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.

There’s a size limit for photos to keep the page from loading slowly. If your images are too big, and if the photo is on your computer, you can resize it quickly using this free online picture resizer.

If the photo is on your phone, try the tips in this article. Note – some phones show you an image right-side-up, but they’re really sideways or upside down. Check your phone’s user’s guide to see how to upload a photo so it can be viewed correctly on a web page.

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10,259 Comments

  • Hello Jonni. And the group. I haven’t posted in a while. Here’s a sculpture I’ve just putting the finishing touches on. It’s based on a little chimpanzee who lives in south Florida named Limbani. I sculpted it in chavant clay. I’m going to mold it and cast it this coming week. Hope everyone is well.

  • A little while since I last popped by.
    Looking back at postings I note some outstanding work has been submitted
    ….so much creative talent.

    I recently gave a talk as invited guest speaker at Falmouth University (UK) on 31st August to x50 museum curators, art fund providers, artists, Uni staff & other interested parties. The title- ‘Inspired by museums’. Tik my service dog & my befriender went with me as ‘belt & braces’ support. (I have PTSD, following catastrophic trauma, suffer from severe anxiety, panic attacks & form of agoraphobia).

    This was a big step…

    A youtube slideshow of ‘some’ of my papermache & mixed media creations was backing for half of my talk (NB; slideshow contains some images of my tasteful male nude mix media sculpture creations, just a gentle warning for those of a sensitive nature) – https://youtu.be/C06yxL6lXHo

    After the lecture/talk, I really felt a need to retreat & create.

    So I went all ‘fishy’…..

    …& created the fish creatures in composite pic provided

    • Oh my – I can’t imagine getting up in front of all those experts and giving a talk. You must have a really good dog – my mutts wouldn’t help me out at all if I tried something like that.

      And is that a new website address I see? Or have you always had one, and I just forgot? (I’ll go check out your video now. Thanks for giving us the link.)

    • I don’t think your photo went through. I want to see your fishes! And congrats on pulling off you lecture. I agree with Jonni-very daunting!

    • Can’t see any “fishy” stuff, but good for you to take on a venture that requires such emotional and physical input. Your creations are fantastic.

  • Hello Jonni,
    Thanks to this wonderful website, I felt confident enough to tackle a rather large ceiling tile project. After some trials and errors, I used plain paper pulp pressed into a sealed plaster mould and reinforced with paper and glue layers. The pulp, used quite wet but without glue added, shrinks away from the heavily petroleum jellied mould as it dries, enabling easier removal. The ceiling panels are 30 inches square, very detailed and in deep relief. After a disastrous first attempt at removing a panel in one piece, I now cast in sections and then stick them to a backing made from several pasted layers of newspaper. I am delighted with the result. The first panel is up on the ceiling, the second is waiting to be painted and a third is drying in the mould. Each one takes me a week to cast and paint. While one is drying, I paint another. It is going to take quite a while to complete my kitchen ceiling. I need approximately 18 panels in all. I hope you like it.

    • Sarah, it’s beautiful. Do you have any trouble painting the pulp when you use the petroleum jelly release? And would you have any interest in doing a guest post to show us exactly how these are done? Your room is going to be amazing. Will you be covering the entire ceiling, or just around the edges, around a center light, or???? (Sorry about all the questions, but this is such a cool project. πŸ™‚ )

      • I have no trouble at all painting the pulp. I was a bit worried before I started as I had read that petroleum jelly can cause problems. That is probably why I used too little on my first attempt and the pulp stuck to the mould and was destroyed upon removal.
        I painted the pulp with ordinary emulsion paint leftover from a previous incarnation of the kitchen walls, just to seal it and fill some of the minute imperfections. Then I used acrylic paints for the final colour finish. Even the gold is acrylic. I have tried the acrylic paint straight onto the pulp and it works beautifully too.
        The whole ceiling will be covered. It is going to take a while! I have photos of the whole project in progress and would be delighted to do a guest post for this wonderful website. Thankyou for your interest and enthusiasm.

