combinations. I was so excited when they arrived. 🙂
Sewing felt masks is a great beginners project for kids learning to sew. Felt is an easy fabric to work with, you don’t get random threads pulling out anywhere and it sticks against each other well when you’re sewing. It doesn’t slide around like some fabrics do.
Making a felt mask that gets plenty of play.
The trick for how to get a toddler (or any aged kid for that matter) to wear a mask is to make sure it’s comfortable (and felt ticks that box). So it’s important the eye holes are in the right place! I see so many masks that are too wide or too small and the poor wee kid is squinting out. For that reason, I keep the mask patterns fairly narrow from top to bottom. Some people make them longer so they cover more of the face, and that way you can include more of a nose and/or mouth in the design. But I don’t think kids will wear that for long. It gets hot and sweaty and you can’t breath freely.
The best kind of mask is one they forget they are wearing.
Pro tip: When you cut out the paper pattern for the ‘face’ part of the mask, hold it up against your own child’s face and check the eye holes. If they are too close together, can cut down the middle of the mask and tape in an extra strip of paper to make it wider. Similarly, if the eyes holes are too wide apart, cut out a sliver of the middle of the mask and tape it back together. This will make all the difference in whether the mask actually gets played with!
Making a woodland felt mask – ‘the deer’.
Choose your colours
Get started by choosing the colours that you want to use.
Once you’ve chosen your colours, print out the template. You can either copy and print the image below or open the deer felt mask template here (you might need to save it to your own computer first). Just make sure to print it out in A4.
Cut out the paper template
Once you’ve printed out the template, cut out all of the paper pieces. Now you can either place the paper piece on top of the felt and trace around it, pin the paper template on top of the felt or just hold the paper template as you cut around it like I’m doing here.
Continue on until you have all the pieces cut out, but don’t cut the eye holes out just yet. At this stage, just trace a line around the eye cut outs in the template.
The ears will fold over themselves like this (below), so they give a little depth to the mask. I think it just makes it look a little cuter!
Assemble the pieces of the felt mask
These masks can be put together by machine sewing, hand sewing or glue. I tend to machine sew the bigger pieces, and glue the little pieces like the spots on the deer’s forehead. But occasionally things don’t go how you want and you’ll need a needle and thread (like you can see on the owl’s beak if you look closely!).
- First, complete any sewing on the front of the face. Here, I’ve started by sewing the ‘top of nose’ and the actual ‘nose’ to the front face piece.
- Glue the inner ear on top of the outer ear. You could also sew it on along the longer side edges if you prefer (no need to sew along the bottom edge).
- Fold the ears over themselves (like in the picture) and pin them in between the two face pieces (the front and back piece).
- Also pin the antlers in between the two face pieces.
- Lastly, pin the elastic in place, with about 1 cm of each end tucked in between the face pieces. I put them in line with the top of the eyes, so when any pressure is on the elastic it’s not pulling right through the middle of the eyes and stretching them.
- Now sew around the outer edge of the two front pieces, sewing in the ears, antlers and elastic.
- Sew around the eye holes just a few millimeters outside of the line you’ve traced. (This is probably the trickiest bit – just do your best!)
Now you can cut out the eye holes. I pinch the eye hole so it folds in half and use sharp fabric sewing scissors to cut out a small line through the middle. From there, I can cut out a nice even eye hole.
And lastly, glue the eyebrows and spots in place. Leave to dry completely and you’re all done!
And if you love the deer felt mask, why not make the whole gang!
Woodland animal felt mask templates
The instructions are pretty much the same for each template. Read through the deer instructions to get the general idea, and just make sure to fix anything to the front face before sewing the two face pieces together.
I hope you love making these felt masks as much as I did! Leave me a comment if you give them a try and let me know how you go! 🙂