Paper Mache Tutorials

Some of the tutorials on this site are shown below – but there are many more. (At last count, there were 400+ tutorials, with more coming all the time). To see all the paper mache tutorials on the blog, click here. And to see all of the other posts on this site (over 200 and counting) click here. You can also download the free Practical Paper Mache ebook, which was created by readers of this blog, here.

Paper Mache Clay Tutorials

Paper Mache Clay Frog:

Paper Mache Clay Frog
Paper Mache Clay Frog

Paper Mache Clay Butterflies:

Paper Mache Clay Butterflies
Paper Mache Clay Butterflies

Paper Mache Clay Snowman:

Paper Mache Clay Snowman
Paper Mache Clay Snowman

Traditional Paper Mache Tutorials:

Life-Sized Baby Elephant Sculpture:

Large Paper Mache Baby Indian Elephant
Large Paper Mache Baby Indian Elephant

Paper Mache Bluebirds:

Paper Mache Bluebirds
Paper Mache Bluebirds

Paper Mache Piggy Bank

Paper Mache Piggy Bank
Paper Mache Piggy Bank

Paper Mache Baby Sperm Whale Wall Hanging

Paper Mache Whale Wall Hanging
Paper Mache Whale Wall Hanging

Paper Mache Orangutan Mask

Paper Mache Orangutan Mask
Paper Mache Orangutan Mask

African Ceremonial Mask

African Ceremonial Mask
African Ceremonial Mask

Paper Mache Dragon

Paper Mache Dragon
Paper Mache Dragon

Paper Mache Lop-Eared Bunny

Paper Mache Lop-Eared Bunny
Paper Mache Lop-Eared Bunny

Paper Mache Rabbit Sculpture

Paper Mache Rabbit Sculpture
Paper Mache Rabbit Sculpture

Paper Mache Panda Sculpture

Paper Mache Panda Sculpture
Paper Mache Panda Sculpture

Paper Mache Long-Beaked Echidna Sculpture

Paper Mache Long-Beaked Echidna Sculpture
Paper Mache Long-Beaked Echidna Sculpture

Paper Mache Horse Sculpture (see links below)

Paper Mache Horse Sculpture
Paper Mache Horse Sculpture

This last tutorial is a series of posts showing my progress with a fairly complicated and advanced animal sculpture that took two weeks to complete. To read the posts from first to last, follow these links:

Seasonal Decorations:

Christmas Tree Ornaments
Christmas Tree Ornaments
Valentines Day Bouquet
Valentines Day Bouquet

Be sure to also check out the many other tutorials and posts on this site.

If you have any questions about any of the tutorials, or just want to sound off, please remember to leave a comment. Your comments make this blog much more fun for me to create.

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  • Hi Jonni,my name is jacques martino better known as THE COW MAN. Ihave 8 cows posted on pinterest have a look. I have been working on a papier mache book for about 6 months now and I’Mat a stand still. I’ve taken hundreds of photos and writing. I’ve looked at your vidoes on how to make a papier mache book and the soft ware you take about. the problem here is to show 1 cow in a small book or 8 cows that will be about 400 or more pages and color prints.the cost will be quite different. plus the illustrations that i put in. I don’t know and would like your thoughts on this. Thank you waiting for your reply.

    • Jacques, will it be a how-to book? Or is it a coffee-table book for showing off your work?

      I only know how to work with CreateSpace, and they print the books one at a time, when someone orders one. If you go to their site they’ll tell you how much the printing will cost, and how much you’ll need to charge for you to make a profit. I just checked their site, and if you print 400 pages in color and charged $50.00 per book, you would make $1.14 for every one Amazon sells. I’m pretty sure you would not get any sales at that price.

      Just for price alone, it sounds like you would need to limit your book to one cow. The other option would be to create a video of your work. The number of photos wouldn’t matter, and you could tell your viewers as much as you want to about your process. I’ve never done that, either, but I know CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon.com, will print and sell your video for you if you want them to. I have no idea if you would have an audience – marketing would be up to you.

      I hope that’s at least a little bit helpful. Good luck with your project!

      • Hi Jonni. This is a big help, it is a how to book on my cows. Now i know that it will be a small book on one cow. 1.14 is not what i want. I will send you photos of my work. thanks again and send you up dates on my work. Jacques Martino’ THE COW MAN

  • Hi, I’m trying to make a astronaut helment for my 8 year old son. I’ve never done this and his project is due in 4 days. Also I’ve lost my ballon to start should I go ahead and buy a new ballon or is there another option also any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much!!!

    • Hi Ashley. The fastest way to do it would be to crumple up some newspaper into the shape you want, cover it with masking tape and then a layer of plastic wrap, and use two layers of plaster cloth over the paper. Let it harden for a few minutes, remove the paper, and cover the plaster cloth with a layer of two, inside and out, with paper strips and paste.

      Balloons are difficult to use, because they change shape, and you can end up with either cracks or wrinkles, depending on the temperature of the air. I don’t use them unless I have to. If you don’t have any plaster cloth and you don’t have a hobby store nearby, use eight or more layers of paper mache, and let it dry in front of a fan. It will take a long time to dry, and you don’t have a lot of time, so the plaster cloth would really give you a nice head start.