        • What a fabulous project – and you’ll treasure even more because of the time you’re committing to it. When you have time to create your guest post, just send the text and images in an email. I’ll post it as soon as I can, and I know you’ll get a big response from my readers. (Remember to use “paper mache” in the subject line so your email doesn’t get lost among all the ads in my inbox.)

        • Sarah, this is so creative and beautiful. I look forward to seeing thr finished ceiling…certainly one of a kind.

    • This is exceptional! How very clever and ingenious of you to even think of it. Can I ask how the panels are installed? Is it like a drop ceiling?

      • Hello Eileen,
        The panels are installed straight onto the ceiling using a combination of glue and screws. I have done a few parts with solid pulp to take the screws which go into the plaster and lathe. I use a coat of PVA on the backing to stick it as flat as possible. I am installing it over polystyrene tiles but only because I couldn’t face the dust and mess that would be create removing them first, and they are stuck very firmly to the plaster ceiling.

  • The Killer Duck is featured in the “Making Christmas” song in Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. This bullet riddled terror is 25 inches tall by 24 inches wide and weighs approximately seven pounds.

  • (Don’t know if I can post this here as it doesn’t have much papermache, its more air drying clay (though its interior is paper) but I can’t resist! Hang me by the feet if you must )
    Hi everyone, again πŸ™‚
    Took 2 days to make this and the funniest bit was that 2 minutes after posting it on facebook it got sold!
    He’s aprox 1,1inches tall πŸ˜‰

    • Pedro, we won’t do you any harm for posting your work, I promise – even if it isn’t made with paper mache. I could hardly complain, since I keep making things with other materials, too.

      But my goodness – that is small! And it’s so finely detailed, too (and macabre, in a very tiny way). I’m glad it sold so quickly, and I hope it’s the start of a run of good luck for you.

    • I so appreciate the detail on this heart. A brain would be cool as well. Market them to various medical specialists!

      • Thanks Eileen. Apparently the lady who bought it was doing a mini medical scene but… marketing and to various medical specialists? how? Do tell me more please πŸ™‚
        Brains are on my list as well as skulls

        • How about lurking on Facebook pages where medical students hang out? It’s hard to mention you have something for sale without getting kicked out of a Facebook page, but there might be some casual way of mentioning that you make tiny models of body parts. πŸ™‚

        • I am sorry but I am not an expert on the marketing end of things. I just thought it would be great if a cardiologist had this on his/her desk as they explain cardiac issues, etc. A neurologist would have a brain, you know what I am saying.

  • Jonni, since it is coming up on my favorite time of the year, I wanted to show a real pumpkin sculpture I made years ago, and encourage others, like King Rex, to show all things Halloween. The story of this piece, is that the witch has crash landed into the pumpkin and is trying to get out. The orange background is because there was a lot of junk on the counter top : )

  • Hi Jonni!

    Me and my brother just wanted to say thank you for your ULTIMATE air dry paper clay recipe.
    It was cheap to make and easy to use. It really helped us a lot!
    We found your recipe because we wanted to make a monkey (wukong) and rat sculpture around 3 feet tall for a local public art show, and so we needed a material that was light and not expensive.
    One of the things we tried to carve was a styrofoam block from the hardware store which was almost impossible to carve, made a huge mess and was not fun to do at all lol.
    But we were lucky enough to come across your recipe on Youtube, so thanks again!

    This is basically our first legitimate sculpture so we made a couple mistakes but it all turned out good!
    For the armature we used basic paper mache, aluminum foil, a lot of masking tape, crumpled news paper and balloons.
    One problem we encountered was not having a strong enough armature.
    For example when we made the tail it was standing straight up but then overnight it began to lean to one side and then it completely hardened that way.
    We should have put a wire in the tail, but instead all we did was harden the base of the tail with a heat fan and heat gun.
    We though that would hold it up straight long enough for it to harden.
    Also the paper mache hollow ball we used for the armature of the head wasn’t able to hold the weight of the clay over night so his head sank into his neck.
    But were blessed that the head sat right on top of the monkeys shoulders and didnt fall right off over night πŸ˜€
    We also originally wanted the whole sculpture to be smooth like a KAWS sculpture but sanding the whole thing takes quite a bit of time.
    I made the rat first so I sanded that to the smoothness I wanted and we ended up not having enough time to completely smooth the rest of the sculpture.
    Were still extremely happy how it all turned out, and i’m already working on another paper clay sculpture.

