Practical Paper Mache – a Reader-Supported Project

Practical Paper Mache e-Book
Practical Paper Mache e-Book, by the Readers of


Right-Click here to download the Practical Paper Mache e-Book and save it to your computer.

All of the ideas in this free e-book were submitted by our readers, who have graciously given permission to include their photos and descriptions of their own unique (and useful) paper mache creations.

A big thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas for this project – this was really fun. I’ve never worked on such a large collaborative project before, but now I have the bug. What shall we do next?

If you would like to comment on any of the projects in the e-Book and let the artists know how much you like their work, you can find each individual item shown in it’s own online page by following the links below. I know they would all love to hear from you.

If you’re curious, you can read the post that started our Practical Paper Mache project here.

Paper Mache Napkin HolderPaper Mache Napkin Holder/Rings aka Bill Collector – With Moon and Stars Motif Submitted by Sharon Moreno
Paper Mache Christmas BallsPaper Mache Christmas Ornaments – Both Whimsical and Elegant Designs
Submitted by Sharon Moreno
Child-Sized Paper Mache BoatPaper Mache Toy Boat – Several Happy Children Fit Inside Submitted by Deyana Viktorsson 


Paper Mache Antrler ChandelierPaper Mache Antler Chandelier – A Truly Unique Lighting Fixture Submitted by Aylin Urgun
Paper Mache OrganizerPaper Mache Organizer – A Wall Unit That’s Perfect for a Studio or Craft Room Submitted by Karin Eichelkraut
Paper Mache Roman BoxPaper Mache Roman Box – Decorated With a Potato Stamp in Blue and White
Submitted by Monica Franco
Paper Mache Side TableSmall Paper Mache Side Table – With a Checker-Board Design
Submitted be Payal Pandey
Paper Mache Tortoise PlanterTortoise Planter – Turn a Slightly Damaged Bowl into a Unique Place for Your Plants
Submitted by Payal Pandey
Paper Mache Pin CushionPaper Mache Pin Cushion – A Collectible Item Made from Found Objects
Submitted by June Slack
Paper Mache Card HolderPaper Mache Business Card Holder – an Elegant Way to Display Your Cards
Submitted by June Slack
Paper Mache Hat StandPaper Mache Hat Stand – Custom-Made for Less Than $3
Submitted by June Slack
Paper Mache Waste BasketPaper Mache Waste Basket – Recycled Basket with an Owl Motif
Submitted by June Slack
Paper Mache BowlsPaper Mache Bowls, Translucent Sconces, and a Tiny Box – Must-See Video
Submitted by Paco Ojeda
Paper Mache Junk DrawerPaper Mache Desktop JunkDrawer – A Great Way to End the Clutter
Submitted by Tani Hughes
Paper Mache Waste Paper BasketPaper Mache Waste Paper Basket – Made With Cardboard and Easy Construction Paper Cutout Design
Submitted by Jonni Good
Paper Mache Wall ShelvesPaper Mache Wall ShelvesTurn Cardboard into Strong and Useful Storage Space
Submitted by Tani Hughes
Paper Mache Magazine RackPaper Mache Magazine Rack – With Blue Indian Motif
Submitted by Payal Pandey
Paper Mache Shoe Storage UnitPaper Mache Shoe Storage Rack – A Wall-Hung Storage Unit
Submitted by Tani Hughes
Paper Mache CD ShelvesPaper Mache CD Storage Shelves - Practical Shelves Using Recycled Cardboard
Submitted by Tani Hughes
Paper Mache Doll Furniture - A unique set of patio furniture for dolls.
Submitted by Christine Majul
Paper Mache Egg Cup - A whimsical egg cup, made from paper mache and then covered with three coats of varnish.
Submitted by Chris Josephs
Paper Mache Fantasy Animal – This unique critter is also a vase for flowers.
Submitted by Jelina
Paper Mache Photo Prop EggPaper Mache Photo Prop Egg – A perfect setting for those Easter photos.
Submitted by Teri Niemeyer
Paper Mache Angel ChairPaper Mache Angel Chair – People love sitting in the chair and having photo’s taken!
Submitted by Matthew McCoy
Paper Mache Bird BowlBird Bowl (Kevin from the movie Up) – Have you ever seen such a happy fellow? And he’s practical, too.
Submitted by Monica Franco
Paper Mache Food Saver ShelfPaper Mache Food Saver Shelf – A custom-made shelf that works perfectly and cost about 37¢.
Submitted by Beth Lyons 


