Paper Mache Animals

Daily Sculptors Group Page

Paper Mache ChihuahuaWant to show off your paper mache creations and join the conversation with other sculptors? This is a great place to post a photo of your recent work.

You’re also welcome to share some of the challenges and insights that you gained from your sculpture, even if it isn’t quite finished yet. Need some advice on how to get through a sticky section of your project? Just ask – someone will be sure to offer an idea you might be able to use.

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9,271 Comments

  • Well… It seems you gonna have to go on my Instagram to see it 🙁 sorry.
    You can see it on my Instagram account : minievanou
    Have fun xox

  • Hi guys,
    I’m absolutely new in this universe of paper mache but I fell in love with the process and material! I’m going to a GN (Grandeur Nature, sorry I don’t know the English term…), and my costume needed to be “marine or aquatic style”, so I made myself an octopus dagger, and I’m pretty proud of it ^-^ I’ll try to share some pictures of it with you, let me know what you’re thinking about it :). Thanks a lot for all the videos and info on this web site it’s amazing I Loooove this medium of paper mache and I’m certain to be using it again shortly! Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Going to try to post a pic of sculptures of my two Schnauzers in their little German outfits. They are both boys, but I wanted one in a dirndl. He didn’t seem to mind, but that extra biscuit didn’t hurt.

        • Awww how cute Shelbot! Good idea with the dirndl to kind of balance out the look. I guess putting a little red colored ribbon to match the dirndl on one of his ears would be going too far! He probably wouldn’t even go for that, for another biscuit. hehe I love the white one’s face. His ears are well done, and his nosey. Are the clothes out of cloth or out of some other material? They look like real clothing and not paper mache or clay. Now I really really want to make my doggy Chico immortal. You guys are inspiring me so much to get into the animal-making-business even though it’s not on my priority list. But I do see myself making my Chico, who is also white. He’s a maltese so that will be a lot of hair-making. I like how your doggies have kind of human poses.

          • Vicki, Thank you! I might still put that little red ribbon on one of his ears : ) What I really should do (but am way too lazy to actually do) is to better match the color of the suspenders to the color of the dirndl. The big difference in color is jarring to me, and not sure what I was thinking at the time. And as you suspected, the clothes are fabric. Please do make little Chico! Really want to see that. I used a combo of yarn for mustache/beard and curled paper for the eyebrows. Pretty sloppy. I’m sure you’ll do a far superior job.

        • Thank you so much, Jonni. But as always, if you actually saw the quality of workmanship, you would be appalled. And yes, my talent is well concealed : )

      • How cute they are!!
        Did you make the clothing?
        I lived in a small German town as a child, and the male actually brought up memories of the men I’d see sitting on benches, drinking beer with their hunting dogs next to them.

        • Susanne, Thank you! Yes, I made the clothes, but there was hot glue involved. Not crazy about the “hunting” dog part, but was the town pretty? I have this vague, but idyllic picture in my mind. Did you like living there?

          • I, too, would resort to using glue as I always run into problems when attempting to sew.
            Yes, it was pretty…small town center with cobblestone road, old buildings, and in school we were required to write only in cursive with fountain pens. But, at age 10, I didn’t yet appreciate these things. I was just thrilled to have wild forest to explore with my fearless little terrier buddy always leading the way.

      • Shelbot, they are so adorable. Bet it was fun making their clothes. What are the boys made from? Paper strips or clay? Just curious.

      • Is that Mutt and Jeff? Oh, these gave me a belly laugh. I simply love their expressions — and their outfits. Great job. The white one just makes me laugh, and then I look at the gray one. Nuts! Thanks.

    • Hi Ilianka. Your image didn’t come through. Did you make sure the file size was small enough? It needs to be 250KB or less. There are a couple of links at the very top of the page that will help you make the image smaller if you don’t have an image editing program on your device. Please try again – we really want to see your dog sculpture!

      • Illianka, I really hope you will try again at some point. We would love to see your dog.

        Jonni, I know NOTHING, but it has to be 432 pixels MAX, right? Probably wrong…but that’s what I always reduce them to. Or not. IDK.

        • It’s exactly not about the pixels. It’s the file size – under 250 KB. Some big fancy websites like Facebook have their own system for editing images down to a smaller size, but I don’t have a corporation behind me so I have to rely on readers to make their pictures smaller. Many cameras and phones save the images in such big sizes that it would literally take a monitor 12 feet wide to show them full sized. And that kind of photo takes ages to load.

