Make Your Own Elephant Mask
There are three (3) basic parts to this project.
Part 1 is the patterns. You can create your own or use ours.
Part 2 is cutting out the patterns.
Part 3 is assembling the mask.

We are showing them to you in REVERSE ORDER so you can see the finished mask, then the parts of the mask, followed by pattern making, and finally, patterns you can print.

Completed Mask
Your completed mask is sized for an adult's face. You must scale it down to fit a smaller face. Later in this project you will come across the actual paper patterns for duplicating this mask as it is shown.

If you wish to make a more realistic mask you can use a scaled up image of an elephant head on this site and glue it poster board or you can use your own artistic ability to shape the mask and fill in details by drawing with markers, pencils or whatever.

completed mask

Materials & Tools
You will need the following:
1. A standard 22" x 28" poster board or equal cardboard sheet and some string or elastic to hold it on your head.
2. A pair of scissors and a stapling machine. (don't use without permission).
3. A pen, pencil, or marker for outlining the pattern
4. A pattern. We will show you how to get one free later on.

We used a colored poster board just to make it easy to see the parts and processes. use any color you want or use more than one color. If you make a wonderful or bizarre elephant mask we would be glad to post a photo of it on this site.

Step 1 - Trace The Face
Lay your pattern on the poster board. Draw an outline around it to draw one side of the face. Do NOT draw a line along the edge which will join the other half of the face.

FLIP the face over and draw an outline of the other half. When you remove the pattern you will have the entire face and ears.

Step 2 - Trace the Trunk & Tusks
Trace the trunk outline and cut it out. Note that we have the tusks on the same sheet of poster board, which in the example is pink. Use a separate white sheet to make tusks, unless you want colored tusks.

Step 3 - Cut Out the Pieces
When you have cut out the pieces, you have the parts for your mask and you are ready to assemble it, following the photos below.

Step 4 - Score The Pieces
The gray lines you see on the cut out pieces are not drawn there ... they represent 'score' lines. If you score poster board it will bend nicely and sharply. If you don't score it, when you bend it you will get an ugly looking bend.

HOW to Score: use the point of one blade of the scissors, or a dull edge like a butter knife, and make a shallow groove in the poster board where you plan to crease it.

You need creases at the place where the ears stick out form the face and at the top (wide end) of the trunk.

Step 5 - Fold & Staple Ears
When your mask is done, the face will curve around your face, but you want the ears to stick out from your head, rather than follow the curve of the face.

To make this happen you will staple (or glue if no stapler available) the ears in a certain way which is shown in these pictures.

With the mask face UP, fold the ear forward on the crease (score line) nearer the face and lay the ear over the face.

The bottom picture shows detail of how the staples are placed. You need four or five staples along the strip behind the ear. This doubles the thickness of the part where you will attach the string or elastic.

EYES: at some point you must cut out holes through which you can see. This is best done on the paper pattern as explained later. In the pictures here you can see the outline made from the eye holes in the pattern.

Step 6 - Holes for String
Now the mask is flipped over face down with the ears still folded forward over the face. See the two holes punched in the double thick part? You can attach a string or cord thru the holes and tie them together behind your head. Better yet is to staple a piece of elastic to each side.

The eye holes have been cut out. This could be done at any step in the project.

Step 7 - Attach the Trunk
In this view, the face is up facing you with the top at top. The TRUNK is upside-down at the moment. In this position, staple the trunk to the bottom of the face. When you fold the trunk down on the crease (score line you made) it will hang down and cover the staples holding it to the face.

IF you want TUSKS on your mask, the time to attach them is now. Staple them on so the staples will be covered by the trunk when it is folded down.

Face with Trunk & Tusks
So; here it is. Through the eye holes you can just see the elastic connecting the two sides at the back of the face. When you put the mask on the face will curve around and fit your face and the ears will stick out from the sides because of the how they were creased and stapled.

Just for fun, you can decorate or modify your mask in any way you like. Here are some examples.

Now we'll explain the pattern and show you
how to get it or make your own.

How the Pattern is Made
The pattern is made from three (4) sheets of ordinary 8½ x 11 inch white paper as used in a copy machine or from a tablet. It doesn't matter what kind of paper you use.

The FACE is a single sheet turned to landscape orientation ... that means 11 inches WIDE by 8½ inch HIGH. This fits most faces. Only HALF the sheet is used to make the pattern so it is a piece 5½ inches wide by 8½ inches high. IF you want the mask to have a curved head, cut your pattern in a curved shape.

You set the eye position using this half sheet of paper. Either measure from the middle of the your nose .,to the center of your eye, and mark the paper at that position, or stand in front of a mirror and hold the edge of paper along the bridge of your nose, and use your finger to locate the center of your eye, then mark the paper. Draw an oval the size you want and cut it out of the pattern.

Next is the ear. The ear can be as large or as small as you want it. We used a sheet of paper in the portrait mode, 8½ inches wide by 11 inches high, and drew the shape of an ear. TAPE the ear to the half face. Now you have the same face pattern shown above that we used to trace the face and ears on our poster board.

The TRUNK pattern is made by taping two a sheets of paper the along the 8½ edge so it is 8½ inches by 22 inches. When you cut the pattern out you have everything you need to follow the steps above. Tusks are a separate item. They are included on the free pattern forms below.

Here is how you can get the patterns ready for cutting out.

Option 1: You can download our pattern images to your computer and print them from Windows® Picture and Fax Viewer, or any application which will load and print a JPEG image. The images are 8½ x 11 inches @ 100 dpi. You right click on each image and choose "Save Image".

Option 2: You can print the images directly from your browser. Do not use the file print, or printer icon, which prints an entire page and formats it to fit. Instead, RIGHT CLICK (control click on a Mac) on each image, one at a time, and from the popup menu choose "Print Picture".

To access the pattern pages click here and a new window will open displaying the patterns. When you are done downloading or printing, you can close the window and your browser will return to this page.

All contents ©2008 Wayne Hepburn unless otherwise noted. Permission is granted to use contents in non-commercial, not for profit, applications and for "fair use" excerpts as provided in current International Copyright Law. Elephant Appreciation Day is sponsored by Mission Media, Inc. a Florida Corporation. We encourage participation in celebrating elephants by individuals and organizations.