Paper Mache Hot Glue Gun Holster Paper Mache Hot Glue Gun Holster – Just the thing for keeping the heat and glue off the table while you’re working.
Submitted by Beth Lyons

73 Responses

  1. Janice Perry
    Janice Perry at |

    I do many types of paper crafts but have not tried paper mache until one day last week. I found a recipe in my old craft patterns and pulled it out. I have ventured in paper mache and found your web page. I know I will really enjoy your tutorials and how to’s etc. I will keep up my adventures and keep busy learning how to make paper mache. Will be in contact Thank you Janice

    1. Debbie Zupancic
      Debbie Zupancic at |

      I have to say thank you Jonni for the download of the Practical Paper Mache book. I have this urge to CREATE something, anything and your art work, inspirational videos and web site have given me just the start I needed to begin a project.

      I am a huuuge Wizard of Oz fan and have been since I found the book in my Grandma’s cupboard as a child. The woman that played the witch, Margaret Hamilton, lived in Painesville, Ohio for a time….imagine… very own hometown! I would love to make a mask complete with a witch’s hat to hang on my wall and shadow frame with a few items and pictures I have collected over the years. I know I can do it now with your wonderful instructive methods.

      Thank you!


  2. Carol
    Carol at |

    I am just a beginner and am thrilled to have some projects to work on. Thanks so much.

  3. carole childers
    carole childers at |

    I have read your posting of the “free” book and enjoyed it. I am still wondering why anyone continues to use wheat or flour paste with the inherent problems of that “glue” medium. The Elmer’s powdered paste (celulose glue) is so far superior and the cost is negligible at about $2.50 per 2 oz box of powder that makes (at least) a gallon on paste when mixed with water. Gone are all problems of mold and/or drying issues. It dries overnight usually. Since using it on class projects for years now, I find that students are not “grossed out” like they are by wheat paste. As I mentioned work dried quickly usually over night. Wheat allergies cease to be an issue. Do try it!
    Here is my latest paper mache project. A girl sculpture over a plastic bottle armature.

    1. Vivienne
      Vivienne at |

      Carole, I value being able to use a more natural product and so I still choose to use the basic flour recipe. I prefer not to use glues for a more eco-friendly choice.

  4. Thalia
    Thalia at |

    It looks like paper mache can me a lot stronger than I gave it credit for. If it can be used to build a wall organizer or even a shoerack, then certainly it should (with a little non-newspaper assistance) be able to hold my Playstation 3? I estimate it to be about two, maybe three kilo’s tops.

    What I’m wondering though: how much heat can a basic newspaper-flour mixture take? I want to make a stand that raises my ps3 a few cm, so air will flow under it as well, instead of just over it. This will provide extra protection against overheating without having to buy a pricey vertical stand, and it will look a lot nicer than the old lego blocks I’m using right now ;)

    So, what’s your expert opinion? Is it worth attempting, or is one game of Tokyo Jungle going to make for a very expensive barbeque?

  5. kelly
    kelly at |

    Hey i’m sorry for posting something that doesn’t really have anything to do with this post but I’m wondering if you knew any magazines/newspapers (online/hard copy) that talk about paper mache? If you do please give me the link (if online) or the title of article and date published author etc (if hard copy/printed). Any help would be much appreciated thank you!

  6. Dea
    Dea at |

    I am trying to figure out how to make a form for a foot… About 8 feet long, 3ft wide and 4 tall for a parade float… Any suggestions for an amature?

  7. Colleen
    Colleen at |

    Jonni, love all the contnet and info you so willing share as well as all the others. But, I have a dilema. mY 8 YEAR OLD SON is doing a project for schol that is going to involve making a paper mache statue of a Bigfoot. He is researching their exististance and has to make a hands on example of what one looks like. I have searched everywhere and thought I’d ask you and your commentators if they have any ideas how to make one standing about 15 inches tall and 2-3 dimensional? Remember this is for an eight year old’s exhibit project for school. Thanks any help would be appreciated. Colleen

  8. Aundria Costellow
    Aundria Costellow at |

    I am trying to make a paper mache globe 7ft. This is for a Christmas parade we are entering this year. I would like it to be strong enough to be mounted, somehow, on a Christmas tree pole placed on a rotating tree stand. My idea is to have the world slowly turning on the float while we are in the parade. Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated!!

