Daily Sculptors Page

Join the conversation and share your paper mache sculptures with our supportive community.

Paper Mache Chihuahua
  • Tell us about the project you’re working on, even if it isn’t finished yet.
  • Ask for advice if you need it.
  • Help other readers find answers to their own questions about paper mache.
  • Show off your projects when they’re done so we can see how they came out. We love to see what other paper mache artists are doing.
  • And tell us a bit about yourself. We’re glad you’re here. Welcome!

Looking for great ideas for your next paper mache project or a gift idea? Check out my patterns and videos for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts.

12,283 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page

  1. Dear Jonni, I am very very new to paper mache – in fact never done it b4. However I purchased a 100+ year old mannequin and don’t really want to ruin it so thought I’d make a cast so I could mosaic it. I made some clay according to your recipe wrapped the mannequin in plastic wrap then applied it to the back approx. 1/4” thick then left it to dry. However because we have had a weeks rain it still feels damp. Would this be because the air is damp? I am going to do the cast in three/four pieces as I don’t want to ruin the original mannequin. Am I doing this correctly or should I do the whole cast then cut the cast away from original. The original cast feels like paper mache itself. Thank you so much hoping you may be able to help me. Loisfromdownunder

    • Hi Lois. If you’re using my paper mache clay recipe, it dries really hard. It would be almost impossible to cut it off the mannequin without destroying the original. Your idea of doing it in sections is much better.

      I would probably use much thinner layers of paper mache clay, though – especially in a humid environment. If you can put it in front of a fan that would help. I don’t know how long it’s been drying, but with a 1/4″ layer it will take several days, and possibly longer. If it doesn’t dry before it starts to mold, take it off and try again with a layer that’s 1/8″ or so – you can add a new layer on top of it after the first layer is dry all the way through.

      Good luck with it!

  2. Will try this again…Woodland animals…first paper mache attempt since grade school. I may be hooked however. What fun!

  3. Hi there Joni
    It’s me again and I just finished a new project. My friend’s birthday is just before Halloween and I thought of presenting her with something unordinary. I sculptured a witch hand and then a witch shoe. Then I placed the shoe into the hand and filled it with candy. Once again I am sruggling with sending the picture. Patience

  4. My first crude attempt at making some Woodland animals for my “soon-to-be” granddaughter’s nursery. I enjoyed the process and hope to continue!

  5. You are my new guru of mache – have grandiose plans for modern urns classically bent. My first project I forgot to put a plastic barrier between my new clay and a bowl I’m using as a substructure. So now I either scrap the whole thing to retrieve my bowl or carve it out and try to mend.
    I was just at the San Diego Zoo this morning and got so inspired to add animal like finials on top.
    You have all the best information that I am in need of right now.
    God Speed You Artisan You * not my photo but where I’m going in my head

    • You have some great ideas, Linda. By the way, if you used the paper mache clay recipe on this site and the bowl is ceramic or plastic, you can get the clay off by leaving it in water overnight. The clay isn’t waterproof, so it should come right off. We can’t wait to see your new urns when they’re done.

  6. Hi all 🙂 I’ve been using paper mache clay for a while thanks to you Jonni! I usually make horses but I fancied a change! I thought I’d try using a pattern which worked well tho Im not sure how strong it will be with such thin legs we shall see how it goes!

    • Wow! That’s a great armature for your camel. Did you put some wire inside the legs, by any chance? It could help them stay straight. One thing we’ve discovered, also, is that it really helps to cover the legs with your paper mache first, and let it dry, before working on the body. You probably do that with your horses, but I thought I’d mention it, just in case. 🙂

      I really hope you’ll let us see it when it’s finished!

      • Hi Jonni thanks yes it does have wire, although it’s only a light wire. I hoped combined with foil and card would be strong enough. I use metal rods for the horses legs so might have to use that instead. Yeah I do the legs first and mix the clay with cabinet makers resin glue to strengthen it. I do the same for the ears and tails. It’s called Cascamite here in the UK.

        • I hadn’t heard of that glue, but it sounds interesting. Especially for those of us who like to make giraffes and camels and other creatures with impossibly long legs. Thanks for the tip. I think you’re right about the foil helping to strengthen the legs.

          • Hi Jonni yes it’s very good at strengthening the clay. I mix it up as per the instructions (I did try adding the powder straight in the clay but it didn’t work so well) and mix it in the clay. It makes it a bit wet but when it’s dry it’s much tougher.

            Also last week I tried adding powdered porcelain to the clay. I don’t add flour so don’t have any trouble with mould. It can last for weeks in a closed container. But today with the new mixture it absolutely stinks! Like yeast it made me feel sick. How’s that happened I can’t see any mould or visible changes in the clay? I really like the feel of it, much more like real clay, but Im confused what to do about it! Thanks 🙂

            • Hi Alex – Did the only mixture that went bad contain the powdered porcelain? If so, there must have been a high concentration of some form of fungus or yeast in the bag. However, I can’t imagine how that would happen. Does the porcelain smell funny if you just mix it with water and wait a few minutes?

