Make your own unique Halloween masks, easy as 1-2-3!

'Tis the season to dress up and be whomever, or whatever you want. Go out and scare a few people and collect some goodies along the way. Some Halloween costumes require a mask for best effect. However, this can be a problem with younger kids.

The latex style masks are typically sized for adults with respect to where eye holes are placed, relative to mouth openings. They can also get pretty warm and sweaty inside. You want to be sure your kids have clear vision when they're traipsing around the neighborhood. Here's a terrific, homemade alternative to latex Halloween masks, that keeps kids safe and comfortable, while also being great attention-getters. Kids love them!

All you need is some Play-Dough(TM), some Vaseline(R), a couple of brushes and some acrylic paint. Put a thin coating of Vaseline(R) on your child's face (avoiding the eye areas), to prevent the Play-Dough(TM) from sticking to your child's face.

Flatten a wad of the clay so that it's slightly larger than your child's face. Have him close his eyes and stay put in a chair, while holding the clay in place at his hair line. Gently mold the clay over the contours of his face, from the forehead down to the bridge of the nose. From there, continue down the nose and across the cheeks, carefully and gently molding the clay, all the way down to his chin. Remove your prototype Halloween mask and have the child hold the mask, cupped in his hands for 5-10 minutes. He'll be having a great time, utterly amazed and absorbed in this Play-Dough(TM) imitation of his own face!

Lay down some newspaper and carefully place the mask, inside portion facing the newspaper. Trim the mask edges. Use a pencil to poke two holes in the sides. When the mask is finished, you can run ribbon through the holes to tie the mask in place.

You'll need to let the mask sit for at least 15 minutes to give this look-alike Halloween mask a chance to firm up a bit. When the mask has dried enough to handle easily, you can mark and cut out the eye holes over the newspaper. Smooth out the eye openings for a natural, form-fitting appearance.

Now your child's ready to paint his unique Halloween mask. Be sure to supervise and help younger kids while they paint. Whether your child's costume is a Star Wars character or a Princess, paint and decorate the Halloween mask accordingly. If the costume is some ghoulish monster, consider gluing hanging fake eyeballs, adding bloody or festering sores with paint, cobwebs, or rubber bugs. A Princess might have rosy cheeks and a bit of painted makeup. Princesses love glitter, too. Attach glitter with a glue stick.

Painting and decorating these Halloween masks produces a one-of-a-kind accessory that kids will play with long after Halloween.

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