Daily Sculptors Group Page

This is the new official page for the unofficial “Daily Sculptors Group.” Join the challenge to sculpt something every single day — and stay focused on improving your craft among friends.

The challenge is to do the work every single day. It isn’t about creating something that is perfectly finished or gallery-ready. If you show us your daily work it may encourage others to submit theirs, and together we might be able to vanquish Resistance and Procrastination, at least for one more day.

If you want to join us, use the comment section of this page as a journal. Share some of the challenges and insights that you gain from your work, and show off what you made today. Upload photos of your work, so we can see what you’ve been up to. If your images are too big, you can resize them quickly using this free online picture resizer.

Enjoy!

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4,583 Responses

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  1. Becky
    Becky at |

    I have a question for any of you to answer, any and all input would be helpful.
    I am tearing apart my dog, for a couple reasons,
    1) when I transferred my pattern by hand, I thought I was being careful, but well.. his belly put on some added “weight” so I need to trim the fat, so to speak LOL
    2) I am having trouble scaling down the proportions, from life size to my pattern size

    So, I am going to keep trying until I learn how to do that, but knowing I have this issue, would I do better working with larger scale projects until I get the hang of it? Or are there tricks to help me learn? Thanks :)

    Reply
    1. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Becky, I have learned everything the hard way and realize that every step of the process is important. I use a grid system. I will attach a photo here that shows how I do my outline. I took a photograph of a calf and printed it out on a grid paper. I created the grid in WordPerfect; I print out the grid and then I put the paper back in the printer and print the photograph on top of it. I number the grids and then decide how big I want the final project. In this case, each grid was 3/4″. I then draw a grid on the foam core or cardboard. I know it is tedious.

      Then it is a matter of drawing the pattern from the photograph grid to the foam core or cardboard grid. (Jonni shows how to do this in her book on “make animal sculptures.) This has worked really well for me.

      The next problem I had was that I would tape paper over the edges. Don’t do it! I always joke about surgery, but I am working on a dog now where the silhouette is correct, but the head is stuffed too much, so I cut the paper off the head and will start over.

      Hope this helps. Just one other thing. It is important to use a photograph that is a side view and not at an angle. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Becky
        Becky at |

        Thank you so much Rex!

        Reply
  2. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Hi again! I had a thought/question regarding weatherproofing our sculptures. What about using epoxy clay as an outer layer on them? I have been looking into getting some Apoxie Sculpt (it’s a bit pricey over here but I think it would be worth it). It’s a 2 part resin clay that hardens to a very strong finish and you can completely submerge it (I’m assuming as a pond or aquarium decoration). It can be painted with “most types of paints” (as the description I read on it stated). I think oil paint would be best for outdoor use but I’m not sure (I’m thinking it may retain it’s colour better than acrylic??). And I don’t know if this type of paint would work with it. Epoxy clay would work well to seal the sculpture and make it weatherproof, and using paper mache and paper clay for most of it (besides the final layer ) would be economical. Has anyone tried this? And if so, how did you go with it?

    Reply
  3. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Oops, here it is…

    Reply
    1. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      That fur is a wonderful color? What paint color(s) did you use to get that. Perfect. Glad to see it finished.

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thanks Rex! I mixed a few colours together to get the fur the colour I wanted :)

        Reply
    2. Christine Majul
      Christine Majul at |

      Sherri, she is beautiful. If you intend to keep her, she will be the fox of honor, but if she will be a gift, what a lucky person they will be.

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thank you Christine! I think I’ll keep her ;)

        Reply
    3. Nikki Lawing
      Nikki Lawing at |

      Wow! Your fox is gorgeous…I was really looking forward to seeing the finished result and am so glad to :) You did a perfect paint job, that color couldn’t be better!

      Reply
    4. Becky
      Becky at |

      He is fantastic!

      Reply
  4. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Sorry it took so long (I had a crochet project knocking around in my head that I had to do) but here is my little fox all painted. I just have to varnish her now! :)

    Reply
  5. Linda D
    Linda D at |

    I just discovered this web site and I’m thrilled. I’m trying to make an egg chair, sized for 18-inch dolls. I initially tried homemade clay that was too thick, too rough and didn’t hold up. Now, I’m working with a structure made from oatmeal containers. I need to round out the back and top using techniques I’m learning here. Any suggestions are welcomed eagerly as I’ve never done anything remotely like this (well, maybe in grade school?).

