Paper Mache Animals

Daily Sculptors Group Page

Paper Mache ChihuahuaWant to show off your paper mache creations and join the conversation with other sculptors? This is a great place to post a photo of your recent work.

You’re also welcome to share some of the challenges and insights that you gained from your sculpture, even if it isn’t quite finished yet. Need some advice on how to get through a sticky section of your project? Just ask – someone will be sure to offer an idea you might be able to use.

There’s a size limit for photos to keep the page from loading slowly. If your images are too big, and if the photo is on your computer, you can resize it quickly using this free online picture resizer.

Our friend David Harshman says you could also download your image to your Facebook page and then download it back to your PC. That way, Facebook’s automatic program will resize it for you.

If the photo is on your phone, try the tips in this article. Note – some phones show you an image right-side-up, but they’re really sideways or upside down. Check your phone’s user’s guide to see how to upload a photo so it can be viewed correctly on a web page.


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Life Sized Paper Mache Baby ElephantLife-Sized Baby Elephant


  • This is one I got done with in November I thought I had posted , I was looking at past post and there is some very cool work.

  • My 6 year old son Malek is an
    artistic crafty little guy and he is autistic. He absolutely loves Humpty Dumpty and he has watched your YouTube video dozens of times! He asked to make a Humpty Dumpty like you!! I helped shape the wire but he did more than 90% of this on his own all from watching your video!

    • If it’s just cracking as it shrinks, you can usually fix that with another layer of paper strips and paste, or paper mache clay if that’s what you’re using. What material do you use to make it? What did you use for the armature, and what kind of paper mache are you using to cover it?

      • The only time I have had that problem is when I use too much joint compound. Good luck. Let us know what happens, and please post a photo. Thanks.

  • For those of you with photographic memories, the Pterodactyl that I finished making three years ago is now painted. Here is a photo of her, affectionately named PTerri. (And, yes, true to nature, I had to fix three claws, a broken tail, and a broken leg. It is for my sister who has three other dinosaurs, but I won’t be shipping this one.

    • Oh my – it’s wonderful, Rex. This is my favorite yet, although your latest rhino is a really close second. She has so much personality, and the painting has depth and interest. Nice tummy, too. 🙂

      • Thank you, Jonni. It would take an advanced mathematician to count how many layers of paint she has on her! I don’t know if you can see, but there is a small hole at the end of her tail, a small hole on each of the wrists, and three small holes on the top of the head. She was meant to fly, so one can decide which holes to attach strings.

        I also wanted to add somewhere about how you wrapped the legs first on William to determine how far out from the hips were from the spine. I’m making a calf, and I thought, “Well, between an elephant and a horse,” so I looked up the measurements in your book and tried the middle ground. It was wrong. When I put the legs up to the body, I could immediately see that the hips were not wide enough. I was so glad to get that instruction from you because determining how far to put the legs from a body is probably my biggest hurdle. (I added double what I had, and it looks good. You can judge when I post it!

        • How will you get the wires attached to the holes? Do they go all the way through? I hope we get to see her after she’s hanging in her new permanent home. Do you think her new family would mind?

          And I’m glad my new foil method for the leg separation helped. It’s easier to see how they’ll look after they’re finished, I think. I can’t wait to see how your calf turns out.

          • If you look closely at the first photo of PTerri, you can see one string coming out of the tail. The hole goes through the center of the large piece at the end of the tail. You really can’t see it when looking at the piece. The other string goes out of the photo to the left. The string is attached to the small hole on the wrist, which is a “bump” with a hole through it.

            It is now hanging down from my curtain. I will probably have it until September. I will take a close up of the holes.

            • I’ve always thought that artists need to be engineers, too. I think you’ve just proved it. I have a spot in my house that needs a hanging sculpture (maybe a baby dragon?) so I may be able to use your method when I get around to making it. Do you have wires going all the way though the PTerri, perhaps attached to the armature? Or are the holes placed so you can change how she ‘flies,’ depending on what works best in different places? Too many questions? 🙂

    • Rex, he is wonderful! It reminds me of a kids movie, Land Before Time, the character’s name was Petri. It was my son’s first movie at age 4( he is now 32) Petri was his favorite. You brought back nice memories.
      The paint job is fabulous…it is not as if you could use a model or pic from the internet as a reference, so I am even more impressed. Nicely done.

      • Thanks, Eileen. PBS news showed a new dinosaur that has just been discovered. I want to do it — of course.

  • Hello. Three years ago (I think) I discovered this site and i saw this amazing paper mache elephant. I only then realized what you could do with paper mache (other then balloons or eggs). So I decided to give it a try. So far I’ve made an elephant, some muchrooms, a squirrel and two polar bears. My latest “work” is a bambi (made after the disney character). I’ve used a cardboard box, newspapers and tape to make the shape. I do this just for fun, because I like to create things, so it’s not really advanced or anything. Hope somebody likes it 🙂

    • He’s beautiful, Isis. I’m so glad you discovered the site – it looks like you’re having a lot of fun. Do you have photos of your other sculptures, too? We’d love to see them all!