      Good luck with your project.

  • I started working with your clay recipe except using mineral oil instead of the boiled linseed oil. I’ve been trying to make old fashion paper mâché candy containers the you see on ebay a lot, most are from Germany. I’ve watched a lot of your you tube videos but had some issues with mine. At first I had a molding problem on a few, a couple of days wasn’t enough try times so I’ve been waiting a week plus instead so I hope that helps. Second thing that came up is still after a month or so they still have a paper mâché or elders glue spell to them, some projects seem to smell more then others. Some even appear to be really good but then spell like the spray finish I use to seal them. Is there a way to lessen these smells since the goal was to put wrapped candies inside just like the old German ones did. FYI, on some projects I’ve used plastic test tubes or plastic balls from Michele’s as the structure to build around.

    • Hi Scott. I think you tried to upload a photo, several times, but the images didn’t show up. Was the file size less than 250K? If so, you can make the images smaller with this online tool. If your image was small enough, but didn’t work anyway, please let me know. A lot of people are having trouble lately with the image uploader, and I’d like to find out why.

      As for the smell – I don’t think I have an answer for you. Except that you might want to use the traditional paper strips and paste made with flour and water, which doesn’t really have a smell. And you would need to find a varnish to seal the containers that has no smell of its own – which won’t be easy. Does anyone else some ideas for Scott?

  • Hi Jonni-
    I have recently gave birth to my son and while I was pregnant I did a paper mache cast of my belly and bust. Problem is the bust is detaching from the belly portion as the paper while drying did not get a good bond. Do you know of any way I could repair the bust to the belly? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Diana

    • If there’s a split between the upper and lower portions of the cast, I think the easiest way to tie them together again would be with plaster cloth. You will want to wait until the paper mache is entirely dry.

      When the paper mache is dry, get a roll of plaster cloth from the hobby store and lay the two pieces – upside down – on a table. Use a few pieces of tape to keep them together at the seam while you’re working, and then add two layers of dampened plaster cloth right over the seam, working rather quickly. You’ll need to turn them over before the plaster cloth is entirely set, so the two pieces sit flat on a table. That way, when the plaster cloth is hard, the back will lie flat against a wall, if you want to hang it. You may need to use a few pieces of paper strips and paste over the broken seam once the plaster cloth is set, to repair the front side of the casting.

      Of course, the water in the plaster cloth will seep into the paper mache, so you’d need to be careful to not let the paper mache slump before the plaster cloth is hard. It would be challenging, but I think you can save your casting.

  • hello, i am now planning making a paper mache mask using balloon as the base, can i cover only the half of the balloon? because i only need one mask , can I ? thanks love this site

    • Yes, that should work. You might put the balloon in a bowl, so it won’t jump around while you’re working on, and then just cover one side. Be sure to let us see the mask when it’s done! 🙂

  • Hi Jonni you inspired me to start paper mache. I bought your book but I have not made anything because I have no been able to get styrofoam . I did make the echidna It came out good used pine needles instead of toothpicks. I need more more ideas I like animals but I want to do whimsical stuff. I have looked all over the net and found some stuff like standing mice/rats. Can you tell me if there is any books at the library for my kind of ideas. Thanks you my life is just alot more fun. I’m a stay at home grandmother and I needed just a little something of my own to do on my off time weekends. It’s only been a month since i picked up paper mache. One more thing why do i see people useing just glue and not flour in their p.m It looks alot more smoother.

    • Hi Debbie. Pine cones sound a lot less painful than the toothpicks I used for my echida. Good thinking! For a book with whimsical ideas, I really like Paper Sculpture: Over 25 Cute and Quirky Paper Mache Projects by James C. Cochrane. I think it’s only available through the UK version of amazon, but they seem to get to you right away. (I bought two, and gave them both away. I’ll probably buy another one.)

      As for paste and glue choices, it’s really a matter of personal preference. I like the flour and water paste just because I don’t like the feel of the glue on my hands. But the glue doesn’t leave white marks on the outside of the paper, which is nice.

  • Bit of an unusual question but I am making papier mache cones, as containers for fir cones I have soaked in different chemicals, to make coloured flames when set on fire. (Christmas presents for people with open fires/barbecues). The idea is that when the fir cones are gone, you could even burn the paper cones, so I have made them with a flour/salt/water paste (which may also spark different colours when burnt). I would like to paint them but want to use something that is safe to burn. Any suggestions?

    • Many paints, including watercolors, have pigments that can be toxic. I wouldn’t want to burn anything containing cadmium, for instance. But I’m not a chemist so I’m probably not the right one to help you with this. Perhaps the non-toxic tempera paints for kids?

  • Hi Jonni,
    i want to make a costume for my 3 year old for a fancy dress competition. I intend to dress him as a pineapple. I planned to do paper mache over a plastic barrel which i have cut off on both ends so it can hang around him, i am a complete novice with paper mache.. how should i go about with it? i live in India and the local hardware stores dont have anything called joint compound. Also if i used layers of paper will it become too heavy . I dont intend to remove the plastic barrel. do give me some guidance as to how i should go about with my project. thanks, shalini

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