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.

13,149 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. I’ve just completed the lion mask . I’m having difficulty and creating the texture on parts of the face that was not cover by the mane. I tied your suggestion with the old tooth brush to create light fur marks on the muzzle and forehead. Do you have a video where you are actually demonstrating his process?
    Thank you
    Peace in blessings

    • Hi Veltina. If you’re using the DIY gesso recipe or a heavy-body acrylic gesso, you can use an old brush with stiff bristles and start at the outside edges of the face, working inward. Make each new short brush mark overlap the one before. I’m trying to think of a video I made that shows the process close up, but I’ve made so many videos that I’m drawing a blank. I’ll look through the library and see if I can find one – or make a new one. That would be a great subject for a video, all by itself.

      Can you tell us what you’ve tried so far, so we might be able to offer some more specific advice?

  2. Just me with another pumpkin project. Jonni mentioned something about it being a centerpiece for Thanksgiving, so I sat a place for Teca and myself and put the pumpkins in the center. I try and do something different with the painting (and with the making). I had different colors, but it just didn’t look right. Thanks, Jonni, for the suggestion to add a wash to all the pumpkins. It was the perfect answer. Not only did the colors look much better, but it tied the whole group together. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    • Great pumpkins Rex, very sincere! Charlie Brown would approve! I thought you were done with pumpkins, or have you just succumbed to your true pumpkin nature? You always bring a smile to my face!

      • Thanks, Jonni, and Eileen. I make myself into a liar every year, as you know. It’s something to be 72 and not know that I liked pumpkins. Now I can’t get away from them. Thanks for the chuckles.

  3. Hi, Jonni. I want to thank you for your helpful videos and articles, and for the recipe book you sent. I’m and engineer and a pastor; not an artist. That said, we have been putting on an “All-Saints’ Museum” every October for the past 12 years and have had to learn a lot of techniques and materials to give a museum “look” to our presentation. One area we had not improved since the first year was our “Empty Tomb”. I needed a certain size (actual size) and look – many set designs and VBS decorations are going for the same effect – but also a certain “feel” (we let people handle the displays) and enough durability to assemble/disassemble and store a large piece. I really enjoyed your paper mache clay articles, but, after seeing your rhino project, decided to opt for the air-dry clay. We knew that the project was enormous (about 6’ x 6’ x 7’, and with both an inside and outside), so we needed to be able to add material in multiple sessions. We also needed some consistency from batch to batch. And, I wanted a more-or-less horizontal stratification look on the outside, but was happy enough to have a more plastered-over look on the inside. The natural drying of the clay gave a stratified appearance that was just what we had in mind. I was also looking for something that we could paint (time permitting, but we didn’t bother this year), and repair, if damaged. Naturally, we learned a great number of lessons along the way. We also put a few batches away in the refrigerator (our children’s teachers are eyeing them for some craft projects) and tested out the material on a couple of trinkets and a small bowl. I am very interested in adding some period oil lamps and possibly updating our actual-size reproduction of a section of the catacombs. Those will be much more interesting, as they include a considerable number of paintings copied from those found in the catacombs. You have been both an inspiration and a valuable resource.

    • Hi William. Your empty tomb was a very big project, and a challenging one – but you did an excellent job with it. We’d love to see the catacombs when they’re done, too. I’m surprised that you have room for such large projects, but I’m glad you do. 🙂

    • That is a pretty amazing story and project. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you in the future. Hope to see more.

    • Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I can not imagine just how many batches of the smooth clay you used! What did you use for an armature and how come it did not warp? You must have had God on your side!

      • We probably overengineered the armature – plywood and 2×2 and 2×4 lumber. We wanted it light enough to move, but enough structure to hoist without worrying about it coming apart. Our space had to be emptied in two days and set up for the election. My wife is already looking at a way to use the tomb in our sanctuary for vacation Bible school this summer, so the strength to hang together for a move was more important than weight.

  4. Here is my latest pumpkin leprechaun. I think I posted a photo of three of them before in the beginning stages, but this one is complete. A friend came to visit from the British Isles, and she asked for a leprechaun. We had a blast making them, and as the leprechauns emerged, a story emerged with them — changing along the way, of course. You can make up your own story, but this is the Jilted Lover. His girlfriend and her new boyfriend (who is a jerk, by the way) are almost complete.

      • The girl needs her lipstick on and the new guy a nose. I’ll try and focus and get them finished and post a photo.

        (What was most difficult on this guy was that “sorrowful” look in his eyes. At least I think it’s there. Imagination at times gets in the way!)

        Thanks.

  5. Hi all,

    First, waw! I have seen so many great sculptures since the last time I checked the website. There are many great artists on this page.
    I finally finished my deer in faux bronze. It took a rather long period to finish it, since I had some troubles making it stand up (stability issues and so on). However, I’m happy with the way it turned out. (I’m actually making a tiny version of it now, to put on my desk with Christmass).
    This guy will end up as a decoration piece in a winterlandscape for Christmas, either in the living room or in my mom’s bakery.

