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!

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.

14,422 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. It is pumpkin time again (even though I keep saying I’m not doing them again). I did not have the patience to let the clay dry thoroughly, and the next morning the pumpkin had collapsed. Thanks to Jonni’s idea to add clay onto aluminum foil, you can see my “fix” for this mess. It has worked out great.

      • So, the ‘new’ way is to make a basic shape with a filled plastic bag, and then add the ridges with the foil? How did you get the foil to stick to the bag? I would love to use your method to make a larger one for my front porch, as an experiment with the Flex Seal waterproofing that other folks are having such good luck with. But didn’t the hot glue melt the bag?

        • What I used were large “strings” of paper that are used for packing material. Photo attached. (The little paper guy is “Flat Stanley.” My niece wants me to take photos with him of what I am doing!)

          • I rolled (or curled) the paper into a ball. I had a long string of paper, so it made quite a large pumpkin. Or, of course, you can curl a bunch of them together to make as large a pumpkin as you want.

            • I added a little masking tape to hold the shape. I did not use much masking tape at all. If you look at the photo of the pumpkin covered with aluminum foil, you can see the brown paper in the center and hardly any masking tape at all. Then I used a hot glue gun to fasten the foil onto the ball of paper (and not much of that). It was surprising how little work it was. I thought I was going to run into trouble when I began adding the clay because everything was so loose, but I had zero problems.

              HINT: I use a kitchen knife to spread the clay. Take a large glob of clay and smear it through the depression in the pumpkin (between the bands of foil). Then lightly knife the clay out of the depression over the bumps. If you have any questions, let me know. The process didn’t take long.

            • Thank you, Rex! This looks really easy – at least when you’re doing it. And I have some of that paper down in the basement. I hope we get to see your finished pumpkin, too.

    • Hi Rex, we all knew you couldn’t stay away from pumpkins so why are you fighting it?
      With my class this semester, I have a holiday theme and our first project is a pumpkin. I spent the summer making pumpkins, trying to figure out the easiest way to teach with minimal supplies. To make a small one, tin foil is great but for a large one, it would not work because you have to use too much tin foil. I also wanted to give them an option of cutting it and making it into a jack o lantern. So I used newspaper for the whole thing, you can shape and crush paper for the ridges as well after you make the basic shape. It worked well and was easy to teach. I do like how nice the ridges on yours came out though. When the class is done, I will post a pic of their completed work.

  2. right view.
    This pup ended up a bit heavy due to so many layers of pm clay. I tried a variety tools to attain the curly look. Favorite and final tool with the best effect was a silicone tip polymer clay tool. Pounced hundreds of times!

  3. I was looking for a medium to use for a project I’m working on and came across …well… you Ms. Jonni! You are amazing and your paper mache clay sounded like just the thing. So, this is my first creation…an experiment to see how it would go. I’m very happy with it and have two more pieces drying. Things were a bit tricky and a bit sticky at first…then I gave in and put on some rubber gloves and things went much smoother from there. Thank you for sharing you recipe and for all the wonderful tutorials!
    Many thanks!

    • Hi Toni. I’m glad you’re enjoying the paper mache clay. Did you try to upload a photo of your sculpture? If you did, it didn’t come through. Images need to be less than 250 kb to upload to the site. Can you make the file size smaller and try again?

          • I’m so glad you gave it another try. It’s really nice – all that feathering detail, and my favorite color, too! Thanks for your patience, and for sharing it with us.

          • Toni, great chicken. My brother will be jealous. Love the color and the design — and the chicken. Did you use the smooth clay recipe?

            • Thank you. I used Jonni’s paper mache clay recipe. I tried spreading it with a butter knife but I was too clumsy…so I tried putting it on with my hands and then smoothing with plastic wrap… that was how I finished this one. I am just a mess with this stuff (well I get messy with most stuff to be honest)…so I tried rubber gloves on the next bird (which is not a chicken) and they were the trick! I could just smooth it on with my hands kinda like regular clay…I would dip a finger in water occasionally to help smooth it out.

            • Toni, thanks for your reply. That is very interesting. I’ve been dabbling in clay for many years (thanks to Jonni), and your solution is thinking outside the box. I must try your method because touching the clay always turns into mush for me (unless it’s the smooth air-dry clay).

              Please show us your bird when it’s finished.

