Baby Elephant

Wall Sculpture Pattern for Paper Mache


You can display this happy baby elephant on your own wall, or give her to someone special. Everyone who sees this big baby elephant falls in love with her.

And you can proudly tell everyone you made it yourself!

A page from the instructions that come with the baby elephant pattern.
baby african elephant wall sculpture

This is a downloadable PDF Pattern with full instructions. That means there’s no waiting and no shipping costs, and you can start on your project right away.

Click here if you’d like to know more about how the patterns are delivered. And remember – if you have any problems downloading your files or putting your pattern together, just let me know. I’m always happy to help.  😀

This baby elephant wall sculpture takes some patience to build, but if you go slowly and follow the detailed instructions that are included with the pattern, it’s surprisingly easy to make. The pattern creates all the realistic shapes for you – even that delightful smile!

She’s too young for tusks, but she’s still pretty darned big! Finished size: about 19.5 inches (496 mm) high, 22.25 inches (566 mm) wide and 9 inches (231 mm) deep.

How to put your elephant pattern together:

As you can see in the video, you can use Jonni’s paper mache clay recipe for your elephant. It goes on so much faster than paper strips and paste, but traditional paper mache will work, too. (You can find the recipe for paper mache clay in the “Recipes” link at the top of the page.)

The final skin is made with paper towels. That’s how you can get those nice wrinkles around her ears and eyes. If you want to go crazy with it, you can then use the crackle glaze, like I did in the video below. Clear fingernail polish will make your elephant’s eyes bright and sparkly.

There are quite a few pieces in this pattern, but if you take your time and follow the instructions on the pattern and in the video you’ll end up with a beautiful wall sculpture. It’s sure to impress anyone who sees it.

Watch the video below to see how to create realistic ‘skin’ for your paper mache elephant sculpture.

To make this paper mache wall sculpture you will need:

  • 14 pieces of 110# card stock
  • A printer
  • Scissors
  • Clear plastic tape (like Scotch tape)
  • Peel N’ Stick Clear Laminate Adhesive Shelf Liner*
  • 1 ½” Styrofoam balls for the eyes
  • Glue gun, to attach the eyes
  • Masking tape (both narrow and wide)
  • Aluminum foil, shredded paper or foam packing peanuts for stuffing inside the pattern to support it. The foam peanuts are my preference, but the other options will also work.
  • Paper Mache (use paper strips and paste or paper mache clay. Recipes can be found on my website. Just click on the Paper Mache Art Library at the top of the site.
  • Paper towels
  • Gesso (home-made recipe can be found on my website. Or you can use acrylic gesso from the art store.
  • Acrylic paint and gel medium for the eyes. I also used a spray can of gray primer and two tiny pieces of black paper for the pupils. These items are optional.
  • Matte acrylic varnish

*You can find this in the housewares department of Walmart, or order it online. Or just use clear tape. It keeps the cardstock from getting wet when you add your paper mache.


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Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?

If you have a question about putting your pattern together or painting it, leave a comment below or on the Daily Sculptors page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might ideas for you, too — we have a very supportive community on this site.

Downloading your files: To see exactly how the downloading process should work, click here.  If your pattern doesn’t download correctly and you can’t see the solution on that page, let me know right away so I can help. This is a one-person business, but I check my inbox regularly and will respond as fast as I can.

155 thoughts on “3-D Baby Elephant Wall Sculpture Pattern”

  1. Hi,i am almost done with my Baby Elefant,i am going so slow but one think i am thinking ,how am i going to hang the Elefant on the wall,i was thinking to cut out piece of wood and attach it with the head.By the way i end up buying Giraffe pattern ? Can’t wait to start

    • You can attach the back piece to a piece of wood with epoxy glue. If you’d rather not use the wood, you can drill a hole in the back, near the top, and hang it on a nail like I do.

      We’d love to see how your elephant comes out. I hope you’ll show it off on the Daily Sculptors page. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for this pattern! I was tasked to create an elephant stretcher for my units Halloween contribution to our children’s hospital contest. I enlarged the pattern (200%) and had so much fun putting it together. We placed 2nd in the costume contest and I got so many complements on the elephant.

    • Kristi, when I first saw your elephant I thought it was real. You’ve done an amazing job with it. Will it stay at the hospital, now that the contest is over? The kids must love it.

    • You could print it smaller, but you might also need to use a heavier cardboard to help it keep its shape, because you wouldn’t be using the back piece. Unfortunately, the tabs on this particular pattern would be difficult to cut out if you use corrugated cardboard, but cardboard from a cereal box would work. The easiest way to transfer the pattern to pieces of cereal boxes, would be to print the pattern on full-sheet labels first.

  3. Hi I hope this isn’t stupidly obvious and I’ve just missed it, but the card stock A4, A3, A2? What size would you suggest?

  4. Jonni , PLEASE PLEASE consider making a pheasant! They are SO pretty..lots of fun colors! Always your biggest fan, Angie ?

  5. One other question..are paper mache waterproof? I’ve seen a couple large sculptures & they were photographed/posed outside.

    • Hi Angie. Paper mache isn’t waterproof. Any paper mache sculptures left outside need to be sealed. I haven’t found a good way to do that yet, although some people have good luck with Flex Seal. I haven’t tried it yet, but I hope to get a chance to make something with it soon. Any small pinhole in the sealant will allow water inside, so I think it would need to be reapplied every year or so. I prefer to make my outdoor sculptures with apoxy clay, which is weatherproof.