  9. Lisa Bryan
    Lisa Bryan at |

    Thank you for the paper mache elephant tutorial, we had a fantastic time making ours!! it stood at 5ftish and was used for our local summer carnival for ‘Anna and the King’.

  10. Leah
    Leah at |

    So my grandpa’s birthday is coming up and i was trying to think of a creative way to wrap his gift. i came up with a paper mache ball. i blew up a balloon and covered it with paper mache. after a few layers, i popped the balloon and pulled it out of the paper mache shell. i then cut a hole in the paper mache shell and put his present inside. then i covered the hole with paper mache and let it dry. after that it just looked like a paper mache tear drop. i wrapped it up and gave it to my grandpa. it was amusing, watching him try to figure out what it was that i gave him. I inted to do this same thing with my 5 year old sister’s present in a few months. it is very fun and great for all ages!

  11. celebrity paper mâché: day 1 | projecthobby

    […] You may remember that my task for the week is to create a celebrity out of paper mâché.  After much deliberation, I have decided to keep you in suspense of my selection until Friday.  Tomorrow I plan to make a paste and get started on the mold, which should be interesting since I have no artistic abilities.  At all.  Until then, I will leave you with these amazing “practical” paper mâché crafts. […]

  12. Leah
    Leah at |

    I am aboud to stard a weird and large paper mache project, and i would love to hear comments and/or suggestions from you awesome bloggers. I am about to make a Hand Chair. a photo of one i like can be found at by searching “fiberglass hand chair ”. i saw a hand chair when i was a child in a health food store and have been amazed by them ever since. the only problem is, how do i get started? i know i’ll have to build a base, but i’m not sure how, and out of what? i would love your help!

  13. Christine
    Christine at |

    I use PrintShop Pro from Broderbund and a PDF converter program that I bought online. The PDF converter program did not cost a lot and it helped me convert a lot of my ebooks to PDF Files. Broderbund’s Print Shop Pro also comes with a PDF converter program built in. Those programs do not cost an arm and a leg and are easy to use and gives a newbie a chance to get experience.

    1. Sharon M
      Sharon M at |

      Thank you Christine,
      I’m going to look into this too! It’s looking brighter and brighter for this venture that I can’t wait to get started on.


  14. Sharon M
    Sharon M at |

    Oh, and now I want to write an e-book! By any chance would you mind passing on some tips, tricks, or where an illiterate computer person could go to learn this? I looked into it last year and got so C O N F U S E D, I finally stopped thinking I could ever do this.


  15. Sharon M
    Sharon M at |

    Jonni, you did such a nice job on the PRACTICAL PAPER MACHE e-book!
    I have no doubt how popular this is going be. And, FREE, be prepared to be stampeded. :D

    I didn’t read any flubs, anywhere. Everyone’s work is showcased outstandingly. You have everything in it…recipes, tips, beautiful photos, instructions, materials…again, you did a wonderful job with this.

  16. Leah
    Leah at |

    Hello everyone! I wasnt sure where to post this so i thought here was as good as anywhere. I was goofing around on the web the other day and came acrost the website: this lady is an AMAZING artist! her current homepage picture is a paper mache tree troll. i highly reccomend everyone go check out her work just to see how extremely large and detailed paper mache can get! have fun!

  17. June
    June at |

    Hi Joni,
    Like all the ideas, especially the wall shelves and the doll furniture. So useful and creative.

    The antler that is really unique. How did you make it? Did you just adjust and extend an existing light fixture? Are you leaving it white? Is it one center light? What kind of final finish did you use?

    Thanks for such an interesting site.

  18. Sharon Moreno
    Sharon Moreno at |

    Hi Jonni,
    Love all these great ideas!

    I have a question…would a Christmas ornament be considered practical? I made some for my Etsy shop last Christmas and I think I still have a few pictures in my computer. I used your paper mache recipe for a few (my first batch that I mentioned to your a month or so ago that didn’t quite turn out).