    Reply
    1. Nancy Coffelt
      Nancy Coffelt at |

      Linda, I’d love to see your finished chair. I’m going to try a chair this winter and will definitely be feeling my way around in the dark.

      Reply
  6. Nancy Coffelt
    Nancy Coffelt at |

    My newest finished sculpture–a pygmy goat. Working on a life size miniature donkey this week. Here’s a link (Attic gallery, Portland Oregon) to the some of the mosaic paintings I worked on this summer and fall. http://www.atticgallery.com/theArt.html?cid=43&step=2

    Totally addicted to paper!

    Reply
    1. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Nancy, that is one cute goat. And what a clever idea to have the ball and milk can. Great. Love everything, especially the ears. Thanks.

      Reply
      1. Nancy Coffelt
        Nancy Coffelt at |

        Thank you Rex! It was the aluminum foil that did the trick for those ears. :)

        Reply
    2. Nikki Lawing
      Nikki Lawing at |

      This is so cute!! :)

      Reply
      1. Nancy Coffelt
        Nancy Coffelt at |

        Thanks Nikki!

        Reply
  7. Soul
    Soul at |

    I’m done wrestling with Rudolph :D

    To see all the progress pictures this is the album link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.493587423993027.117416.100000253224207&type=1&l=5da574935a

    Nose and reigns are a seperate piece that comes of and so are the antlers and toupet. So after the holiday season I can alternate between deer with and without antlers.

    All made of waste and leftover materials already in the house.

    Reply
    1. Nikki Lawing
      Nikki Lawing at |

      That reindeer is so cool! I loved the progress photos too…just amazing work :)

      Reply
  8. Jo Cassesi
    Jo Cassesi at |

    Hi Jonni. Took your suggestion and decided to post a picture of my first venture with blue shop towels and your fast drying paper mache paste recipe. A friend of mine asked me to make a wall hanging of the Egyptian God Anubis as a Christmas present for her friend. I sculpted the armature from modeling clay and then used the shop towels and your paste. This was the final result.

    Reply
    1. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Jo, that is so cool! I am envious of your talent. That is definitely something I would put on my wall.

      Is that a stone on the chest? If so, how did you attach it? Thanks so much.

      Reply
      1. Jo Cassesi
        Jo Cassesi at |

        Thanks Rex, I was surprised at how good it came out.

        I’m working on two other projects now, a Tarot Woman wall hanging and a Green Man wall hanging. I’m using the shop towels and fast drying paste again. It’s messy but I like the results. Will post when they’re done.

        To answer your question, that’s a large, heavy glass gem on the chest. I used Loctite clear Power Grab construction adhesive. It comes in a tube and goes on thick and white but dries clear. I’ve used all the Loctite products for years in my craft work – the Power Grab just happened to be the one I had available at the moment. They adhere literally anything to anything (porous and non-porous), hold a lot of weight and last forever. I even used it to adhere heavy glass marbles to a stained glass sun catcher I made 10 years ago and it’s still holding strong after hanging in my window through all likes of weather (sub-zero ME winters to 100 degree FL summers). You should give it a try.

        Reply
        1. Rex Winn
          Rex Winn at |

          Thanks, Jo. I do stained glass, and Loctite sounds great. Thanks so much. I need to try this method.

          Reply
    2. Christine Majul
      Christine Majul at |

      Jo, that came out great and your friend should be delighted to get it. The sculpture came out great.

      Reply
      1. Jo Cassesi
        Jo Cassesi at |

        Thanks Christine. My friend loves it and will be giving it to another friend of ours for Christmas.

        Reply
  9. Linda Miller
    Linda Miller at |

    I love paper mache and this is my favourite website (natch :)). I also look at You Tube a lot and came across this sculpture which is made of paper but not paper mache. It’s amazing and I thought you’d enjoy it too. . . .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pik2BcQF8ZQ

    Reply
  10. Nikki Lawing
    Nikki Lawing at |

    Hi Jonni, everyone!

