Skip to content
  • Open 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission

We are updating our new website in stages. This page will be changed to the new design but is not currently optimised for mobile devices.

You are in site section: Learn

Thylacine mask

Fun at home activity

Make your own mysterious thylacine mask.

A child wearing a mask.


This activity is inspired by the thylacine display at the National Museum of Australia. The thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, had a dog or wolf-like head with short ears and powerful jaws, and a series of dark stripes down its back. Some early settlers thought thylacines were pests. In 1936, thylacines became extinct.

Can you image what thylacines were like? Were they friendly or ferocious? Crazy or calm? Big or small? Imagine the thylacine and make your own mysterious mask.

Time and difficulty

This activity takes about 30 minutes and is easy.


Make a thylacine mask at home from everyday objects, like children at our ‘Native or Feral?’ Discovery Space in spring 2015.

Activity sheet

pdfDownload the thylacine mask activity sheet (PDF 617kb)

What you need

  • cardboard (old boxes are great)
  • coloured paper
  • crayons, textas or pencils
  • elastic or string to tie on the mask, or a stick or ruler to hold up the mask
  • string, ribbon or wool to use as fur
  • cellophane for the eyes
  • straw or string for whiskers
  • sticky tape and glue scissors (remember, these can be sharp, so ask an adult for help).
A variety of items needed to make a mask including cardboard, crayons, scissors and sticky tape.


Step 1

Find out what you can about the thylacine. Imagine if thylacines were still in Australia. What would they be like? What impression would you like your thylacine mask to make?

Step 2

An outline of a thylacine mask drawn on cardboard.

Gather your materials. What size will you make your mask? Will it cover half or the whole of your face?

Step 3

Draw the basic outline of your thylacine mask onto cardboard.

Step 4

Use scissors (with help if you need it) to cut out your design.

Step 5

You might like to add stripes to your mask using paint or textas, or by sticking on pieces of coloured paper. Try cutting out the eyeholes and gluing on cellophane, adding wool, straw or string to create fur and whiskers.

Step 6

Attach ribbon or elastic to the edges of the mask so you can wear it. Or you could add a stick at the bottom, to hold the mask in front of your face.

Step 7

Try on your mask and think about how the thylacine may have seen its environment. What could have been done differently to save this species? What lessons have we learned?

Three thylacine masks.

Share your creation!

Make a few different animal masks and experiment with the materials you use.

Share your creation with us by sending a photo or video to: We will add this to the National Museum’s Flickr stream, where you can see other craft creations from our Discovery Space.

Discovery Space

All of our fun at home activities are based on Discovery Space school holiday activities and are developed for kids to do at home if they can’t come to the Museum.  Check out what kids thought of our activities at the Museum.

Return to Top