Crafting for the Incompetant: Venetian Masks

Many moons ago, before Little Man was born, I signed up for toucanBox. To those who haven’t heard of it, it is a monthly subscription box, aimed at children and their hapless unimaginative parents, which provides all the supplies for themed projects. I’m a sucker for a subscription box and I snapped it up, thinking that it sounded perfect for Wee Girl.

Well, it wasn’t. I should stress that I think the toucanBox service is fantastic; the boxes, which were lovely, delightfully packaged, with good quality supplies. Unfortunately, despite being aimed at children 3-8, the projects usually required a level of communication and engagement that she hasn’t quite reached, so reluctantly I cancelled my subscription. If they produced a simpler box, I would snap it up, because if it worked it would make my life a hell of a lot easier.

My lack of crafty imagination, general laziness, and the heart-sinking dread of knowing you’re going to have to clean up afterwards, all combine to make the thought of doing craft with my child about as appealing as a snot smoothie.

So with that in mind, this marks the start of what will hopefully be a series of crafty posts with the total incompetant in mind. The projects will be simple, using limited supplies, and should hopefully cause a minimum of mess. And if nothing else, you can all marvel at how astonishingly crap at craft I am. Hooray.


Paper masks ready for decorating.

Project: Venetian Masks

You will need:

  • Paper plates (or card. Whatever you have. Paper plates are handy, because they are already shaped like faces. Sort of)
  • Glue
  • Colouring pens or pencils
  • Some means for getting glue onto paper. Those little stick things. Or whatever
  • Stuff for sticking (I used tissue paper, torn into pieces. Use what you have)
  • Glitter for sprinkling (Because no matter how crap your creation is, there’s nothing that can’t be improved with glitter)
  • Some straws, or string, or something sticklike
  • Sellotape
sticking craft paper plate

See? She was interested for a bit

1. Before you begin, cut the paper plates or card into the shape of a face. Or just cut out eyeholes. Get everything set up, including everything you hope to be sticking into one place.

2. Attract the attention of your child. Bribe them if necessary.

3. Start by sticking stuff onto the masks. I aimed for a patchwork effect with the scraps, which as you can see from the pictures looks utterly shit. That’s entirely deliberate, as you’ll be able to feel much less guilty about throwing it away.

4. Gently guide your distracted child back to the table. More sticking.


The smiley faces are laughing at me.

5. Oh, wait, you need the potty. Really? Now? Oh great, it’s a shit. Yes, well done. What a lovely shit! Down the toilet it goes. Flush. Wash hands. Okay, back to the…

7. Seriously? A wee as well? Oh, for the love of… What a lovely wee! Flush. Wash hands. Right, back to the table. More sticking. More sticking. More… Wait, where are you going now? The swing? Really? But we’re supposed to be doing craft. Kirstie Allsopp said so.

8. Carry on doing it yourself in an attempt to model crafting behaviour to your child. Get into it for a bit. Add little patches of glitter to the mask. Don’t go mad. Remember you’re not five years old.

9. Realise your child is still showing no interest. Attempt to lure them back to the table with chocolate. That works for a bit until all the chocolate has been eaten.

10. When you’re finally ready to admit defeat and pour yourself a glass of wine,  stick the straw to the back of your mask with a strip of sellotape. And you’re done.

Venetian mask craft

Well, that’s half an hour of my life I’m never getting back

Brilliant blog posts on

You Baby Me Mummy

About allpastmidnight

Hi, I'm Alison, I am a mid-thirties mum to two children, Little Man and Wee Girl. Wee Girl is pre-verbal and has autism, while Little Man is the sort of happy chatty little guy who gets into everything and sings at the top of his lungs — until the moment he makes eye contact with a stranger and he goes silent. I am cynical, sweary, and a bit disorganised, and I blog about parenting, ASD, food and just about anything else I can think of. Feel free to follow me on any of my social media. I can also be contacted by email at allpastmidnight [at] outlook [dot] com.
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6 Responses to Crafting for the Incompetant: Venetian Masks

  1. I like your finished mask – I don’t think it looks crap at all. Loved your commentary. My daughter’s not really old enough to get crafting yet. She just wants to eat the supplies – but I’m looking forward to it when she’s a bit older. I think as you gain a bit of confidence in your crafting, your daughter will probably take to it a bit more too.

    • Thank you, and I hope so. She certainly loves painting and she did get engaged for a little bit, but then got distracted. Maybe next time she’ll stay at the table a little longer

  2. Honest Mum says:

    These are wonderful, thank you!

  3. Julie S. says:

    What a cute craft idea! I love Venetian masks, so making them with your little one (even if they don’t turn out perfect) is a fun idea! 🙂

    • Thank you! The paper plates make it simple to get a decently shaped template, so if you have more crafting skills than I have, it’d be pretty easy to make something lovely.

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