Paper Mache Animals

Ballerina Bunny Gets a Tutu

I took a break this week from my remodeling project, and got a tutu on the ballerina bunny. It’s sort of embarrassing to have so many people know how long it’s taking me to finish this silly rabbit. Next time, she’ll get some eyeballs, and the rest of her upper torso will be finished and ready for her bronze coating. When, exactly, will that be? It depends on how long it takes me to cut and install the trim in my upstairs hallway…


About the author

Jonni Good

I'm a sculptor, author, gardener, and grandma. When I'm not catering to the needs of my obnoxious cat, I make videos, create stuff, and play around with paper mache. I'm also the author of several highly-rated books on paper mache. You'll find them in the sidebar, and on


  • Hello I made a rabbit thanks to your video it is great!!
    That to use you as dough to cover the paper structure in the video of the rabbit dancer? ( Grey dough) thank you

  • Hi Jonni
    I’m at the counter trying to mix another batch, then I notice you had already answered me !
    Thank you so much!
    I will go slowly this time, I was looking at the paste that had harden and it did a good job just a little lumpy so with this batch it should smooth it out.
    Again thank you so much for taking the time to answer so fast!

  • I love your ballet bunny already! I’m sure you have ex dancers like myself begging for one for their very own…..but let me add my humble request to the pack!

  • Your rabbit has just the right attitude. Nose up and looking pretty. Now what is the correct proportion of uncured terracotta clay as an addition to the original recipe of Jonniclay? And have you had any problems with mildew formation with it’s use? I ask, because as you know, this clay must be fired in a kiln for strength and long-life.

    Besides trying out duplicating your current project I have another in mind. Maybe a rendition of a cross-legged Budha sitting serenely. Good luck with your new home. Are you really putting in a paper mache floor? I have to see pictures of this!

    • Hi Joanne. I add about 1/4 cup of wet clay. I think the mix comes out smoother, but perhaps only because I have to leave the mixer on for so much longer to get the clay mixed in. It also makes it really easy to see if you still have little clumps of paper, because they stay white until they’re completely broken down and mixed in. I haven’t had any problems with mildew, but I do make sure to dry things quickly. The clay is just used as filler, and doesn’t need to be fired.

      The Buddha sounds interesting. I hope you’ll show us photos when it’s done. And yes, I put paper on my floor. I followed (loosely) the directions I found here. If I had followed her directions exactly, I’m sure it would have come out better – but it’s OK for now.

  • Just got you book on sculpting animals. Love it. I checked my art supplies and I have cold pressed linseed oil, purified linseed oil and linseed oil refined. None of the jars say boiled linseed oil. Can I use anything that I already have? Also when you squeeze the water out of the toliet paper, do you throw the water away?

    • Hi Rachelle. I hope you enjoy making your critters – and thanks for buying my book! You can use any form of linseed oil (including flax seed oil from the natural food store). They all work just fine. The boiled linseed oil happens to be what they sell at the hardware store, but it does have chemicals that the other, more pure forms, do not. And yes, I throw out the water.

      Have fun!

  • Hi
    I’m Francine the one who sudgested the bunny…
    Today was my first try at making your paper mâché past.
    Did I have fun!
    I guess I need just a little more experience I burnt my blender so I was left with lumps…
    But what was left and still good…I spread on my 7 foot doll…
    I just wish I could do great mix like your! They look so soft can we add a little water to the mix if it is to thick is my question?
    Have a great week

    • Hi Francine. People are having a lot of fun with your bunny idea – thanks again for the suggestion. I think your PM clay problem could be caused by too much paper. It’s not easy to get just the right amount, because different brands have a different amount in each roll, and the measuring cup technique isn’t terribly accurate because it’s hard to know how hard to tamp down in the cup. You might try putting part of your pm clay in a bowl and adding a bit more of all the other ingredients, and then mix. The usual mix should not be stiff enough to burn out a blender. If the new mixture feels more like you think it should, then you could do the same with all the rest of the batch you made.

      Good luck with it. Let us know how it turns out.

  • Hey Joni, I purchased your book animal sculptures from amazon , I love your sculptures. Thanks so much for being so generous as to show us how to make these figures.

  • Bronzed, huh? She will be the Bunnie Degas with a split for her tail? She’s cute, and the more better for not having a ‘real’ gauze tutu skirt — wonderfully modeled, and yeah, everyone remember the rhyme —
    No Dap, No Way
    When you are making
    Jonni Good Clay!


  • Greatful for the tutorials. I eagerly await and they do no disappoint .
    I finally understand why my faces always look so flat, I never broke them down in the armature part. I kept trying to build the mache into the cheeks etc. and the clothing method, wonderful .

  • She’s coming along so nicely, Jonni! Nice filmwork, too. I appreciate both the editing and the changes of focus for details or more general views. I will try not to worry about why you “just happened to have” medical grade plaster cloth, while I continue to admire you taking on such huge renovation projects on your own! Paper mache floor?? Can’t wait to hear about that. I knew a woman in California who was using paper bags and some kind of polymer to create floor surfacing. It was neat to look at, and held up surprisingly well to traffic, but all the floors I knew about (in a couple galleries) also started to de-laminate after varying amounts of time. I hope yours turns out to be longer-lived! Come to think of it, I knew another woman in the same area who varnished some paper accents onto her painted plywood kitchen floor. That lasted quite well. Anyway, cheers!

    • Xan, as for the floor – sometimes low expectations can be a good thing. I didn’t follow the instructions very well, but if it holds up for a year or two, I’ll be happy.

      The plaster cloth was left over from the dodo – not from a DIY cast for a broken leg or something. 😉 It is really fun stuff to play with. Expensive though…

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