    Thanks again πŸ™‚
    Felix& Josh

  • This particular work has been in development hell since March. It’s not getting any better but when I was looking at her last night, I was thought maybe there’s something here you all may find useful.

    Annie (this is the back of her head) is supposed to look like a dog that is made out of ice cream. I couldn’t figure out how to get a texture that mirrored this, so in a fit of pique I started slathering joint compound onto the armature (already clayed over.) It looked really nice so I did this to the whole body. Unfortunately the compound was entirely too thick and huge cracks began to form so I grabbed my Elmer’s glue and painted over the cracks until they had been filled and leveled out, plus a little extra over everything for added structural integrity on the peaks. A few coats of acrylic paint later and the texture is immovable.

    That’s all, really. πŸ™‚ If anyone has issues with cracking, try this. It may help!

    • Great tip, Sarah! Every once in a while my joint compound/Elmer’s glue mixture that I use for gesso will form hairline cracks as it dries. This would be a great solution for that problem, too. Thanks!

      • Certainly! She looks a little creepy, though and the face isn’t as fat and fluffy as it should be. Maybe one day I’ll do a remake. (Here’s hoping the picture isn’t sideways again. Not sure why that happened.)

        • The sideways pictures have something to do with the way Firefox (or maybe Windows) talks to the code that’s embedded in a photo taken on an Apple device. At least I think that’s why it happens. You can right-click on the photo and choose “view image,” and it turns right side up. Go figure…

          And, by the way, I think the dog’s face is quite nice. Is that a cherry on top, and marshmallows for eyes? There must be a story behind your reasons to make a chocolate ice cream dog.

          • Oh, I see! Noted. πŸ™‚

            Aw, thank you! She’s a hot mess but I can’t seem to bring myself to throw her away just yet. The eyes are going to be colored like true eyes eventually, if I could just come to a decision on what color they should be. (Maybe blue? Would contrast nicely with the red tones in the brown…) And yes, that’s a cherry!

            I used to work as kennel staff for a veterinarian. Animals would be boarded with us and one of them was a little shih tzu named Annie. I loved her chubby face and big eyes so I made a sketch of her and I may or may not have been a bit hungry at the time. πŸ™‚

            • Sarah, I somehow lost my internet connection for a bit, so I think my comment got lost. But you may get two. Your ice cream pup looks delectable, so please don’t throw her away. I agree with you about the eyes, but I am partial to dark brown. I can’t wait to see her finished, with a cherry on top.

        • Sarah, this is so adorable and looks delicious – hahaha! I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.

  • Here is another for my show in February. While painting, it was too dark so I tried something new. I mixed the glazing liquid with an unbleached titanium white and applied, then wiped off with a damp cloth. It did achieve what I had hoped. Until now, I’ve only used the glazing liquid with a dark color so I had no idea what it would do. Calculated risk that paid off!

  • I have been meaning to post this for a while…yet another for the flora and fauna show. The painting on this one was tricky.

  • Hello big friend! I’m Alejandra. My birthplace was Buenos Aires, Argentina and now I have my home in Madrid, Spain. What a faith leap!!! The 52 years that I lived in the Earth are riches in storys.
    This button – “a button is enough by sample” is an ancient spanish phrase – is our child: you bring to me knowledges to make it and me constructed it.
    That’s true! I see a pretty little cat! – well know line from Tweety.

  • Here is another paper mache project that I just finished for Halloween. He is ready to go trick-or-treating with his spider costume on… lol. He look’s a bit crazy, hahaha. Oh well, the crazier the better at Halloween. :b

    • Hi Eileen. I saw their email yesterday, and I’m going to make something for the contest. I just haven’t figured out what to do yet. Kim’s face sculptures elves are nice – maybe I’ll try something like that. I still have the Pal Tiya that someone sent me as a present, and this would be a perfect excuse to make something with it. Have you thought up a fantasy creature or scene to create for the contest?

