Pattern for a Paper Mache Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture

Downloadable Pattern for a

Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture


Pattern for a Paper Mache Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture

Wear your cow mask to a party or in a play, and then use it as wall art – it makes a great addition to your decor.

Cow mask painted like a Jersey cow
Black and white cow mask
Cow mask pattern before adding paper mache

My downloadable PDF Patterns come with full instructions.

There’s no waiting for your pattern to arrive, and no shipping costs, so you can start on your project right away.

Click here if you’d like to know more about how the patterns are delivered. (If you’ll be saving your pattern to and iPhone or iPad, they do tend to hide your files. You can scroll down this page to see how to find them.)

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.  😀

How to use the pattern to create a cow mask or wall sculpture:

You’ll use 1 1/2 cereal boxes and a few scraps of cardboard from a shipping box to create your cow. Just print the pattern and put it on your cardboard. Then cut out all the pieces and tape them together, following the detailed instructions that come with your downloadable pattern (PDF).

Cover the assembled cardboard pattern with just one layer of paper mache. (See the second video below).  Then paint your cow, using the colors and spots of your favorite breed of cow for your model.

Finished size: About 8 inches (20 cm) high, 15.5 inches (39 cm) wide and 12 inches (30 cm) deep for the wearable helmet-style mask or 10 inches (25 cm) deep for the wall sculpture.

Pattern for a Paper Mache Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture
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Watch these videos to learn more about the cow mask:

To make the cow mask or wall sculpture you will need:

  • Printer
  • Copy paper or full-sheet labels
  • Glue stick if using copy paper for pattern
  • Cardboard from 2 standard-sized cereal boxes
  • Corrugated cardboard from shipping boxes.
    Scissors and craft knife or box cutter
  • Tape, both clear plastic tape and masking tape
    Aluminum foil
  • One 2” Styrofoam ball
    Bread knife, to cut the ball
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paper strips and paste
  • Acrylic gesso
  • Acrylic paint and matte varnish
  • Nail polish and false eyelashes (optional)
cow mask pattern pieces and instructions
Pattern for a Paper Mache Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture
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A Few Cow Heads Made With This Pattern...

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

I love questions!

There are two ways to contact me: The fastest way to get an answer is to leave a comment below. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. One of my readers might also chime in to help – we have a very supportive community here on this site.

If you prefer to reach me privately, you can send an email to jonni@UltimatePaperMache.com –

I get a ton of spam and I don’t want your email to get lost, so please put “paper mache” in the subject line. Comments don’t get accidentally deleted, but emails sometimes do. If you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, assume the cyberspace gremlins ate your email, and try again.

Pattern for a Paper Mache Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture

30 thoughts on “Pattern for a Paper Mache Cow Mask or Wall Sculpture”

  1. Jonni!
    Your work is amazing. I purchased your Lion King patterns and made a host of hyenas and lionesses just before our show was cancelled for Covid and those never made it to the stage. I’m back now for inspiration for our production of Into the Woods. I have read the other comments about the cow mask…I have purchased the cow pattern and hope to make the head into a puppet (similar to the one they used in the 2022 revival). Any thoughts on how to shape a lower jaw piece to open and close like a puppet? I don’t mean the mechanics necessarily but making a separate bottom lip/jaw to piece onto the open part of the mask. Is that the direction you would go? Perhaps I could paper mache the brace piece (mentioned in the instructions) to close the top of the mouth off? Any insight you have would be just wonderful. Thank you!

    • Hi Ashleigh. I’ve never done anything like that, but it sounds interesting. This video shows a raptor mask made from foam, but starting around 11:40 she shows how to make a jaw that moves. She’s just using a piece of elastic for the hinge, and it seems to work. She also adds braces on both the upper and lower jaw – if you cut the cow’s head along the line where her mouth would open, and glue the brace above that line so it doesn’t show, and then cut another one to go below the lips, you’d have a cow that can talk. :)
      We really want to see your cow when it’s done!

  2. can you tell me the finished size of the cow mask? I ask because I purchased and printed the pattern and the pieces look very small. I don’t want to do all the work only to end up with a mask that does not fit over my head. Should the pieces be enlarged at all? There is nothing about needing to enlarge the pattern pieces. Also, is there a separate video on how to apply the paper mache clay to a piece? I have never done this before and would appreciate a demo somewhere. Thanks!