    • Alex, what a fabulous camel! Good luck with the legs, I would use rebar or coat hangers twisted together. That makes a rather strong wire. Try it your way with the foil, if it doesn’t work, the legs can always be redone. Not ideal but don’t get discouraged, things can always be fixed! Nice work!

    • I’ve done sculpting in the past….first attempt at paper mache….I learned how to make the paper mache paste here…thanks!

        • It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything artistic. I got revved up to create something for Artprize this year. Artprize is in Grand Rapids Michigan…Google it…big event. I was accepted to a great venue..Met some great artists..and got some fantastic feedback. My hope was to get people to think about an idea. I’m in no gallery of have no website. Wait till you see my next project…Will blow your mind?

  7. PUMPKIN ALERT:

    Eileen, thanks for your note! You know me better than I know myself. Can’t wait to see your projects.

    This morning I took the insides out of two more pumpkins. These had plastic bags with rice and paper inside. I knew the insides had to come out. The “experimental” pumpkin, with the paper and then the foil outside, I also decided to cut out. Good thing I did because the paper inside was soggy and would never have dried. So if anyone uses paper for the insides of a pumpkin, be careful about leaving paper inside that will stay wet and mold. Most of you probably already knew that.

    I will send photos when I get these three finished. Thanks. I love this site and all the inspiration and ideas I see on a regular basis.

      • I have no recent experience selling sculptures. I believe Eileen goes to local art shows to sell her work – that’s how I did it myself, back when I lived in a big city. Maybe she’ll jump in and offer some advice. Other than that, you could contact local galleries. Or let your friends and relatives know that he’s for sale – they might know someone who would love to have him.

        • Kim, I love your dragon and it is definitely good enough to be sold! There are a bunch of avenues for that opportunity, only you can decide how you want to do it. I started by jurying for a local art show. You would need more sculptures though, depending on the show. You could also try the Etsy route or approach a gallery to see if they are interested. Be aware that galleries and most art shows will take a commission. Sometimes restaurants will display and sell for local artists. I’m sure there are other avenues as well, perhaps someone else could chime in?

          • Thank you for the advice , it is appreciated. I think I build my collection and try to sell some pieces at a festival. We have a very good one here the Peter Anderson Festival where I live.

    • Kim, that is a wonderful dragon. I wonder if people have any idea how long it takes to complete something like this. He would look right at home on my living room floor! Good luck with selling it. I have had no experience selling anything, so I was surprised when a woman visiting the neighbor asked me if I was the one who made a tapir and wanted $100 for it. I should have told her it has a baby and can’t leave it yet.

      Thanks for showing us.

      • Thank you for the wonderful comments and advice. Yes it’s true about the length of time it takes to complete and all the work that goes into a paper mache piece of art!

      • Rex, that tapir should go for a lot more than that! I’m glad you decided not to sell it! I just need to make room for new sculptures so I need to sell some at shows. There are only so many shelves and windowsills to hold all the critters! Gifting is good too!

        • Thanks, Eileen. Of the hundreds of things I have made over the past seven years, I have around ten. So I understand gifting. Don’t understand selling so well. It is remarkable that you sell some. The area I live in is very poor and people here don’t have much money. (Don’t know how interested they are in art, either!)

          I’m varnishing one pumpkin today and have three more drying. I’ve made at least ten batches of clay, that is for five pumpkins. Thanks for the comments.

  8. I have made a faux taxidermy paper mache unicorn head and the surface has turned out bumpy. Any tips on how to get this smoother would be welcome!

  9. Howdy, y’all!

    Hadn’t done anything with paper mache since making masks using the old (elementary) school method almost 40 years ago. Could not be more delighted to find Ms. Good’s paper mache clay recipe since we’re having a Halloween theme and needed a Wizard. By gleeful accident, found a $3.50 (clearance) giant watermelon inflatable beach ball from Kohl’s because the “rind” looks like hair. Now, he’ll hang out above a black backdrop and can’t wait to blog in depth about this creation soon! Happy creating everyone and look forward to learning more from you!

  10. Thank you. I used white utility paper (on the roll) and stiffened/dyed it, then shaped like you would a silk flower.

  11. Thank you Jonni for your paper mâché clay recipe. It has made my art so much easier! Here is my latest creation:

    • Sherry, I absolutely love your tree. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you did the roots and branches. I know nothing about silk flowers, but how did you get the leaves stiff? My sister has me thinking about a fairy garden (for her) and this would be a perfect gift. What did you use for the armature to get the branches to stand up. Lovely.

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