Daily Sculptors Page

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

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  • 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!

Get a fast start on your next paper mache project or hand-made gift with Jonni’s easy downloadable patterns for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts. The patterns help you create a beautiful work of art, even if you’ve never sculpted anything before.

13,861 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Cathy, a friend of mine, has completed her first “Fast Face.” Thanks, Jonni. He is a fun little creature. A great book and a fun project. Perfect.

    • Hi Rex. Tell Cathy I love it. It’s the first Fast Face I’ve seen that someone else made, and that makes it really special to me. I’m glad you shared. Thanks!

    • How did she get and read the book so quickly? I ordered mine on the day it came out and it still has not arrived! Of course there has been 2 nor’easters since then in our area so I guess I just need to be patient. Tell Cathy she made a fun little guy.

      • Eileen, it shouldn’t take that long, even with your lousy weather. (2 nor’easters seems like at least one too many!). Did you check your Amazon orders page and click on the Track Package button? If your book has been lost in transit, you can contact their customer support and they’ll send one out right away. I hope you get your copy soon, because I’m anxious to hear what you think of it.

        • They did send an email apologizing for the weather delay. It would have been nice to have to read between bouts of shoveling! I hope this was winter’s last hurrah!

          • We just got eight more inches of snow, and it isn’t supposed to stop until after noon. But spring has to come soon, doesn’t it? I’m really getting cabin fever, because I don’t drive when the roads have ice or snow. I have a strong feeling that this is the end of it, in your part of the country and mine. If not, I might be searching for a cheap house in Florida … 😉

      • Yes, I originally ordered a copy for my sister who homeschools her grandchildren. It arrived in two days, and I didn’t order it on the first day it was printed. Yours should have arrived before I even ordered mine.

        I had ordered clay before the book was available, so I had clay on hand. I picked off a chunk of it and gave it to Cathy, and she went to work on it that day. She kept texting me about how much fun she was having and addicted!

        She was a school teacher, and she mentioned a few times how great it would be as a teaching aid for students.

        Thanks for your comments. I’ll pass them along, of course.

  2. Hi! This is a gift that i just finished. It is for a dear old family friend who is a priest. It is supposed to represent Our Lady of Guadeloupe who is very dear to him. It is a 3D rendition of a 2D picture. Challenging but fun to do. I hope he likes it!

      • Thanks, the story behind the whole thing is that Mary appeared to a peasant stating that the church should build another church on a specific spot. The priests did not believe him and asked for a sign. He was instructed by Mary to fill his cloak with roses and bring it to the priest. When the cloak was opened, this image appeared on the cloak. It is loaded with symbolism, but the little guy on the bottom is an angel. Back then, only royalty was ever carried on someone’s shoulders, so this was another symbol that she was the “Queen of Heaven”.
        The priest that I am giving it too has spent much of his ministry working with the homeless. Our lady of Guadalupe is known to be a champion of the poor, hence his interest in her.

        • Eileen, what you made (wow, what a super gesture) is also known as The Madonna of Tepayac; there is an inscription that is associated with it: “Non fecit talitea omni nationi” in Latin (Psalm 147:20) that translates to: “He has not done thus for any other nation”.

          It’s a fascinating story.

    • Eileen, very nice. He will be very proud to have it, I am sure. If you don’t mind me asking, what is the size? (I picked up a rock that looked like Mary on it, and a friend painted it for me. It was an inch by about half an inch. She said, “Don’t pick anything that small again!”)

      • The sculpture is 16×9, the actual Madonna is 63”x 38.9. This is totally a representation as I can not compete with the original artist!
        I don’t blame the rock artist, that is awfully small…leave it to Rex to find a minuscule rock to be painted!

        • Yes. Thanks for the laugh. I also gave her a rock that was a rectangle, more or less, and it was about 1.5″ long and .5″ wide. She painted an Indian baby in a papoose carrier. So she’s probably had enough of small rocks.

          You would have to be very brave to do a 5′ statue.