  4. Hi Joni and all, I have never done paper mache before but am wanting some advice on the following please:-
    Firstly I purchased this 100+ year old sewing mannequin but don’t really want to distroy it so was hoping somebody would give me some help and advice on how I would make a cast that I could then mosaic please.
    Secondly do I do it with clay or paper strips and what sort of glue/paste?
    And lastly do I do it in one whole cast or half at a time. If I do it in one hole piece how then do I cut the cast in half without ruining the original.
    Hoping you all may help me please , yours faithfully loisfromdownunder

    • Hi Lois. The only way I can think of is to completely cover the mannequin with a sheet of plastic and then wrap it with duct tape. That would protect the original dress form. Then you could use several layers of plaster cloth over the tape. When it’s hard, carefully cut it at the sides and pull it off the form. “Tape” the two halves back together with more plaster cloth. You might need some reinforcing on the inside to make it solid enough to accept the mosaics. Expanding foam from the hardware store might work. I’m really just making this up because I don’t work with mosaics. Good luck with it.

    • Hi Lois,
      Are you going to do a mosaic using paper? I don’t think you’ll want to mosaic directly to paper mache or plaster unless you are using paper or fabric. If you are using tiles, glass, ceremic, etc. whatever you mosaic needs to be sturdy, if it can flex at all your pieces can pop off.

  5. Hi All- I wanted to share my latest sculpture. It is a 3-D sculpture of a famous painting by Stanley Doyle. The original is in Ireland but I have a print in my home. I was looking at it one day and said..that would make a nice sculpture. So here we are! I took a page from Pedro’s book and made a famous painting in sculpture. ( I think it was Pedro, please correct me if I am wrong!)

    • It’s wonderful, Eileen. How big is it? (I hope Pedro is watching so he can see your sculpture. He’ll be impressed, even if he wasn’t the one who inspired you. 🙂 )

      • It is probably around a foot long by ten inches high. I can’t measure it as it is currently displayed at an art show.
        I do think it was Pedro who did a series of famous paintings as sculpture, do you remember what I am talking about? Or have I finally gone off the deep end?

    • Sounds like Pedro.

      This is very creative and well done. I do love your style. Adorable and must be a joy to have around. Thanks for showing us. I am in awe of this one.

    • Hi Eileen, yes it was / is me as I tend to use famous paintings as base for my royals and non royals.
      Very well done indeed, glad that you manage to do it because it really looks great !!
      Warmest regards from Sunny Portugal everyone!

  6. Thanks Jonni for the tip on your DIY gesso. I used it over a traditional paper mache with newspaper. I didn’t like the texture of the paper and this helped smooth it out. Next I’m going to try your super smooth clay.

  7. My first paper mache / air-dry clay mask. “Frankie” will be added to a wreath that I made, along with his bride (still working on her). I’ve read several comments about using clear flex seal to help weatherproof sculptures so I’m contemplating trying that out. Are those of you that have used flex seal happy with the results?

    • Hey Barbi! I recently finished a piece that’s going to be out for a year. I covered it in flex seal and it seems to work great! It was in direct rainfall and it just sorta beaded up and rolled off. It gave my piece some nice texture too.

      • Maizie, I saw your sun… it’s awesome! Did you use the spray kind? I generally put a disclaimer on my wreaths about not putting them out in the elements and suggesting hanging them under a roofed area or on a door with an overhang. I also spray the finished wreaths with clear gloss enamel but that won’t be enough for these monsters. Thank you for your flex seal review 😉

        • Thank you! It was my first big project. Also, yes I used the spray kind. I went through 2 cans with mine, but it was pretty sizeable. I hope it works for you 🙂

  8. Hola a Todos !!!! Gracias Jonni por compartir tu receta !!!! Me parece muy buena y estoy encantada de las posibilidades de detalles que te permite. Acá te muestro mis trabajos que estoy haciendo con tu masa.

  9. Hello all!

    Update on my sun! It’s been hung up in the downtown area where I live. The day it went up, it rained all day. But thanks to some suggestions, it has held up very well in the elements. I coated the entire sun with copious amounts of Flex Seal. They sell a clear kind so I didn’t need to repaint or anything like that. Thanks for all of your suggestions!

  10. Hi all,

    So, I decided to make a deer out of paper mache. It is still in progress as it is on the picture. I just wanted some advice on it, because I don’t know if it really looks like a deer. As I had some troubles with the head, I feel like it is a little to big now.

    • Hi Isis. Your deer’s head has a lot of very interesting detail, but I can see why you think it’s a little off. I did a Google search for images of deer, and I think the problem is not the size of the head but the length of the front legs. That’s a good thing, because it would be a lit easier to change than re-sculpting the head. 🙂

      The images of deer show the back straight across. Your deer’s back slopes downward. If you make the front legs long enough to make the back straight across, I think the proportions will be much closer, and you’ll be happier with it. I can see from the work you’ve already done that this is going to be a beautiful sculpture when it’s finished!