    • Dear Isis, I really love Bambi. You depicted it so well. I love her quizzical nature.

      Thanks for showing us your other creations. The polar bear is fun. I love animals, and they are so much fun.

      (You elephant is so much better than mine, but, then again, mine is a Huffalump — by mistake! lol. Thanks.)

      • Jonni, I got a thin mix of gesso and modeling paste on a place mat. Neither washing machine nor dryer could get it off. It did not even soften it. Modeling paste is rock hard. I use it on the cloth covered faces I sculpt of paper clay for a hard finish. It might be worth an experiment for outdoors.

        • Hi Loretta. We would love to see those cloth covered faces that you sculpt with paper clay. At least I know I would. Do you have a photo you’d be willing to share?

          • This doll was sculpted in paper clay. A soft t-shirt knit was glued over the face for added stability. A messy mix of gesso and modeling paste mixed with water was then painted on to harden off the face. Acrylic paint was applied afterward. The doll was made to resemble 1930′ s baby dolls, thus the red lips.

            • The knit fabric answers one question I had – how you got such a smooth, wrinkle-free surface. I wonder if we could use that method for larger pieces, like one of our animal sculptures. Have you ever made something that was larger than one piece of knit fabric would cover? Is it possible to make the ‘seams’ smooth?

              Your baby’s face is just adorable, by the way. Both sculpting and painting are so nice – if she was in the house, it would be hard to not pick her up and start talking to her. 🙂

          • Hi, Jonni. Here is a doll made with the cloth over face method. I apply a couple of applications of a thin gravy mix of gesso and modeling paste to harden them off and protect the paper clay from moisture and breakage. This doll was made with a nod to the big baby dolls of the 1930’s, thus the very red lips.

            • Sorry for the double comment. Perhaps you have deleted the first one without a picture. Here is one more made with the same method. Then another in process so you can see the cloth over. It has not been covered with gesso and modeling paste yet.

    • Isis your Bambi is wonderful! You have the cuteness X 10!! Your other sculptures are very nice too, great work!

    • Isis, all of your sculptures are quite fun but I do love your little Bambi all nestled up under the hydrangea bush. Welcome to the club of paper mache enthusiasts! Nice job!

  • Here is an elephant piggy bank. I apologize for its state. I showed it to my sister, and she said, “Oh call it a huffalump.” (Isn’t that a Dr. Seuss character.) Anyway, it is probably the worst elephant on this site, but I can’t win them all! lol. Thanks.

    • I like him! I can see why your sister wanted to call it a Heffalump – I had to look it up, of course, but Mr. Google says the Heffalump character was in Winnie the Poo. He was an elephant that Poo saw only in his dreams. And look at the original drawing by E.H. Shepard that I found on Wikipedia:

      Your elephant is a spitting image of that drawing – so I think your sister gave you a great compliment! Well done, Rex.

      • I am beyond embarrassed. My sister and I first saw a Winnie the Poo movie at Disneyland when she was a teenager. We both have memorabilia from the movies, so not to recognize that right away makes me think I have dementia! Thanks so much for the information. (sigh!)

      • Eileen, love your comments and creations. To tell the truth, she was very bland. I followed Jonni’s instructions in her making animals book, and she looked awesome. When I added the final “wash” to bring out her wrinkles and skin pattern, I botched it. Then she was too dark and muddy. I put another wash over her. When I painted the feet, that is the point where the dark eyes took over. I just had to be finished. She has a very flat face, which I attempted to fix by adding clay, but all I did was make her front heavy. A little nudge and she is sitting on her nose instead of her feet! Ah! Live and learn.

        • Rex, I found two more critters for you to add to your to-do list. The Quoll would make a great piggy bank, with his round little tummy and nice spots, and the Halszkaraptor escuilliei would be a real challenge to get him to stand up on his hind feet, although if he was swimming it would be easier. Actually, I might beat you to that one, if you make your chupacabra first. 🙂

          • Jonni, those are fun critters. I love the Quoll, especially — of course.

            I may get sidetracked with William. He is so darn cute.

            Right now I’m working on a Bali (red) calf. It is coming along, but I have broken both ears. You think I would learn by now to really leave ears until the last. The tail is in the aluminum foil state, so at least I didn’t break it. The story of my life.

            I’ve been researching the chupacabra, and the one I posted on this site has a number of mythologies surrounding it. It is, I believe, in DeWitt County, Texas. The chupacabra has many faces, but some conjecture that this one is a coyote with mange. I hope that isn’t true. Takes the fun out of it.

            Thanks so much.

            • Now I can’t wait to see both your William and your quoll. When I checked the chupacabra stories online, there were some that had spikes on the back and stood upright. Some people thought they might be monkeys that escaped from a local cage, but that makes no sense – even if you ignore the spikes. Still, a sculpture standing on hind legs would be really interesting, but maybe without the mange. The possibilities are almost endless with this legend.