    Here is my latest project…I’m working on a mandarin duck. I saw a photo of one awhile back and just adored all of the colors – it’s like a rainbow colored bird. Anyway, here is the armature all ready to go for Jonni’s super smooth clay. I can’t wait to get to the painting part. Oh, and those funny looking spikes coming off his head hopefully will look more like that sort of wild hairdo that they have once I apply the clay. (in case anyone was wondering…my husband was when he first saw them :)

    Reply
    1. Eileen
      Eileen at |

      I knew exactly what those spikey things were, it’s what makes that particular duck so interesting. Does he stand well? Is he resting on his tail? You may have to open him up and tape a rock inside to keep him standing correctly once the clay is applied. Jonni did it on one of her sculptures(was it the snowy owl?) and it worked great. I can’t wait to see him painted!

      Reply
      1. Nikki Lawing
        Nikki Lawing at |

        This duck is resting on his tail. I do remember Jonni’s snow owl post with the rock and thought of it as I was working! :D But he ended up standing very evenly while slightly resting on the tail so I thought I’d just leave it the way it is.

        Reply
    2. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Nikki, that is exciting. I can’t wait to see it finished. I knew what the spikey things were, also – not dissing your husband or anything! I want to do one, so keep taking photos. (I’m doing a stained glass piece right now, so . . .)

      Reply
      1. Nikki Lawing
        Nikki Lawing at |

        Hi Rex! I will take another picture when I finish the clay part. I’ve applied a bunch of clay to him now, most of him is covered. Putting details in the hairdo has been the trickiest part but it’s going well so far :)

        Reply
        1. Soul
          Soul at |

          It looks great! Does spikes without reading your post immidiately made me think oh cool mandarin duck!!! Very pretty ducks. It looks great and very arty already!

          Reply
          1. Nikki Lawing
            Nikki Lawing at |

            Thank you Soul! :)

  11. Lucy
    Lucy at |

    Here is the side view.

    Reply
    1. Becky
      Becky at |

      Lucy, That is amazing!

      Reply
      1. Lucy
        Lucy at |

        Thank you.

        Reply
    2. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      That is an awesome fish. You ought to be proud. And I don’t blame your husband. Great job.

      Reply
  12. Lucy
    Lucy at |

    Jonni, Your site was helpful in creating my first paper mache project. It is a 72″ striped bass. This project took about 3 wks. Thank you for sharing your experiences. This site is an awesome resource for beginners.
    Thanks

    Reply
  13. Lucy
    Lucy at |

    Jonni, I would like to share my first project with you. Your site was very helpful throughout its creation. I still need to work on the display portion and figure out how to hang it horizontally. It is a striped bass that was used on a parade float. Thank you for creating a site with so much information.

    Reply
  14. Jessica Gray
    Jessica Gray at |

    My video of my latest project:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlNRFAsaAFY

    Reply
  15. Soul
    Soul at |

    Wow, love seeing everyones new work, wonderful!

    I have started fiddling around with a basepattern for the calf that I want to make with movable limbs so it can both stand and lay down but got the inspiration to make my paper deer a Rudolph the rednosed reindeer costume first so am working on that now. Here is a progress picture.

    I’ve used clotheshangers to make the base of the antlers that will be build upon more and playing around with red string lights to turn into a glowing nose and the reigns. It will all be detachable so that I can store it away after the holidays.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Coffelt
      Nancy Coffelt at |

      Wow. This is amazing. How creative.

      Reply
      1. Nancy Coffelt
        Nancy Coffelt at |

        I meant to put exclamation points after all those sentences!

        Reply
      2. Pat Napper
        Pat Napper at |

        Soul, I love, love the deer. You are very talented. I know the calf will be great when you finish it.

        Reply
    2. Nikki Lawing
      Nikki Lawing at |

      That’s really clever, wonderful idea Soul! :)

      Reply
      1. Soul
        Soul at |

        Thank you everyone :D

        Reply
  16. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Hi again! Thank you for the replies about the varnish. It helped me make up my mind on what to use when I get there. Here is a picture of my practice fox. I did this just to get the feel of Jonni’s clay (which I LOVE! It’s stronger than I ever would have thought and very easy to work with and very, very economical and versatile! Thank you for the recipe Jonni). Anyways, this little fox is finally done aside from painting her. The big one I’m going to do will be very different from this one but this was a very good project for practice. I’ll upload a picture when she’s painted.