          To tell the truth, I carry rocks home from our two-times daily walks almost all the time. I have a table in the yard that is covered with them. The interesting thing, to me — not for the people who think I’m crazy — is that it depends on the light how I see the rocks. So small rocks I become familiar with actually look different from day to day. (Can we just keep this between us?)

  3. Okay, I’m going to ask for a little help. This will be three items.

    Here is the first. I want to go from this . . .

      • and this.

        I would like the sculptures to be about two feet long. I remembered today about the armature wire and wondered if that would be a good idea for something this large. My problem is flipping the guy on his back and lying down.

        Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Is it going to be life-sized? (It will be a wonderful sculpture when it’s done.) Years ago I made a group of cats using a technique I haven’t used since. The angel cats, lion cubs and ghost cat were all made with patterns, but not like the cardboard patterns in Make Animal Sculptures. I also used wire in a different way than I did in Make Tiny Paper Mache Dogs.

      I really should do it again, because it works really well for a larger animal in a dynamic pose. I created the outline on a big piece of paper in the right size. Then I used heavy wire. I don’t know the gauge, but it’s about the thickness of a clothes hanger. I used the wire to follow the outline on the pattern, all the way around. The legs were made separately, of course, and included the hips and shoulders. I crumpled up a lot of paper (I would use foil now) and filled in the outlines, taping the wire to the crumpled paper as I went. Once there was a flat flexible cat-shaped pancake and the separate legs, I attached everything together and twisted all the parts into the position I wanted. I made sure the shapes were still right. Then I filled out the forms and added the paper mache clay. In fact, the paper mache clay recipe was developed purposely for the cat series, because I had a show coming up and I needed a faster way to make the sculptures. Paper strips and paste wouldn’t fit in with my timeline.

      If you try it, please let us know if it works. And if you think I should make a new video one of these days, when I can find the time.

      lion cubs

      • You should totally do these tutorials! I am REALLY new to the world of paper mache, but thanks to you and your videos paper mache is quickly becoming my crack lol

      • Hi Jonni, if you do have the time could you make a new video? That would be nice. As time went by, your techniques have changed and I am sure your process would be a new idea based on the old. I still have my old project that I started years ago because I have no talent, well I still have no talent, but that does not mean that I will not finish the project. I will and I have new ideas now. I wish I had learned of the foil armatures a few years back, but it is the present and I will now use what I have learned.

        • Hi Christine. I’ve seen your work, and you do have talent, IMHO. Oddly enough, that technique I never showed anyone is the oldest one I’ve used since I started the blog – other than just winging it with some crumpled paper and tape, and hoping for the best. The other armature methods work better in most cases, but for the project Rex is working on I think it might help him get the look he’s after. As soon as the new book launch is done I’ll try to do a video, though – any ideas for what critter I should do?

            • Yes Jonni I am. I just had gotten my copy in the mail and I enjoyed it immensely. I think it really meets a need for people to really let loose and let the art come to them instead of trying to create art and coming up with a blank. I can talk from experience. Now I can see if what I had in mind does not jell, go somewhere else and do something different till it does jell. It is freeing in a way.

            • Thanks again, Christine. And thanks for giving us a link to your photos, too. They’re beautiful – and they make me a little homesick. We have pelicans here in MN, but I haven’t seen any seagulls yet.

        • I ought to post a few of my first paper mache projects. Talk about no talent! Don’t let that stop you. One thing Jonni has taught me is to ask yourself, “What have I learned?” The standing joke is that I have to make five of anything before I get an acceptable one. We need someone with new ideas because we don’t think outside of the box enough!

      • I agree with Jonni. If you used tin foil along with the wire, you could make the basic armatures, then put them in the poses that you would like. You may have to tape or glue them to get them to stay in those positions. I would start out much thinner than you want in reality and then add more tinfoil as needed.
        Get the cheap tinfoil, it is easier to squish than the expensive heavy dry stuff. Good luck, I can’t wait to see the finished projects.