    • Hi Correne. The cow mask is 8 inches wide and 11 1/2 inches deep. It fits my head with a little room to spare. Print it at 100% or actual size, and it should work for you. If you use paper mache clay instead of paper strips and paste, it will be slightly heavier and not as flexible. I used paper strips and paste for my cow, because that method makes a more comfortable mask. Did you see that video? It’s the third video on this page.

    • Although, I did put paper mache clay on my grizzly mask, and I just now took it off the wall – and it isn’t too stiff or heavy to wear. So, I changed my mind about my answer! I even put a thicker layer of the paper mache clay on the grizzly, and it still isn’t really too heavy for a mask. You can see how I did it here.

  3. Hi, Jonni! First of all, thank you so much for this wonderful cow mask template. I have yet to begin but can’t wait to do so. I have read through the steps several times and appreciate your detailed instructions.

    I am going to be using the mask for my Halloween costume this year. I work at an ad agency and we’re going to be dressing up as advertising mascots. I have chosen to be Elsie the Borden cow :) I think I can figure this out on my own but figured you may have some ideas. I would like to make the mask have a smiley open mouth. Would you just duplicate the steps for the cow’s snout area and turn that upside down? And then for the eyes, I can’t decide if I should make them dimensional or maybe make them flat so I can add the expression of her eyes. Or maybe I could enlarge the dimensional ones to have more of a cartoony feel. I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you may have.

    Thanks so much!

    • HI Emily. I have never tried to make Elsie the cow, but here’s how I think you could make it work. Leave off piece #3, the lower lip. Use the larger temporary brace piece before adding paper mache, and then remove it when the paper mache is dry. Then crumple some aluminum foil to create the lower lip, and some extra ‘skin’ to go between the lower lip and the cheek. You can do this with a square of foil that you crumple and roll into a rope that’s long enough for the wide happy mouth, and then crumple the extra foil, too. Squish the foil tightly to make it strong, tape the extra foil to the cheek, and then put a “C” shaped smile muscle at both ends of the mouth. Then cover the foil with paper mache and let it dry again.

      For the eyes, I would go ahead and put all the pieces together, and then draw the larger cartoon eyes so you’ll be able to see the expression before doing any cutting. When you like the way it looks, you can cut them out. You would need to use a larger foam ball for bigger eyes, of course – or put a piece of cardboard behind the new opening for flat eyes.

      Good luck with it. We would love to see how she turns out, so be sure to come back and show her off on the Daily Sculptors page. :)

  4. Hi
    I’d love to use this pattern to make a cow’s head for a pantomime cow and I was wondering if it would work scaling it up to make it bigger . The theatre is very large and that is the reason why I need a larger cow’s head so that you can see it.

    • Yes, the patterns can be scaled up, but you’d need larger paper for it to fit, which would require taking it to a print shop. Or you can use your own printer, and print the larger patterns on multiple pages. I haven’t done this myself, but this video shows how to do it with free software. I believe some printers can do this for you without special software, but my printer isn’t that smart so I can’t test it for you. As long as each pattern is scaled up by the same percentage, all the pieces will fit together.

  5. Hi Joni,

    I am making a cow costume for my daughters high school play, Into the Woods, and wondered if your cow mask would be strong enough and if it would large enough for my daughter? She is 5’9” tall but will be bent over and have on stilts for her arms so she can look like she is on all fours. I LOVE your cow face and would like to use it but I’m just now sure… thanks for all your help.

    • Hi Deanna. The cow mask fits my head, so it should be big enough to fit your daughter, too. She has an interesting part in the play – I hope she has a lot of fun with it! :)

    • Hello!

      I am the costume mistress for out high school, and we are performing Into The Woods this spring! (April, 2022)
      I hope this gets to you, because I’d like to know what you did for your costume. We are struggling with this one…
      Thanks for any info/pictures you could send.

      Bucks County, PA

      • Hi Theresa. I don’t know if Deanna is still watching for replies to her comment or not. I don’t believe we got to see the finished costume. However, I did find a website that shows a cow costume made for the play. I don’t know if it will help or not, but you can find it here.

