Pattern for a tiny paper mache Chihuahua

Easy Pattern for a Tiny Paper Mache Chihuahua


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.  😀

The pattern shows you how to build your wire armature so all the proportions are right from the start.

Then you add crumpled foil to fill out the rounded forms – the pattern helps with that, too.

After your sculpture gets a thin layer of paper strips and paste, you’ll finish it with acrylic paint and varnish.

Use the pattern along with the videos below to see make your paper mache Chihuahua:

To make your Chihuahua you’ll need:

  • Aluminum armature wire (or any light wire that’s easy to bend)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Masking tape
  • Paper strips and paste
  • Acrylic paint and varnish

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.

28 thoughts on “Make a Paper Mache Chihuahua”

  1. Thank you for sharing and teaching , I made the bunny from your video, made some mistakes but eventually was able to finish it, even add some fur to the tail and head, ! Gave it to one of my grands, she love it! Really looking forward to try the chihuahua , for they are one of my favorite dogs!! God bless you!

      • The Chihuahua looks so real, it’s beautiful. You said that you used paper strips. You also mentioned you were going to make more Chihuahuas. Have you used your air dry clay recipe on the dogs? The air dry clay is my favorite.

        • Hi Peggy. I didn’t make any more Chihuahuas, but I had so much fun with this little guy that I made a whole book full of tiny dogs. And although I haven’t use the air dry clay recipe on anything this small, some of my readers have, and they turned out really nice. I would still use the paper strips on the legs, though, because it’s much easier to wind the paper around the skinny legs.

  2. Hello Jonnie, what size of wire gage do you use for your smaller pieces such as the cute chihuahua? And does the gage change depending the size of the project? Liz

    • Hi Liz. For the tiny dogs, I used 11.5 gauge armature wire, although that’s an odd size and I can’t remember where I bought it. 10 gauge is a little heavier, but it’s easier to find and it work work just fine. If you want to make a larger sculpture, you would need heavier wire. It’s a trade-off between a wire that’s stiff enough to provide the needed support for the armature, and a wire that can be bent easily.

      Have fun!

  3. Hi Jonni.
    Could a life size, rideable (for an adult) rocking horse be made with paper mache?

    I would love to make one, because the one I want comes from Holland, and it’s $8,000!

    Thank you in advance.

    Love the little chihuahua

    • Hi Sharon. I can’t see why a life size rocking horse couldn’t be made with a paper mache skin, but it would need a strong structure underneath to withstand the stresses of the rocking and rider. That would probably mean using a wood structure, and I wouldn’t know how to design one. Perhaps you could find instructions for a child-size rocking horse and scale it up.

  4. Hi, I am making a dog that I would like to be in the same slouch/sitting position as your chihuahua. I noticed that you said you cut four pieces of wire, one for each leg. I was wondering what the advantages are of cutting and attaching each leg separately rather than cutting two longer pieces of wire and taking a wrap in the center, attaching to the backbone wire, thus creating two legs at once. Is it harder to get the spacing between the legs using that method? Also, do you take a wrap of each leg wire around the backbone wire? Thanks.

    • Hi Cat. For all the dogs in my tiny dogs book I did exactly as you suggested – I cut two long pieces for the legs, and each piece was used for one front leg and one back leg. The middle follows the backbone. I don’t think I made a video showing the armatures of the dogs in the book, but if you sign in to your Amazon account and look inside my book, you can see how it’s done on page 10 and 11.

      I use masking tape to hold the backbone and the middle section of the leg pieces together.

      Have fun!

      • Thank you so much for your thoughtful and prompt reply. I am working on my first project, trying to make a model of my sister’s dog for her Christmas gift. If it turns out, I will show you! I have been somewhat intimidated by the armature making process. But you have helped a lot! Thanks again.

          • Well, here I am again. I am having trouble shaping my dog’s head (cut out of cereal box cardboard). It seems I did fine building up shape and “muscle” on bare wire for the legs, tail and body, but when it comes to the flat cardboard head, all my attempts make the head much too large. I guess I should make the cardboard head smaller so the added-on foil and masking tape doesn’t create a huge head. Do you have any other tutorials that show the process?

            • Hi Cat. For the armature, I have quite a few tutorials. The Panda was one of my first ones. He doesn’t have a wire armature, but the idea of not allowing the foil to go above the silhouette still applies. That’s really the trick to it. Add foil to the side, but not above the outline. There are also more detailed instructions in my book, of course. 😉 The chihuahua was the inspiration for that book, in fact. He was so much fun to make.

  5. Jonni, Your video gave me the courage to get on doing the dogs. So far I have Tikki started. I will attach a photo. I’m ready to begin with the paper mache and am excited for the lesson on making fur. Any comments so far? LOL!

    I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t finished “the begging dog” from your book. I have covered it with paper mache a couple of times, but I don’t like the “fur” I did, so it is still unpainted.

    Thanks so much.

    • Thank you! Thank you! I am so very glad to have found you and ecstatic to share your knowledge. You are are a blessing!

  6. Jonni, this is really wonderful to see. Now I don’t know whether or not to start over with the two small dogs I have started! They will go with Loki, my dog. (This is beginning to sound like a broken record!) I have already cut out the patterns, so I’ll probably proceed. I put paper mache on Pegasus’s wings tonight. Hopefully the clay and wire I added will be strong enough to hold them up. The wings are 2′ long, and the poor horse is 18″ tall.

    I love this process and she is really cute already. Can’t wait for Part 2. I’ll have to give it a try.

  7. Hi Jonni, he/she looks great, I did a Chihuahua, that worked out really well, unfortunately, I did my usual and did not get a good pic of it, before someone bought it. 🙂 I used the cardboard cutout for the body, but just tightly scrunched foil for the legs, that gave the support, plus the movement need to get the legs right. I really wish I had got a good pic, as it was one of the few dogs I did that I was happy with the paint job I did.

  8. checkout the great paper mâché dogs including a chihuahua at
    This guy’s animals are lighter and more whimsical in nature than Jonnies.

  9. Jonni, I love your chihuahua especially because it is small and feels more doable for a beginner like me. Thank you for sharing all your methods and recipes.


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