      • Yes, I want them to be life-sized. I have 11.5 AWG aluminum wire, and I’m happy with it. Since you inspired me to try a roll, I have never used the small wire again. I will give it a try. Yes, I think you ought to do a video. (Never ask that question!!! lol)

        One question to make sure I begin right. (1) make a paper pattern (as usual), and then (2) use aluminum wire for the legs, hips, etc.? Basically the idea.

        I love the legs on your critters, and that is exactly what I’m trying to do.

        Thanks so much.

        • Yes, the wire goes around the legs, from hips/shoulders to toes and back again, if you use this method. That way you know exactly where the joints are when you’re contorting the limbs. (Now I have a very clear image of two bear cubs playing in my ragged flower garden. Maybe I could use Lee’s method so they could stay outside.)

          • Maybe I will “show and tell” as I go along! Thanks, again.

            Snowing today, so hopefully I’ll get the head mostly done today on my latest project!

            Eileen, thank you. I will follow that advice. I have been trying to get thinner legs — so everything doesn’t look like it belongs on an elephant!

          • Jonni, (and whoever wants to comment!)

            I have had the dog pattern sitting here for weeks. Something is not clicking. Is this what you were describing about the wire around the leg? If so, then I don’t know how I’m going to bend it from a straight leg to a very bent one.

            Also, would I put the wire around the body of the dog and then bend it into shape? I’m a lost boy!

            • Also, Cheevo is in limbo. I hope to get him out soon. Having trouble painting his face.

              Meanwhile, here is what I’m doing to cope with my anxiety!

            • Rex, I just now made a flexible armature in a way that I never have before. Maybe it will work for you – I hope to have the video online in the morning. When I made the lion cubs I did put the wire all the way around the edges of the pattern pieces, but I realized this week that I did that because I was using crumpled paper and masking tape, and it was the only way I could get the paper to behave. Take a look at the video when it gets done, and let me know if you think it will help. I’m sorry I was so slow getting it done.

  4. I’ve made 8 of these boats – very easy, and fun to find odds and ends to decorate with – these are not quite finished but hope you get the idea. I like these driftwood boats, but we don’t have any of that on the fjord, so paper mache it had to be. Each time, I make a new template for the hull shape I wanted. I trace around it on a square of cereal packet leaving a 4cm. strip for the deck before mirroring the hull on the opposite side. I fold down each hull and tape at the bottom before covering in the usual paper strips to stiffen and also to seal the little gap you get at the top of the bow and stern.

  5. Couldn’t resist sharing this as it’s what makes papermache fun. A friend had a sharky photo taken by a friend and with a bit of photoshop mine is now out for a swim!

    • That is great. My baby brother is a beach-comber and has a cabinet full of his treasures. I need to make him a few small fish to go in his display. I love this guy, and his teeth. Thanks for the inspiration — which translates into more projects to add to my list!

  6. Just for fun – Blue Shark in paper mache and clay. Mounted on wooden dowel and set in a cement base formed from an empty plastic butter container – beer can teeth!

  7. I recently had the opportunity to do costuming for my daughters theater group for “The Lion King”. An internet search turned up Jonni and the ultimatepapermache.com website — THANK GOODNESS! I applied Jonni’s techniques and this was the result. A set of super cool, and very TOUGH, lightweight headresses. For these large ~1 foot diameter masks, 5-6 layers were required to get the stiffness required, and the one tip I would give is that if you are wondering if you are using enough plaster mix…use more! If any other theater folks out there are interested, I have more details on building these masks, and 3 molds are available (Nala, Simba/Mufasa, Scar) to go to a new home. I’d be happy to ship them to someone…first come, first serve.

  8. A grey color is hard to make pop out , did you try a deep blue or terrecotta color Jonni ? I love the fins Sarah! Fins, wings and horns are some of the most fun details to make in my experience. I have not been online much myself I have really gotten hooked with the creteshay , cement building since the seahorse. 2 pictures here of the latest projects and antelope I am calling Mr. Anouk Lacaux and a fountain pedestal for a commission work. Also I would like to ask if you liked Serefina please help me win the peoples choice award for the sculpture competition . It is super easy and free to Vote for my work . click here https://www.lakelandgov.net/departments/parks-recreation/florida-outdoor-sculpture-competition/ and then just like Serefina . It is a pretty big prize 1000.00 and I am in 2nd place right now ! Thanks so much Jonni your paper mache site really did put me on the path to finding cement !!