  6. Hi Everyone

    If I decide to go for clay instead of strips does it still make sense to use the temporary brace piece? I thought clay would harden it enough. Will still cover the inside with paper marche
    Secondly, if using a different paint to acrylic is there need for Gesso? I think it’s a primer for acrylic and if using anything else like FX Paint with primer in it could I save the Gesso money?
    Kind regards

    • Hi Alexia. I would use the back piece at least until the paper mache and paper mache clay are dry. The cardboard could change shape during the drying process, and the back piece keeps everything where it belongs. After everything is dry, and if you don’t need the back piece to hang it on your wall, you can use a craft knife to remove it. The gesso seals the paper mache so we can use less acrylic paint to get a nice coat, and I haven’t used FX paint so I don’t know if it’s needed. If you don’t use a separate primer with your paint, the gesso is probably not needed.

  7. Hi, Jonni
    I need some help actually. I’m using the Elmer’s art paste that you showed us in your video since I can’t use flour.I mixed it with water and waited 15 minutes like the instructions say and like you showed, but after using it to apply the newspaper strips to the inside of the cow mask and giving it some time to dry, I’m noticing that it is not drying like paper mache, it looks more as if i just used regular glue and glued newspaper to the inside of the cardboard structure. Did I do something wrong? Honestly, this is my first time using paper mache since I didn’t know of any flour free recipes prior to this. I’ve worked with plaster strips on clay, however, and this is not hardening like that at all or like how I imagine it’s supposed to. Any ideas on what I could have done wrong or how to fix it?

    • Hi Victoria. I’m not sure what could be going wrong. I used just four layers of paper for my African mask and the Elmer’s Art Paste, with no cardboard at all, and it turned out to be surprisingly strong. It does dry clear, like glue. Is it possible that it just hasn’t had time to dry yet? If you add a layer of paper mache to the front of your cow, and it still doesn’t seem to be working right, let us know – maybe one of our other readers can help us find a solution.

  8. You really did outstanding work on this piece. Very, very true to form. Great Work!!! I haven’t gone back to completing my horse head mount, due to losing sight in the one eye I had cataract surgery on last year…but am determined to complete it, nevertheless. When I do, you’ve given me the the idea to use false eyelashes on my girl. Good idea! Thank You.

    • Thanks, Sharon. But I’m so sorry you’re having problems with your sight. Is there any way for the docs to reverse the damage? I seem to remember your horse very close to finished the last time we saw it, but my brain sometimes makes stuff up. Do you have much work left to do?

      • Thank you Jonni for your kind thoughts. As to your question regarding the doctors, I was sent to 3. The 1st one, the surgeon who removed the cataract and replaced the lens, had a conniption fit in the office,then referred me to a Specialist, who then advised me to take his results to my physician telling me “who would know what to do”… my doctor then did a biopsy to determine if the loss of sight in that eye, was an eye disease which would eventually move to the other eye and cause blindness in it as well, which it wasn’t, that disease she tested for. Then she told me that there was a controversy as to whether or not, eye lens replacement during cataract surgery can and does cause this. That was it, facing the uncertain decision I have to make about doing my other eye, which my “doc” told me needed to be done. Anyway, long story here which has taken a longer time to write due to my vision…but I AM going to finish my girl….it’s just taking longer than I could have ever thought when I started her.

  9. Jonni,

    That cow is so sweet. The eyes say it all and I think lashes are very important. When I do lashes, I unravel sisal twine and line up the separate strands and cut to look like lashes. I then use a piece of masking tape and tape it to the sisal lashes the long way, only halfway in. Then I tape that piece to the paper mâché sculpture, add paper mâché, etc.

    I bet you have a better way. I haven’t checked out your video so I don’t know. I must say your pieces are so refined and you can tell that you love animals. It shows in your work. It is truly inspiring.

    • Hi Patricia. Using sisal twine for lashes is an excellent idea! I just bought some fake eyelashes at Walmart. They’re adorable when you can see the mask up close, but if it was used for a play, they’re much too fine to be seen. Your idea would work much better. Thanks!


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