    Reply
    1. Lynn
      Lynn at |

      Sherri Great Fox. Nice detail and form. Can’t wait to see it painted.

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thank you Lynn :) I’m excited to paint her and see her come to life.

        Reply
    2. Christine Majult
      Christine Majult at |

      Sherri, that little fox is beautiful and the detail on the fur really stands out. I would love to see her painted.

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thank you Christine. The fur took a long time. But I’m not much of a sculptor so I wanted to take my time :)

        Reply
        1. Pat Napper
          Pat Napper at |

          Sherri, I love the Fox!! You make me want to make one but I know I would have a very hard time getting mine to look (even close) like yours. The fur is awesome, I know you did this with love and care. I am new to this site but love it more every time I log on. Thanks Sherri for sharing.

          Reply
          1. Sherri
            Sherri at |

            Thank you Pat :)

    3. Becky
      Becky at |

      You did an awesome job!!!

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thanks Becky :)

        Reply
    4. Nikki Lawing
      Nikki Lawing at |

      Wow, that is just gorgeous…can’t wait to see it when it’s finished! :)

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thank you Nikki :)

        Reply
    5. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Sherri, this little fox is one of my favorite things ever. Period! I hope you will do a guest post. Awesome. Thanks so much.

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        Thank you Rex! I will do a guest post with the big fox I’m going to do in the new year :)

        Reply
  17. james miller
    james miller at |
    Reply
  18. Becky
    Becky at |

    this is supposed to be a yellow lab :( It looks more like a cow…. I don’t know if I should rip it apart… again… or just keep going, paint spots on it and call her Elsie :( This is about 6 hrs worth of work

    Reply
    1. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Becky, stick with it. Legs are my biggest challenge. Every project takes me different places. I tell Jonni I have to make 5 before I don’t want to throw them in the trash.

      I am still working on dogs. I have a dog that I look at as a model all the time, but that doesn’t lessen my challenge. The faces are hard for me but what helps is to remember that the skull is pretty square, the ears go on the SIDE of the head (like human ears, even their ears go up) and that the snout is a triangle shape, that is, more narrow on the top than the bottom, and then there’s the nose. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Becky
        Becky at |

        Rex,
        I am behind in the forum due to long hours at work, and just spotted this reply from you. I have set the dog on the table to stare at me, so he doesn’t get tucked away and never finished (you know how dogs can stare you down and give you a guilt trip LOL) . Although I have found out why he is looking like a cow! When I drew the larger grids onto the cardboard and then tried to transfer the image over, I guess it was like he was on film and gained weight in that area of his chest/tummy… LOL

        Sooo, I have found away to correct that in the future. Years ago, I bought a tracer/enlarger and loved it, unfortunately my mother gave it to another family member so I went online and was able to pick up a used one this weekend pretty cheap. Then, I can hang my card board on a wall, mark my “max” size dimensions, and place the enlarger accordingly to keep it as it should be, and trace the pattern/photo (I’ll keep you posted on how that works)

        I also found a free website, that allows you to make posters (and you can adjust the size of the poster) out of regular pictures, so, knowing Jonni’s elephant pattern is tried and true, I downloaded it put it in that program and enlarged it to print out on card stock, I am going to see how this works for larger projects as well and will update on that experiment.

        In a week and a half, I will have 6 weeks off over the winter break to work full time on the projects I want to try. As I am a baker by trade, I will trade in my baking flour for paper mache flour. ha ha

        Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement from everyone. Practice make perfect so, I will keep trying :)

        Reply
        1. Rex Winn
          Rex Winn at |

          Thanks, Becky. That is interesting. A friend of mine just got rid of an enlarger – I wondered if it would work.

          I use Jonni’s grid method. It does take time to make a grid. Look forward to your updates.

          Reply
  19. Becky
    Becky at |

    I have to say, I LOVE Jonni’s quote at the top of this page. It seems to strike home today LOL

    I have picked 3 “starter” projects, and am trying to work on my grids to get them cut out. I would like one to be slightly larger than my card board :/ Have any of you had luck forming an armature with taped together pieces of cardboard, to make the piece large enough to fit your pattern on ? Or would I do better, if having to tape it together, to use that as my pattern and then use wire for my frame? The project I am trying to do, is of a flamingo, so already plan on using wire for it’s Neck and legs. I have 14 gauge wire on hand, and figure if I double it, it should make the neck and legs strong enough to hold a lightweight body.