          I know, TMI. Still, we do have those nice links at the very top of the post that offer free services for making images smaller. It’s really not all that hard to do, and I also hope Ilianka gives it another try.

  • Thank you Jonni for your work and for inspiring me . You are an amazing teacher . We all love your work .

  • I was inspired to step out of my comfort zone and make some paper mache animals and other decorations for my church’s bible school (sonrise national park). I am sharing the dog that I made but there are others uploaded to pinterest and youtube at lindaslife after50. I hope this inspires someone else…I had never paper mached in my life and had such fun!

      • Linda, the dog is really cute. Being your first paper mache I agree it’s really good for the first time. I’m sure your church really appreciated it. Is that rock next to the dog also made of paper maché? If so it’s nice too. I love to make rocks and natural things for added flair to some scenes which is why I noticed it right away.

    • Linda, my vision is so bad that I thought he was a fine, but really thin white dog. Then I realized he was an even better black and white dog. SMH. I love his eyes, but I just wish they were bigger. I know I usually make my animals’ eyes too big, but they’re my fave feature. Please keep making art and showing us.

  • I just finished a fun project this week for the grade school here in my village. One of the parents asked me if I would be willing to make them a paper maché bus to collect donations in for an upcoming outing. They would like to display it during the Circus this past Friday in the school that the children performed themselves, since there would be a large audience there (good potential for donations). I would have otherwise never had the idea or desire to make a bus, or any transportation vehicle for that matter, but I do say it was a fun challenge. Hard to show all sides in one photo and I think we can only show one pic at a time so bear with me.

      • Here is the front of the bus and it’s cartoon driver. I wanted the whole thing to look like a cartoon so I drew cartoon like passengers and driver.

        • Last but not least, the back of the bus. Sorry for so many pics. I hope this is acceptable. If this is not wished, so many pics, please let me know. Or maybe I can combine many views into one photo collage next time.

          • Oh, Vicki, you have outdone yourself. That is so clever. You ought to have made a ton of money. I love the little slot at the top. The faces are priceless, especially the ones ready to jump out the rear door! (If you’ll forgive my indulgence, I had a friend who let me stay with her when my dog was in a hospital a few hours from where we lived. I asked her what she wanted, and this was it!)

            • Rex, oh how cute, a silver camper! I like that. It even has the hook on gadget to hook it up to the car. hehe I even put license tags on my bus when finished but that was after I took the photos that I posted here. I might even change it some. I’m thinking of making it into a school bus. Maybe I’ll write the words School Bus in black lettering on the side. Then I’ll have to remove the old passengers and replace them with children. Anyway I’m sure your friend loved the camper! It’s unique for sure.

            • Rex, I think we saw this beauty before!? If so, I probably mentioned that it reminded me of Tim Prythero’s work. http://www.timprythero.com/slideshow/
              If I didn’t have so many pieces that are just sitting around in various states of progress (and that word doesn’t seem correct), I’d make some kind of camper/trailer, because they are cool looking.

            • Shelbot, OMG these campers and autos from timprythero are amazing! So glad you shared this link. Wow such detail. I love the bus one turned into a home. Very amusing and amazing attention to small detail. I am getting so much inspiration from this group. My cup is running over.

          • Vicki, I don’t think I could bear to change that bus if it were mine. I’ve made at least two cars, but I don’t have photos at the moment. I think both are just cardboard, but the one ( I no longer have) has a bunch of (polymer clay) animals going for a ride and running someone down. Totally stole the idea from a real artist. The other has an elephant driver talking on his cell phone. They actually sound better than they look.

    • Hi Vicki, your bus is so cute and I am sure you cannot post too many pictures. Seeing all sides is interesting and I might add, this is one cute bus. I hope that the school got a lot of donations and I am sure this adorable bus will have helped.

      • Thanks Christine for your kind comments. I’m not sure how many donations the school got for their project but the main teacher was so inspired by my paper maché work that she asked me if I would consider making a large project with the children in the school, something that would stay there afterwards. Well we’ll see what evolves out of that. I’m open to it. I do love working with children. Well I’m glad you like my bus. It was fun to make. Thanks again.

      • Christine, you are so right. I live for photos of artists’ sculptures, etc. And am always grateful when people post different sides/angles of their work.