            • Yes, the standing up chupacabra didn’t strike my interest. I first saw the creature I posted on a show called “Mysteries at the Museum.” It is fascinating to me. Living among people here who kill EVERYTHING, I loved the idea that one mythological creature came to life and actually survived a few years. Rare sightings. Anyway, thank you.

    • Oh, Rex, I’m sorry but I totally disagree with this that you stated “it is probably the worst elephant on this site” just shockingly untrue!! Your elephant is so cute and the eyes, in my opinion, are gorgeous.

  • I wish (a few words to while away the time as I sit in hospital with another problem…a jump in my sugar that needed two injections of first ever..attributed to the prednisone I am on for pneumonia. Woe is me!!

    I wish I could write a wonderful poem
    Bits from my heart, my core
    On pages that although they may yellow with age
    Will last a lifetime or more.
    Words to enthrall the reader
    Making them happy they spent the time
    To read what I have written
    Though the words don’t always rhyme.

    I wish I could paint a picture
    With colours that leap from the frame
    Embracing the viewer with glorious hues
    So vivid they feel touched by a flame..
    With brushstrokes that tell a story
    Of the laughter and tears
    Of the losses and loves,
    I have known in my many years.

    I have painted many pictures
    and written many poems
    Expressing myself in colour and word,
    But always lacking it seems
    The beautiful visions and elegant phrases
    That appear to me in my dreams.

    • What beautiful words, Joyce. What a gift you’ve given us. I’m going to print your comment and put it on my wall, if you don’t mind. And I do hope you get better soon. You’ve had enough trials already, and it’s time for you to get better and go home. I’m sure you agree … 🙂

      • Thank you, Jonni. Please send me a copy by email when you have printed it. What a compliment coming from a published writer.
        I am going home this afternoon…in their words ( before something else happens to me). And no more prednisone. The doctor said (get you off that stuff). They were quite concerned yesterday when sugar went so high. I am feeling better today, but very tired. I long for my own bed, a hot bubble bath ,and my cat, my daughter. Not necessarily in that order. My next entry will be from home. Maybe another poem

        • I’m so glad you’re going home. And your cat will be happy to see you, I’m sure. I’ll be sure to send you that copy, perhaps later today. I’m canning some chicken and navy bean chili right now, so I need to go watch the pot. Have a nice trip home!

        • Your poem is on it’s way – be sure to let me know if you don’t get it. It’s those last three lines that really get me – who hasn’t wished that our words or artwork would look the way it does when we imagine it will before we begin?

          That bubble bath sounds nice. 🙂

          • Thanks, Joni. So far no bubble bath. I find I am incredibly weak ..can barely make it to the kitchen. My lungs are still very congested …
            I’m glad my words strike a chord with others. I am so glad that via my iPad friend, I can share my inner self and I hope when I feel better, some of my clay creations. I love this space!

        • Joyce you poor thing! I am no stranger to the hospital and health woes so I truly feel your pain. I hope your first night home you have the deepest most wonderful sleep ever.

          • Thank you, Carrie. I did sleep for about 10 hours straight. This has been a very bad year for me. I haven’t been this ill since I gave up smoking 29 years ago. Hopefully it will be uphill from now on.

    • Joyce, you must have very vivid dreams if your written word is not adequate in your mind. Your poem is lovely and I applaud you for being able to write such a beautiful poem while feeling so poorly. Better days are ahead girl so embrace that daughter, cat and bubble bath(not necessarily in that order) Special things await you, I can just feel it!

      • Thank you so much. Eileen, for your lovely words. I am at home, but still feeling really weak and congested. It seems that when my hands are not active, my brain works overtime turning my thoughts into poems and thanks to my iPad I can get them down before they disappear. About your little birds…did you use a pattern. I have a little table that fits over your lap and I thought I could maybe make some foil birds sitting here until I feel better. I would appreciate any advice.

        • I am glad you are home. Don’t be tempted to get things done, like laundry and household chores. They can wait until you are better.
          I did not use any pattern but just squished tin foil to get the desired shape, added a beak and a bit of wire to twist as a place to hang it with(a paper clip would work if you have no wire.) I do think I covered the finished bird with masking tape but if you use Jonni’s smooth air dry clay you don’t need to do that. Then cover half with the clay, let dry, do the other half. If you don’t, you will be stuck trying to figure out how to dry the other half without ruining the shape- I learned that the hard way. Best of luck on the project and I hope the strength improves and congestion goes away.

    • Joyce, that was such a gift. Thank you for sharing it. I was very touched, and you ended it nicely and perfectly with those three lines. Take care of yourself.

  • I want everyone to meet my new pet Ginger. Please don’t let her know she is made with toilet paper I don’t want her to feel inferior. My first attempt at paper mache since first grade and that was a long long long time ago. I hope u get her picture. I just used ur sizer. Not that I know what to do with it. Let me know if u get her pic

    • We didn’t get the pick, but we’ll all get to see Ginger when your guest post is finished. I’ve had a peek already, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how she was made. 🙂

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