    Reply
  20. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Hi again! I just wanted to know what kids of varnish is better for finishing papier mache projects, oil based or water based? What are the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds of varnish? Does one offer more and better protection than the other? And how many coats do you guys usually use? Thanks for any input and suggestions.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Gray
      Jessica Gray at |

      If I use Jonni’s clay, I do three coats with either Miniwax or Krylon. However, I had a problem with Krylon when I applied the second coat (overwhelming smell), so I kept it to two coats then. Never used Miniwax on just a paper mache project.

      Reply
    2. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Sherri, I use either the Golden matte acrylic varnish (brush-on), or Folkart Clearcote Acrylic sealer (matte finish), which is made to spray on paper mache and other stuff.

      I have had trouble with many spray-on varnishes turning the project yellow, and I usually use matte finish unless the project is black, in which case I use gloss because I like the way it makes the black shine. I use three coats. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Joy LaPlante
        Joy LaPlante at |

        Hi Jonni, My long neck dinosaur that my mother and I sculpted out of cement this summer is finally done and moved out to the yard. We still have to paint it but I thought I would share it with you.

        Reply
        1. Joy LaPlante
          Joy LaPlante at |

          Here it is in it’s new home getting ready to munch on some bushes.

          Reply
  21. patti
    patti at |

    Just wanted to thank you for your help with my daughter’s Homecoming float. The tea cups and the characters heads were all made using paper mache and then your paper mache clay. We went through a lot of flour, glue and joint compound but the kids did a great job and they came out great.

    Reply
  22. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Aha… it worked!! Thanks again Jessica!! These are my amateurish papier mache jack-o-lanterns I made a few years ago…

    Reply
    1. Jessica Gray
      Jessica Gray at |

      Wonderful! Are the lights candles or lightbulbs?

      Reply
      1. Sherri
        Sherri at |

        I used candles for the picture, but I normally use the battery operated candles, just for safety reasons.

        Reply
  23. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Thanks, Jessica… I’ll give the picture thing a go…

    Reply
    1. Lynn
      Lynn at |

      They are fun!

      Reply
  24. Rex Winn
    Rex Winn at |

    Here are two kune kune piggy banks I just finished. I must say I got attached to these two, but they are going to good homes!

    Thanks for the pattern, Jonni.

    Reply
    1. Marilyn Kalbhenn
      Marilyn Kalbhenn at |

      Rex your piggy banks are gorgeous :-)

      Reply
  25. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    I have a few questions about papier mache paste (just the flour water mix). I read somewhere on here Jonni mentioned wild yeast and the liquid it forms on the top of the paste if it’s left a few days. Is it ok to just mix that liquid back in, or should the batch of paste be dumped out? If you use it will it damage the project or cause problems? I had read that you can use a little salt in the mache paste to prevent mold growing. Has anyone tried this? I have had problems with salt dough (some Christmas ornaments I made) and the high humidity here in the summer…they got quite soft and a little crumbly. I wonder if it could cause similar issues with a papier mache project if salt is added to the paste? Also, earlier I had issues trying to post a couple pictures on here, the files were too big… this will probably sound like a dumb question, but is there any way to make the picture files smaller so I can upload them? Thank you for any help :)

    Reply
    1. Jessica Gray
      Jessica Gray at |

      I use a teaspoon of salt in my regular paper mache paste (which is made of 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour), and I have never had a problem. I live in Florida, and we have high humidity here too. Of course, I have–in the past–covered it with Jonni’s original paper mache clay. I also cover my paper mache projects with gesso, paint, and varnish–so that probably gives additional protection. I also always make sure I cover EVERYTHNG. I find that sometimes people (with Xmas ornaments) will leave a side uncovered, and then humidity can get into it.

      What I do to resize files is to put them in paint (either the one that comes on the computer or the one you can download). You can adjust the actual size, or you can sometimes reduce file size by changing the type–like making it a jpg (which tends to take less space).