  9. Jonni- I am currently teaching a paper mache class for adults. One of the students just emailed me to tell me her mask is covered with mold. I did emphasize that it should dry quickly with a fan or on a heat register but perhaps it did not sink in. We are using the smooth air dry clay. I suggested to her that maybe she could wipe it down with a dilute bleach solution, let it dry and repeat as needed. I also thought that perhaps she could sand it off. Can you think of anything else? Not seeing the extent of the mold, I don’t really know what to advise. It will be a great teaching moment for the class but meanwhile, she might be out of a project. Just curious about your thoughts. We won’t be meeting this week because the college is on spring break. I wonder if I should tell her to start over?

    • Hi Eileen. That’s a tough question. Did she use a really thick layer of the air dry clay? That might be why it took too long to dry.

      I know some people have had good luck with a spray of diluted bleach, so it might work. There will still be some mold on the inside, though, and if the piece doesn’t dry out really fast the mold that isn’t hit by the bleach could grow again after the bleach on the outside evaporates. She might want to put the mask in the oven, instead. I just found an article about mold on cheese (kind of unrelated, I know) that cited a university study about heat and mold. They say you only need to heat the item at 140° F to kill the mold. If her mask is already painted, I’m not sure what affect the heat would have on the paint.

      If she hasn’t painted it yet, I think the best bet would be to put it in the oven for half an hour or so, (but no more than 200° because burning Elmer’s glue really stinks!) and then use a sponge that’s been dipped in a light bleach solution to wipe the exterior mold off the mask. Once that dries, she can use a spray primer to seal the mask. Our DIY gesso might work, too, if the dried mold doesn’t cause discoloration.

      Good luck with it! And let us know how it turns out.

      • Jonni, I found your video and short article from March 2017 dedicated to mould/mold.
        “How to Keep Mould from Ruining your Paper Mache”. My pal Google helped me with the search as I couldn’t find it in your Library. This made me think that perhaps the Library could have one more heading: Troubleshooting.

        • Hi Izabella. I can see the problem – my search function doesn’t speak UK English! The word is spelled “mold” in the title, so the silly search bar didn’t find it. I’ll fix that right away. Thanks for bringing it up. I like the idea of having a troubleshooting category, too, but I’m not sure what sort of articles we should include. If anyone has some suggestions for me, please let me know.

      • Thanks but she tossed the mask. I talked to her today and she said it was disgusting, that it looked like a man’s beard all over the piece. I found out what happened though. In order to protect it, she kept it in a plastic box with a lid, exactly the opposite of what I had been preaching! It will be ok, we have more projects to come and we both learned valuable lessons. Me- to be more emphatic and stress the rapid air drying. (I thought I had done that by telling them that mold is our enemy-sigh!) She might have been the sort who gets overwhelmed with too much info so I also need to simplify. Lessons learned! I learn as much as the students do.

        • Ewww – that would be disgusting. I’m sure there would be no way to save it, because the mold has already eaten the bits it found tasty, (probably the paper) and the structure would be gone. Live and learn … I mentioned this sort of thing in my brand new book (out next week!) and I think it applies here, too: Are there things you wish you’d done differently? That means you’ve just learned something — and that’s something we should always celebrate!

          • A new book? I can’t wait! I have no problem with learning from mistakes, it makes one a more real human being. Too bad we didn’t truly know that in our twenties. Life might have been a bit easier! No complaints though, at least I did learn it eventually.

            • Eileen, I’ve been working on the cover of my new book for days, and I’d really like your opinion on it. (If anyone else would like to chime in, too – please do.) I keep worrying about the background. Is it too busy?