  • While I’m on a roll here showing some of my pieces for you to get to know me, here’s my specialty, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. I got started in paper mache 10 years ago mainly with my love for Halloween. I started with some really hokey looking witches then moved on to pumpkins and jack-os. I learned Scott Stoll’s (Stolloween) method using a paper bag and stuffing it with newspaper for the form. Since then he has progressed on to a new material more like clay and I think he abandoned the plastic bag method. I’m still using it but I’m realizing through this forum that there are so many materials available that I am just so, not-in-the-know. I hope Jonni’s site changes that for me and I too will move on to clay or something water proof for my pumpkins. I’ve had requests to make them for people but they want them outdoors and waterproof. That is a current challenge for me. I used boat’s varnish but water always finds its way into little nooks and crannies. For now my pumpkins are just indoor decoration until I find the magical solution for making waterproof pieces.

    • Hi Vicki. Your pumpkins are really nice. I think Scott is now using his new and improved version of my paper mache clay instead of paper strips and paste – but the plastic bags still work really well for pumpkins. (I haven’t tried his pm clay recipe, so I can’t say if it’s better or not. Has anyone else tried it? I think he adds laundry starch, but I could be wrong, and I’m too lazy to look it up.)

      I have tried waterproofing paper mache in all sorts of ways, and I have never found anything that works. It’s been a disaster, really, every time I’ve tried it. I now make my outdoor sculptures with epoxy clay (there are several different brands.) A pumpkin made that way would last for years. I would probably start with the plastic bag, block out the features so you don’t have to cut into the finished pumpkin, cover it with several layers of plaster cloth, and then use a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt over it, both inside and out.

      • In a way I’m glad to know that the attempt to make papermaché objects waterproof have been disastrous for you too. I’m glad it’s not only me. I think I’ve come to the conclusion, paper maché and waterproof do not go together. So, ok, it’s time to get serious here and learn how to make your epoxy clay. I’m not sure I follow you about how to go about this, about blocking out the features and covering with plaster cloth, etc. But ok, one step at a time. I think I’ll finish the 10 pumpkins that I’m in the middle of creating still using the old way, and then start making some clay and experimenting. Or maybe while I’m working on those, get started on new ones with the new materials. I guess it’s time to sit down here at my computer and watch your videos, and soak in some information, then start asking questions. I think I’m too impatient sometimes and I want to conquer the paper maché world in one day and I know that’s not possible. It took me 10 years down this path just to get where I am. But I see so much potential and a whole world of materials and information just waiting for me. Time to order those Jonni Good books and start learning more. I really appreciate all the free information which is so generous, but I do feel that it’s time to honor the hostess here by putting my little donation into the pot of wisdom being shared so generously here. I feel like I’ve learned so much already, just by the world of new materials being opened up to me. You just can’t imagine how “freeing” this feeling is. I think I have been a prisoner of my own small thinking. Time to think out of the box. 🙂

        • Vicki, I’m so glad you’re getting so much out of the site. If you do read my animal sculpture book, you’ll like the way it takes you through the processes from beginning to end, and each project is a little more involved than the last one. You already have the sculpting skills you need, but it’s nice to have the instructions for making your own patterns and how to use the paper mache clay all in one place. Blogs are great, but sometimes it’s a little difficult to find everything you need in one place.

          If I get a few extra minutes next week I want to make a rabbit sculpture to go outside. It’s been on my list for months, and I already have all the materials. But no time. 🙁

          • Will you be making the outdoor sculpture out of the apoxie sculpt? It’s funny that you will be doing a rabbit because I had the same idea, even though I just made one. The last one turned out so well, I wanted another!

            • Yes, I’ll use the epoxy clay – whichever brand I happen to have in the studio. I think I have enough Apoxie Sculpt left. I saw a giant rabbit sculpture, about two feet high, in a Houzz photo (can’t find it now) that the owners found at a garage sale. Naturally, they didn’t know who made it, but it made me want one really bad. Especially since our town is overrun with rabbits. When I lived in a small town in Oregon, there were no wild rabbits in town, probably because a lot of people let their dogs run wild. I prefer the rabbits. I don’t mind sharing a few carrots now and then. 🙂

          • Vicki, I made my other comment before reading Jonni’s. I think going through the book is priceless, and, as she said, you obviously have skills.

            Let me just warn you, though, you may not have room on your work table. The projects I make sit on the work table, and I work off my end table next to the bed. (Eight projects on the table at that time. Some of them still in progress.) You will have a great adventure going through her book. I never let it out of my sight — and after six years, each page is well used. I guess I’m just excited for you.