    Is there a way to revise that napkin holder I submitted here? I didn’t give instructions for it and I thought that might be helpful for your e-book project.

    Also, I have a couple of questions about your post on setting up a website with GoDaddy. I’m not sure where to post that.


  19. Leah
    Leah at |

    Elmers glue…. i’ll have to experament with that one and the marine varnish. for now, though, my bedroom is getting pretty cramped… i was also thinking about trying polyeuerethane (that’s probbably spelled way wrong..). i’ll let you guys know how it turns out. We will find a way to make this work!! :) good luck!

  20. Betty
    Betty at |

    Hi Jonni, I have been following your site and have made a few paper mache and paper clay animals. What I really would like to know is how everyone is doing with making the items for outside display – I live in Colorado and our weather changes constantly. I just read about using Elmer’s white glue as a gesso to make it waterproof – is that better than the waterproof varnish or is it used along with the varnish – I am at a loss as to what to do except leave my little creatures inside. Thanks to all of you for your comments and enthusiasm.

  21. Paco Ojeda
    Paco Ojeda at |

    My latest display of twisted sense of humor (practical, of course!)

  22. Xan Blackburn
    Xan Blackburn at |

    These are all SO great, so creative, so useful, and SO inspiring! I have my idea still only in my head, still too busy to get to it, but these all really get me excited to smash it into my schedule somehow.
    Keep ‘em coming!! :D

  23. Payal Pandey
    Payal Pandey at |

    Loved the Antler Chandelier and would love to try one myself. Its looking awesome.

  24. Tani Hughes
    Tani Hughes at |

    I just came back from a very wet week, vacationing in Portland, OR where I grew up. I have to say I AM SO EXCITED about this project! Totally thrilled with all the positive comments and compliments!!!

    *Jonnie, have you considered ordering by cost, or level of difficulty with a short chapter for newbies like you said, at the beginning. I can create better supply lists, step-by-step type of guide, and also figure out my ratios to come up with the equivalent of ‘Recipes’ for what I use on my projects if any of that would be helpful. Just shoot me an email.

  25. Jan J.
    Jan J. at |

    The projects are so inspiring to me! I especially love that cute little turtle planter, the pincushion and the owl wastebasket, but all the projects make my brain whirl with ideas. Good job everyone – wish I had time to make something to submit!

  26. reetu
    reetu at |

    Dear Jonni, thanx 4 sharing your work with us It inspires me to start thinking of trying my hand at it.Keep sharing and inspiring Bye

  27. deyana
    deyana at |

    attachments size is too large – unfortunatelly that’s the problem – I tried several times. It is “practical” – the kids play in it, but af cours on dry land:)
    I did some more things. If this forum didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be doing paper mache – very inspiring to read. Lots of action too, many different questions, lots of info….thank you

  28. deyana
    deyana at |

    Dear Jonny,

    how to upload few photos of the boat I made? Couldn’t find out. It was so nice to see all the photos on this page.

  29. Nikki
    Nikki at |

    The only helpful comment I can give right now is that this is incredible, Jonni! What a great idea!

  30. Billy
    Billy at |

    Beatiful work!
    I honestly didn’t know paper mache was strong enough for shelves and such.



  32. Xan Blackburn
    Xan Blackburn at |

    LOVE the drawer idea! My mind instantly went to the priority boxes I put in the recycle (since I already have saved more than I can really give space to!) I’m goint to do this one, for sure.

  33. patti
    patti at |

    Love the lightweight storage units on the wall. I have a room full of yarn that needs improved storage…those will be perfect!
    I have tried using wood glue for paper mache with the blue paper towels for texture and strechiness, but found that the towels absorbed so much glue that the objects wouldn’t dry. The outside dried and became water tight before the inside layers could dry. Had to cut the animals apart to let them dry from the inside too. Then, once completed, they were very brittle and broke easily.
    Might be useful for pinatas.
    Now if I want something to be waterproof, I might put a top layer of wood glue but use glue all or flour for the inside layers.
    Nice idea to use wood glue to waterproof forms though…and gives me something to do with the gallon container I still have of it!


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