      Reply
  26. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Darn, the files are too big…sorry :(

    Reply
  27. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Here are my jack-o-lanterns I made a few years ago. I want to do some more (in time, I have too many ideas on the go already!) They hold up so well and look great. I use the little battery operated candles in them, I have to use a few to get them to really shine though. If I knew then what I know now, they would be a lot better, but they’re not too bad for my second-ever papier mache project.

    Reply
  28. Heather Garton
    Heather Garton at |

    I wanted to share with you my tree frog. He was made using aluminum foil for the armature. It was a hoot to make and its a fun surprise for the children when they enter our jungle room. I did learn an important lesson with this guy- next time I will shape that armature on site instead of at home. He was originally supposed to hang in a much larger tree so his arms are really open on this tree. It was good practice and alot of fun! Thanks Jonni for your great tutorials!

    Reply
    1. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Wow! This is the first thing that has made me think I need a fake tree. Imagine how much fun one could have filling it with delightful critters like this. Great idea.

      Reply
  29. Heather Garton
    Heather Garton at |

    In looking for ideas to decorate our churches children’s worship room, I came across your elephant video tutorial on youtube. I have since spent countless hours on your website and have so enjoyed learning more about this fun, creative medium. I love to craft, but paper mache was new to me. Using your recipes and tutorials, I made my own elephant head for our jungle room. From top to bottom she is just under 6′ tall. It has been an enjoyable project to work on. Thank you Jonni for all of your inspirational tutorials and recipes.

    Reply
    1. Lynn
      Lynn at |

      What a fun project! To tackle such a large item must have been fun! Looks great.

      Reply
  30. Rex Winn
    Rex Winn at |

    My pumpkin. I finally settled on the colors, and before Halloween. It is 3′ around.

    I wanted to put some green on it, and I was looking at Hooker’s Green. I noticed that the green is made from Phthalo Blue, Napthol Red, and Hansa Yellow. So instead of using the green, I used the three colors, and I love them. It is easy to make the brown (stem – combine all three colors), orange, green, and everything in between. I am constantly inspired by people on this site, and I thank you.

    I think I’m going to give this to a cousin who just moved into a nice big home with a large front porch. (And she can worry about storing it!) I used the FolkArt acrylic sealer and love it.

    Reply
  31. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Hi again! I was wondering if there is any “Rule of Thumb” for armatures? Any basic info on what to use to make armatures for any size sculpture and tried and true methods? I tried Jonni’s wire armature and foil for the Chihuahua. My next project will probably be a lot bigger (a 3 to 3 1/2 foot tall fox statue) and I’m not sure if the wire and foil armature is right for it. Should I use cardboard or wood with scrunched up newspaper for shape? Should it be made the size of the finished project or should I allow for some bulk to be added? Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)

    Reply
  32. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Jonni, I want to thank you for all the wonderful information on your website! I live in Australia and recently had a lot of trouble buying a fox statue I really wanted over the internet (I was very upset). So I decided to make my own!! I’m starting small and using your advice and I will post my first creation once it’s done. I have done some papier mache a few years ago to make my own jack-o-lanterns. The pumpkins to carve real ones were VERY expensive here (they are getting cheaper – Hallowe’en is catching on!) But I’m very excited to try something a little more ambitious. I will have to post my mache jack-o-lanterns too. Thanks again!

    Reply
  33. Sue
    Sue at |

    Dog #4
    Rayzn Cane, my Labrador agility partner. She was a top competitor in her day. She is now 14 years old and still my most wonderful companion.

    This was done all with flour paste and paper strips.

    Reply
    1. Christine Majul
      Christine Majul at |

      Sue, our pets give us so much and the time they have with us they give so much and ask so little in return but love and pets. The memories are also priceless. This sculpture is a great ode to Razyn Cane and a wonderful commemoration to a wonderful dog.

      Reply
  34. patti
    patti at |

    What type of varnish is best for large pieces? Spray? brush on? We are recreating the tea cup ride at Disney World on our Homecoming float and have made large tea cups using paper mache and your paper mache clay recipe. They are painted with acrylic paint and we would like them to have a ceramic like finish. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Gray
      Jessica Gray at |

      I’ve used two types: Miniwax Polyurethane–which is a brush on, and Krylon Acrylic Coating (UV Resistant). Each has their problems and advantages.