      • Hi Jonni- I am actually going away for a few weeks so I will not have the time to create something new but I do have something to enter however. I made something for my daughter that would fit the bill though it was not my best effort. I just need to get over to her house to take a picture!
        I am happy to hear you will get back to sculpting. An elf face would be great but you could also do a dragon as you are good at them, your call.
        You know, I did not mention in the post about the contest, just about the free shipping. So, everybody, the Pal Tiya people are holding a contest for the people in the USA. It has to fit into a fairy tale theme and you need to use less than 3 lbs. Hope you think of entering! It looks like Jonni and I will be!

  • I know this is going so seem odd.. posting a paper mache Christmas figure in August, but I watched your video on YouTube where you made your adorable paper mache (tomten) Santa and I wanted to try & make something similar. I used poster paper to make a cone and to make the legs, then glued aluminum foil on the top of the cone to create the bend at the tip of the hat. I mixed up a batch of your paper mache clay recipe and coated the cone & the legs shape with it. I hot-glued twisted paper towels (no aluminum foil underneath) to make his mustache, beard and hair and soaked the whiskers with Elmer’s glue/water mixture after they were attached. Then I painted him with acrylic paints and I’m going to seal him with a matte finish sealer.

    • I love it! And the way you made the whiskers is really inventive – it would be a lot easier than the way I did it. Thanks for getting us in the early holiday mood. πŸ™‚

      • Thank you, Jonni. My whiskers were definitely easier to create, but all that wrapping you did with the aluminum foil made yours come out extra adorable. I loved those wild and crazy whiskers!

    • Oh he is cute! This may have to be the ornament I make for each of my grandchildren this year! So adorable and I too love the whiskers!

      • Eileen, your comments about the Pal Tiya contest and Teresa’s Tomten have given me an idea – maybe we should do a contest and ask people to submit photos of their Christmas ornaments, made using paper mache or anything else we think of using. I had considered a contest for weird animals after seeing Rex’s tapir and herd of warthogs, but holiday ornaments might be more fun. What do you think? Should it be judged, or should everyone “win” just for playing? Is it too early?

        • A contest sounds like a fun idea! I would wait until October or November to put it out there as pumpkins and Halloween is big for paper machers. It should be judged to bring out those competitive people out there but I don’t know how you could do that in an unbiased manner since you know all of us already and can probably recognize each of our work! Perhaps a “challenge” would be a better idea and that would be less work for you if we just post on the daily sculptor page. Similar to the challenge that you did several years back to do a project in less than an hour(or was it 3 hours?) You get the idea. I do ornaments for my grandkids every year and I am sure I am not alone.

      • Thank you, Eileen. Oh, that sounds like a great idea and I’m sure your grandchildren would love them because you made them! It would be a nice keepsake.

  • Just checking in to say, #1 those Highland girls are very cute, and #2 I pulled up Pinterest and saw my Indian sculpture appearing, gratitude to Ultimate Paper Mache for the posting…. Thank You ….and for the great chuckle it gave me when I read the statement beneath it…. “Figure of a Native American woman….” I’m not sure how my Warrior turned into a transgender Woman suddenly….too funny. Ha ha ha ha … thanks again for the laugh….great way to start and end a day. πŸ™‚

      • Thanks Jonni…. you might have provided any viewer a fun exercise to try to find “her” hidden body parts….besides the long hair (so envious) and the earrings…. πŸ™‚

        • Oh, forgot to thank you for the little shove you gave me to get out of the kitchen and post a piece of my art to Pinterest. Thinking getting something posted will test the waters of interest. If there is any I’m thinking of resurrecting my current dead Etsy site… Will see….

  • Thought you might like to see this ‘gaggle’ of girls. Their faces are paper clay and the bodies are mixed medias.
    Hope this picture comes up OK Jonni I used the site you recommended :0)

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