  6. Jonni, when doing the baby elephant.. I’m wondering about just ordering glass elephant eyes off of etsy, do you have any opinions one way or the other on this? If I go this route what size would you think I should get? They measure them by mm-thanks for all your help and for being the creative lady you are! ? ya! Hope you enjoy/enjoyed your 4th of July ?

    • Hi Angela. That would look fantastic – but I’m not sure how the eyes are measured. The iris on the eyes I recently painted on my elephant are 5/8″ (15.875 mm) across. Of course, the eye opening itself is larger – very close to one inch (25.4 mm). You might need to contact the seller on etsy to see which eyes would look best.
      And I hope you’re having a great day, too. 🙂

  7. I’m a bit confused. I commented the other day asking if the card stock was to print the baby elephant on. I was told no-card stock was to thick to go through the printer. So today when I decided to go ahead & buy the safari animal package…I read through the baby elephant directions, & that’s exactly what they say to do is print the pattern on the card stock. Thanks for the help. ??

    • Hi Angela. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear. Cardstock will go through a printer, and that’s what I used for my elephant. But you could also use cereal box cardboard if you don’t have access to cardstock – and it’s the cereal box cardboard that is too stiff for a printer. Does that help?

  8. Hi! I’m looking at possibly making your baby elephant for our upcoming Vacation Bible school and before I print the instructions I’m wondering what I need for the base. Do I just attach the pattern to cardboard and shape it?

    • Hi Sarah. I used a thin sheet of plywood for my pattern. If I made the elephant today I’d probably use a big sheet of cardboard, instead, and use wood glue to attach the wooden spacers to make the legs the right distance from the body. You would need a sheet of cardboard large enough for the body and head, so you might need to go to an appliance store to see if they have a big box they’re throwing out. They almost always have them, and they’re happy to give them away. However, if you think a child might want to sit on your elephant, you would want to use plywood for the pattern and also use angle braces to attach the legs to a piece of plywood that sits on the floor. That would keep rambunctious kids from tipping her over.

      Did you have a chance to watch the video? It shows you how I transferred the pattern onto the plywood.

      • Hi! Me again. So I was wondering if you recommend a light sanding after the paper cache clay coating? There’s a couple rough spots, or will it not matter since its going to be covered? Thanks again for all the info & support. ?

        • Hi Angie. You can sand it if you want it to be smoother. Just be sure to use a mask to keep the powder out of your lungs.. If I’m making something large that requires sanding, I use a small electric sander and fine sandpaper, but you have to be careful to not sand all the way through.

  9. Hello Jonni. I love your animals! I was wondering if I could double the pattern for the baby elephant to make a life sized elephant head. Thanks

    • Yes, you can make a life-sized adult elephant by enlarging the pattern. Your local print shop should be able to do that for you. Of course, adult elephants have tusks, but you can add them to your wall sculpture. I hope you’ll let us see how it turns out. 🙂

  10. Hi Jonni, I love your work all the time, you are super talented, it’s amazing… so we recently got a film studio and we are trying to do sculptures to give it a more eclectic look, so you think I can modify this baby elephant pattern to get something close to an adult elephant, maybe adding a tusk and removing the cheerful smile?

  11. Do you have a pattern for a life sized African elephant head pattern. Or do you know where I might find a good one like yours?

    • Hi William. This pattern is for a life-sized baby African elephant. Are you looking for an adult elephant head? I don’t actually know anyone else who creates patterns for realistic sculptures. (They take me over a month to design, so I can see why there isn’t much competition. 🙂 ) However, there are some artists who sell low-poly papercraft patterns, and you might be able to use one as a base for a realistic sculpture, with a bit of work. For instance, this etsy shop has a papercraft elephant, but she doesn’t mention how big it is for some reason.

  12. I am so fascinated with your animal masks especially the elephant. But my question is: should I start with something small, perhaps the wolf or cougar? I am 72 and bored silly. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Carol. I don’t think the size of the project would matter very much – after all, you only work on one piece at a time. The elephant pattern has tabs that help align the pieces, but the numbers on the tabs are a quite small and some of the pieces are small, too. The wolf might be an easier pattern to start with, just because the pattern sizes are a little larger. Both are fairly easy to do, though, if you have the patience to go slowly. Have fun!

  13. Hello Jonni! Are you available to chat on facebook or something? I have so many questions! I am trying to find a way to strengthen my statue i built!

    • Hi Warren. I don’t do chats, but I’m always happy to answer questions. In fact, if you ask over on the Daily Sculptors page, some of my readers might be able to help, too. Be sure to attach a photo to your comment, if you can, so we can see the problem more clearly.

  14. I thank you so much for the pattern. In the past I told you I would use the patten for a hair show. Just wanted to show you the entire look it came amazing. Not quite the traditional look.

    • Victoria, if you tried to upload a photo with your comment, I’m afraid it didn’t come through. The file size needs to be less than 250 kb. I do hope you’ll edit the photo and make it smaller, because we really want to see how it came out. What an intriguing idea!

  15. Thank you so much for your beautiful patterns and of course all your video’s!
    It make’s all a lot easier for us!


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