      Miniwax can be bought at Home Depot. I don’t think it is terribly expensive. The advantage is that you can brush it on, and it doesn’t have an offensive odor. This is normally used to treat wood stains, so it is created for outside stuff. The problems? You have to be careful when applying it because it can “pool”. Also, it leaves a yellowish stain, so your whites will not be totally white. You can choose the gloss type, but even semi-gloss can make things very shiny…which may not always be what you want.

      I usually use Krylon. This is a spray. What I like about it is that it isn’t so shiny, which is nice for my “lifelike” sculptures. It doesn’t pool. It can be expensive, though if you get coupons from your local craft store, you can get it cheaper. The smell is a problem, particularly if you live in a humid state like I do. I don’t recommend using it inside. However, even outside, it is easy to get overwhelmed. I recently used it on my Havisham wall hanging, and I got so sick!

      Reply
      1. patti
        patti at |

        Thanks everyone. We went with the Krylon spray. It worked really well. Will post pictures once it is complete.

        Reply
        1. Rex Winn
          Rex Winn at |

          Patti, I’m a little late in my comment, as usual! I have tried many types of varnish, and Krylon is one of my favorites. I find the ACE brand is noticeably yellow. Some of the projects I brush on varnish (GOLDEN).

          However, lately I have been using FOLKART Clearcote Acrylic Sealer (Matte Finish – you have a choice of finishes), and it is by far my favorite. I tried it because it stated it was for paper mache. I love the finish and have not had any problems while spraying it on.

          Reply
  35. Melinda
    Melinda at |

    I’m currently in the middle of a giant head project. My plan is to use faux fur for the hair and not to do paper mache on the back of the head. Am I potentially making a big mistake in the overall structure stability this way?

    It’s got a stable foundation of cardboard with sculpting in newspaper and tape. Planning to do the paper mache clay for the finer facial details.

    Since this is a secret project for a costume contest I can’t share pictures until after Halloween. This website has been amazing for ideas and I welcome any tips.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Gray
      Jessica Gray at |

      Is this a costume you are keeping afterwards? I don’t see a problem unless you want to keep it for a long time.

      Reply
  36. chris
    chris at |

    hi ,finally my penguins are ready
    I am very satisfied :D
    I have worked very hard on
    greetings from belgium , chris

    Reply
    1. Nikki Lawing
      Nikki Lawing at |

      Wow! Those penguins are so beautiful! :D You did such a great job Chris!

      Reply
      1. chris
        chris at |

        thank you Nikki :D

        Reply
    2. Julie Ellis
      Julie Ellis at |

      Chris I love your penguins! How tall are they? They’re beautifully done and painted.

      Reply
      1. chris
        chris at |

        thank you Julie :D They are 12 inches high ,otherwise they could not in my glass (cabinet) closet , I have nine cats so must be careful :p

        Reply
    3. Sue
      Sue at |

      What beautiful penguins!

      Reply
    4. Rex Winn
      Rex Winn at |

      Chris, these penguins are really beautiful. I love them. Great job.

      Reply
  37. Christine Majul
    Christine Majul at |

    Lynn, I would love to see the finished product. I bet they will be beautiful and Santa and angel would be very nice come Christmas.

    Reply
    1. Lynn
      Lynn at |

      Worked on the pumpkin and bones today. Learned a lot about making them. the bones easy! The pumpkin. wait until you put the paper clay layer on and it dries before you take out the stuffing and bag. I just used elmers glue for the paper strips coats. It was NOT half as strong as using Jonni’s glue and plaster recipe.
      Still have one more layer of paint and the finish to do.

      Reply
      1. Rex Winn
        Rex Winn at |

        Lynn, awesome pumpkin and bones. I love the pumpkin. Wish I had thought of that!

        Reply
        1. Lynn
          Lynn at |

          Thanks They were a just for fun project. I am going to fix the poor pumpkins jaw. I didn’t add the paper clay to the bottom and it has caused it to sag a bit. Will also try a second one. Should go a lot faster.

          Reply
  38. Lynn
    Lynn at |

    Been having fun this week while on fall break. Made a bunch of models from 1.5 liter bottles, crumpled paper, foil and tape. Made an angel, santa, snowman and wizard. I am also working on two pumpkins, 5 bones and an owl. Today I start the paper mache. Then I can complete them when I get home from teaching. At least on those days I have the energy :)

    Reply

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