            • Rex, oh my gosh, these animals are gorgeous! The giraffes, oh my! I love them. Want one, now. hehe Well ok if they’re in the book I’ll be making one. Or two. Or three. Funny I’m not reallyl the animal maker but maybe I’ll become one. I mean, my passion is mostly fairytale themes, pumpkins and jack-o’s, and lately cakes and sweets. Really just whatever inspires me. I’m a real animal lover but I’m not really inspired to make a lot of animals. Go figure. I did consider making a sculpture of my doggy (Maltese) Chico who is so beautiful. Well geez, I’m getting excited too. Thanks for being excited for me. Haven’t done an actual order yet, it’s just a matter of finding 10 minutes time for myself to sit down with my credit card or whatever and just do it. I even made room in my art cupboard for Jonni’s books which I haven’t even ordered yet but I see them on my shelf. I mean they won’t just be sitting on the shelf, of course they’ll be in use but then eventually they will be on my shelf with my other artsy stuff from other artists, to inspire me. Wow thanks for sharing this photo. I’m really curious now, just seeing these patterns on your table, and how these are made. A totally new way of making sculptures than how I tediously do it.

            • Rex, How much do you want for everything on that table when finished? I wish I could afford them. Of course I realize everything already has a home they are going to, but that just looks so exciting.

    • Vicki, I love your “carved” pumpkins, but I am going to steal the “uncarved” ones. And look at those stems! Beautiful.

  • I only have one more print finished for my new online art store, but I have a fawn very nearly finished, with the same color background. With the big ears on both of them, they go really nice together. Now I’m trying to figure out the easiest way to get the best shipping prices for my customers with Shopify without spending a lot more money, and after that I learn about Instagram. And I’m wondering if the name of the store should be something with keywords instead of my name. Any suggestions?

    Here’s my cottontail rabbit:

    • Jonni, that is so beautiful. I don’t know anything about the other stuff, Instagram, whatever that is! Stunning.

      • Thanks, Rex. I’m having so much fun with the new Photoshop fur brushes that I wish we could use them on our sculptures. I’ll bet there’s a way to do it – maybe do a whole page or two of fur, print it, and use it as the last layer of paper? Might be fun to try.

        And that’s kind of how I feel about Instagram, too – what the heck is it? But Jessie says it’s a big deal, so I have to learn. I am being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of smart phones.

    • Jonni, Your rabbit is just beautiful, the eyes so soulful and the whole picture is captivating. No surprise but you do nice work. I cant help either with the instagram stuff.

      • Thanks, Eileen. I’ve been reading advice from online “experts” about Instagram, and I am not getting it. I’ll keep slogging on, though. Jessie will probably figure it out before I do. 😉

    • Wow those prints are amazing. I’m just learning bit by bit of your multi talent, Jonni. Drawing, painting, sculpting and even writing. There’s probably more that I don’t know yet but I’m slowly but surely browsing through the site to discover all the treats available. These prints are just beautiful. The giraffe is so striking! The rhino with little birdie is so great. All of them are wonderful. Now I can see why your sculptures are so lively and realistic, someone who has those drawing and painting abilities can transfer it to the sculptures. Congratulations on the new online art store.

    • Your rabbit is beautiful especially those eyes. As for the name of your store what could be better than what it is. I love the logo with the little giraffe head in the middle. I wondered if there is a link between your two sites? Instagram??? I spend a lot and I mean a lot of time on my iPad and in my mail every day is stuff called Twitter, Facebook, etc, Instagram is there, but I haven’t any idea what to do with it. However, if your daughter says you need to learn it, I guess you have to. Good luck!

      • Hi Joyce. My biggest reason for using a new domain name is because the Squarespace site can stay up while I figure out the new one. I’m still working on it. And I keep watching videos about Instagram, but I still don’t get it. Pinterest I understand. Maybe if I wasn’t so antagonistic towards smart phones I’d be more excited.

        • It seems you can find some really interesting sites on Pinterest.
          I saw your picture there and a lot of other paper mache sculptors. Have you seen the one where she doesn’t paint her work, but uses pieces cut from magazines? Amazing! I just looked up how to use Instagram and the article said that to use it right you’re supposed to have a smart phone which lets me out and I am also signed up for Facebook and Twitter, but I never post on either one.

    • Jonni, stop showing off! : ) No, don’t ever stop. He is beautiful. I always want to reach out and pet your animals. Really wonderful work.

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