            • WOW! I think it is great! It totally would catch my eye if I were perusing a bookstore. I don’t think the background is too busy but have you tried a darker background to bring out the color of the clay? I don’t know if one can do that with photoshop or not. I would be curious about that but it is not a breaking point. It is super as is. There is no “reply” button under the pic if you are wondering why I replied here.

            • Hi Eileen. The reply button disappears after there are a certain number of levels of replies under a comment. But this works. 😉

              I did try your suggestion. Actually Jessie suggested it a few hours before you did. (Great minds think alike …) I spent about three hours this morning playing with the background in Photoshop. I even tried changing the color of the background so the clay would stand out. I couldn’t get an image I liked. I think the problem is the color of the clay – it’s grey.

    • Hello Eileen, when I used to make my paper mache paste out of flour, I always put in two tablespoons of vinegar into the mix. I boiled my flour to make the paste. My sculptures live in a very high density humidity environment and I yet have not had issues with mold. I have used the paper strip method and so every strip gets coated with the flour vinegar mix. I wonder if the bleach or vinegar were a part of the clay mix might solve the mold problem?

      • Hi Christine! You know, when I do my projects, I have never had an issue with mold so it was not on my radar. It is easy enough to incorporate vinegar or bleach though so for the next project for the class, in it goes! I think the key is drying it fast though. I don’t think a fully cured, painted and sealed sculpture will have an issue.

        • Hi Eileen, I agree, I wait till the sculpture is dry before I paint. One trick I use, is in the summer when my car sits out in the sun; it gets very hot. I put my paper mache pieces in the car and it dries faster. I have put sculptures in the oven in the winter to dry it faster or put them over the heater vents to dry them faster. But the reason I put vinegar in my paper mache is it is a nice way to keep the rats and bugs from enjoying my work.

          • Thank, you Christine, for that comment about the bugs and other critters. People ask me about that all the time, and I never know what to tell them. But now I do. 😉

  10. Jonni,
    Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be able to share them. These were made with the PM clay mix. Particularly, that one with the stinky, bad joint compound. Hahaha! My fishes are painted with acrylic paints.

    • And one more question, because I can see string in the photo: Is the string attached, and will they hang from the ceiling? Or?? You have a nice collection, lots of colors and shapes. They’ll be lovely if they’re grouped together.

    • Andreon, I love your fish. My baby brother has a net with beach-combing artifacts in it. His favorite thing is beach combing. (Goes to Hawaii for a month every year.) This is a great idea. I’ll have to find out if the net is outside or inside. Love the black one with the sassy face! Thanks.

      • Jonni,
        Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be able to share them. These were made with the PM clay mix. Particularly, that one with the stinky, bad joint compound. Hahaha! My fishes are painted with acrylic paints.

      • Jonni,
        YES, they will be hung from the ceiling, with a blue fishing net as a backdrop. Now, I will be working on a huge Maryland crab for my husband. I love the pm clay. It’s tough stuff when dry.

  11. Hello all! Hope things are splendiferous for you! I’m working on a wall hanging for a special someone (that I’ve never met before, interestingly enough!) and thought I’d share a little progress shot. Thank you, Eileen, for this recommendation! Mulberry paper soaked in watered-down modge podge will be making up the fins. Even if it isn’t as strong as I hope, the look of this totally makes up for it, and if it gets damaged, I can make those holes work. 😉 I’ll keep you lovelies updated.

  12. I made a large paper mache head of John the Baptist for an art show. Turned out pretty good! Construction paper, flour/pva/joint compound paste, acrylic paint.

  13. This is Ellen the elephant. I made this for my daughter who wanted Asian type paper in the elephant’s ears. After going all over the place to get the right paper, she changed her mind. She is moving and is in the process of throwing things away. She no longer wants the elephant. The next pic will show u that I took over the elephant and will hang it somewhere in my condo so there.

      • Thank you, my thoughts exactly. Can’t wait to start Giraff. I have the month of March to do it. My son is coming here from California to take care of me after surgery. He can’t come until April. Gives me time for the giraff

        • I can’t wait to see it. And I’m glad your son was able to get time off to help you out after surgery. That’s no time to be hanging around at home all by yourself.

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