Paper Mache Animals

Colorful Paper Mache Giraffe “Painted” with Tissue Paper

Paper Mache Giraffe

I absolutely had to show you this colorful giraffe, made by a class of grade school kids with a bit of help from a parent with carpentry skills. A few days ago we saw a fairly realistic (very buff) paper mache panther mascot made by 7th and 8th grade kids, with some help from a very talented teacher. Now we get to see what kids will do when they let their imaginations and creativity go wild.

I’ll let the teacher tell you about it – here’s what she said in her email to me:

Hello Jonni!

I have really enjoyed your website – your creations are incredible!.  I teach at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  Every spring, the sixth grade puts the year’s artwork on display in what we call our Gallery Opening.  We invite the parents, have some fancy appetizers and juice, and the kids act as docents for the evening.  They tell their parents what they have learned about the famous artists we have studied during the school year.  The paper mache project is our centerpiece.  This year, we had a wonderful dad who was willing to make the giraffe armature out of 2 x 4s and we took it from there.  The final covering is a mod-podged collage of bright tissue paper.
Keep the great projects coming!  You are a great resource for classroom art teachers!
Thank you!
Nan Burger
Wow – I’m impressed.

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 Jonni
    I have just spent 4 days plus looking, reading and thoroughly enjoying your site.
    IT IS MARVELOUS! I have been using PM for over 40 years (for myself, kids, grand kids, Girl Guides,etc) – totally by accident found your site – LOVE your clay, skills, talents, attitude, crafts, etc, etc… you are a true inspiration. I almost ‘lost’ track of your site – (computers are fairly new to me – son bought it for me to “bring me into the 21st century” – and I am getting better with it) – a year of heart attacks means I have had to find other things to do than work/stress(not allowed to work for 1 yr after my ‘last’ attack{1.5 mths ago} and finding that not working is more stressful than almost anything else) (raising 5 grandchildren didn’t help either- down to 3 now) Any way you have re-inspired me with the paper mache and I will be adding it to my ‘time filling activities’ such as felting, book binding,drawing, painting, scrap booking and writing. Thank you ever so much. Words really cannot express how GREAT I think your site is. I will be checking in often for new stuff.Thank you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

  • Great job kids! The possibilities are endless with papier mache, which is why I enjoy it so much. AND the materials aren’t as expensive as other mediums. Here’s a picture of two 5-foot giraffes we made for a client last year. I was told the bride nearly fainted she liked them so much. Enjoy!


    Paper Mache Giraffe

  • love it,its great to do sculptures with different things like tissue paper-try brown coffee filters that fun too

  • That’s wonderful! I wonder who gets to take it home at the end of the year! They should auction it off (maybe to help pay for art supplies?)

    I love the motto in the background, too. *nodding vigorously*

    • Maybe they could all paint a poster of the giraffe and motto together, so everyone could all take him home. Did you ever get to do anything that fun when you were in 6th grade?

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