    • I agree with Jonni, the head is really fabulous, but if you are going for realism, the legs need to be longer and maybe fill out the body a bit more. The position invokes movement and as is, it is a good caricature of a deer. Anyone looking at it would know what it is. It all depends on what you want, caricature or realistic. It is a nice sculpt, keep us posted!

    • Isis, I knew what it was right away. I adore the face and love what you have done. At times a piece takes on a look of its own. I don’t have any problem with it being the way it is, but I understand what you are saying.

      I look forward to seeing it in the next stage!

      • Hi all,
        Thanx for the nice comments 🙂

        Joni, I took your advice and extended the front legs. However, I still wasn’t happy with it, so I did a ‘facial reconstruction’ as well. The poor thing had to suffer. It took some time to get it the way I wanted it to be. It’s still not finished, but I’m getting there.

        My paint skills are not that good to make it realistic, so I’m thinking to go with a bronze look.

        • It looks great, Isis. Your changes made a huge difference. I often get out the saw and do ‘surgery’ on my sculptures, so I know it’s painful (for the artist, of course, not the sculpt), but it was well worth the trouble. And he will look really nice in bronze. 🙂

  11. I finished off a carving I’d started last year and abandoned. Made a rubber mould from it and casted it in Crystacast which is a very very hard plaster. I’m in love with this material. I tried a lot of different “alpha” plasters but this is the hardest I’ve found that still has a reasonable curing time. I have a bag of this stuff that’s a fair bit harder and sets waterproof but you have to be much more precise with the measurements and it stays quite fragile for a few days. I will try it though.

    Also I may try some paper casts with these moulds soon. I was thinking of trying them in the microwave but my moulds have plaster shells and there’s a chance that they might explode… Still you don’t know if you don’t try! 😀

  12. Hi Everyone! Working on my Big Bottom Girls and a couple of mermaids! Jonni, you’ve been such and inspiration, sharing your skills and wisdom! Thank You from the bottom of my heart!
    I’ve been having a hard time getting started on the mermaid face, I’m going to use the clay that I made from your recipe (it turned out great BTW!). I’ve never sculpted ANYTHING with clay before and, quite frankly , it scares the ba-gee-bees outa me!

    • Your Big Bottom Girls are adorable, Lyn. Their poses are so playful – they would make someone smile just having them in the room.

      Your mermaid is going to be wonderful, I’m sure. Did you see Debbie’s guest post? I like the spot where she tells us to just go ahead and sculpt faces with as much – or little – detail as we want, and it will be perfect. And I agree. When do we get to see the mermaid? And will you be making a whole group of them? (Do we call a group of mermaids a ‘school,’ like we do fish?) And how big will she be?

    • Your girls are charming. Do you have instructions on making them. I have lots of clay and need some projects if you feel like sharing.

  13. Jonni, you mentioned on your latest post about a new puppy, will you share a picture with us? Congratulations on your new family member!

    • OK, I guess I could share a photo of Maggie. But only because you twisted my arm. 🙂
      By the way, Charlie, the yellow dog behind the pup, is not as miserable as he looks. He just needs his eyebrows trimmed.
      Australian Shepherd Cattle Dog Puppy

      • What a sweetie! Charlie is pretty darned cute as well! How big will Maggie get? Those paws look pretty big already. Puppies are a handful, hopefully Charlie will show her the ropes.

        • Charlie is being patient, but the little one does get on his nerves at times. I’m trying to keep her from jumping on the old guy, but that’s an uphill battle. She’s smaller than he is now, but that won’t last long. Her mom was about 45 pounds, and I hope she won’t get any bigger, but we didn’t get to meet the dad. She knows how to sit and a few other things already (says proud mom). We’ll work on ‘lie down’ today. Sophia Lin’s book was really helpful for teaching Maggie to calm down, although we still have some work to do in that area. Reading the rest of the book might be helpful… And OK, I admit it – I bought the book because there’s a cattle dog puppy on the cover. 🙂

      • I ought to have twisted your arm before Eileen! She is beyond adorable. Do we get another photo in a few weeks time for an update? Thanks so much.

        • I’m sure Maggie would love to pose for another photo, Rex. She’s growing so fast – I hope she’ll be a ‘medium’ sized dog, but I just ordered the large size doggie door, just in case…

  14. Hi Jonni!
    I’ve been a regular visitor to your website for months now. I love checking in on the blog and here on this page to see what other folks are up to.
    I just want to let you know that your recipes and advice have been absolute blessings for me when it comes to making my cosplays. The attached photo shows two pieces which relied heavily on a combination of your paper mache paste, clay, and gesso recipes. I’m also going to be using these for some fun and quick Halloween masks this October, so I just felt that it was about time to say THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR WISDOM!!!

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