    Pls let me know what you think about it. 🙂

    All the best,
    Isis

    • Isis, I can honestly say that in the six years I’ve been on this site, this is one of my favorite sculptures. The size of the head gives it an appearance of a juvenile for me. I love the body and the posture. Believe me, I know what it is like to try and get something stable. I love the legs and the body. You have a strong artistic appeal in how you work.

      Please show us the miniature, mostly because it would be fun to see this again. Great work. Thanks so much.

      • Hi Rex,

        I’m so glad you said that is has something juvenile because I meant to. 🙂 Thank you for the nice comment. It’s still all a trial and error process.

    • Isis, your deer turned out just beautiful! You have captured a certain vulnerability that you do see with deer. Very well done and I’m glad you persisted through all the trials. This deserves to be in a public place so everyone can see it!

    • Isis, what a beautiful deer! We finished combining a bean field last week and I walked back out to get the truck. Two deer (we’ve been watching them grow up all summer) were up by the grove and watched me walk to the truck only a few yards away. One stayed in just that pose, putting his tail up and then down again, trying to decide if I was a danger. So well done. Thank you for cementing that memory for me!

  6. I have a question for anyone who can answer it. Has anyone ever tried to use an immersion blender to make the regular or smooth air dry clays? I do not own one so I don’t know how strong they are. I know they are very affordable and I would love to not have to fight with the clay pulling up into the standard beaters of a hand mixer. I made 6 batches of the smooth clay for personal use and for my class the other day and it took all morning! Next time I may have to do it all in a big bucket and use a drill paint mixer! Any input would be welcomed.

    • Eileen, I faced the same problem. I have never used an immersion blender for anything, so I don’t know, although looking at it I tend to be skeptical. I made about 10 batches of clay, but I decided beforehand to go to the hardware store and look at their drill paint mixers. They had two sizes. I bought the smaller size (for gallon buckets, I believe) and I’m still not sure if the larger one would have worked better. I made four batches of clay at a time in a plastic bucket. (As you might remember, I weigh the ingredients, so that part was easy.) I really believe what helped the most was adding the flour last. I beat the paper into the glue and joint compound mixture (and I use baby oil), and when that was smooth I added the flour. It worked well. (Most of the time I used an up-down motion with the mixer instead of round and round! Did both, actually.)

      If I had to stand at the sink and make 10 batches, I would have been there for a couple of hours. If you use a large drill paint mixer, I would be interested in how it works for you. I may go get one, anyway. Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

    • Eileen, I use the paint mixer like Rex mentioned, though the first one I got has a depression on the bottom and that gets a lot of stuff you have to dig out periodically when mixing or you don’t get a nice consistency. I quickly abandoned that one and use one where there is no bottom ‘hole’. I measure everything into an old lard bucket and hold that between my feet while running the drill. Seems to keep things from flying off across the room. I make soap with an emersion blender, and while the thing is pretty powerful, I don’t think it’s strong enough to handle the smooth air dry clay, not to mention how it would gunk up between the blades and the guard. Hope that helps!

      • It does help a lot! You totally answered my question about the immersion blender. I think when doing a number of batches, the paint mixer with the drill is the best. We have so many options here in the USA, we are very fortunate, thanks for your reply.

  7. Hello hello, how’s everybody?
    I’ve finally finished this Madame and wanted to share her with you.
    Now with a full time job whatever goes on within the “studio” takes even more time to built, but still … 😉
    The idea for this doll came out of my passion for historical fashion prints and … which better era to portray than rococo period? I had started a little papermache coach but got fed up with time and decided to glue it on top of her wig and “construct” a hat around it. Bows, toilet paper plumes, swirly black things coming out, well ! Yes, lots of fun!
    Speaking of fun though I’m planning to do original drawings / paintings (both?) of my original dolls, do prints out of and sell through my etsy shop… Might work… what do you think?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Your image came through on the second try, Pedro. Thanks for trying it again. Your little lady with the coach on her hat is wonderful, as your sculpts always are. And I think your idea for making prints is great. Of course, I’m not an expert on etsy… But you have a very special niche, and originality sells, if people can find it.

      • By the way, the company I used to print my digital animal prints last year also ship to Europe. They call their prints ‘posters,’ but they also say (I think) that they print on acid-free paper. That would make them giclee prints. They aren’t original prints, of course, or hand-made, but lots of etsy artists are using them. And they have a way to set up your shop so they ship directly from etsy orders. Plus, there’s no up-front cost, and you only owe them for printing and shipping after somebody buys a print. I was quite impressed with them. If you do start selling prints, please let us know how to find them.

        • Thank you Jonni, that’s really interesting! Whenever I’ll have made either the drawings or paintings, I’ll come back to you for a little bit more guidance upon the subject!
          Do you still sell yours ?

          • No, I just tried it as an experiment to see if I could drive traffic to a new website with Pinterest. The experiment didn’t work, so I shut it down. It was fun to play with, though, and I really enjoyed learning how to create digital paintings. Always something new to learn. 🙂

    • Your madame is great Pedro and it is good to see you are still creating even if only in your spare time. We need to do it to keep our sanity! I like your idea of original paintings for prints, you could also do the same with greeting cards or stationary. Take it a bit further and do coffee mugs with the prints on them. It would be a nice gift for any history buff.

      • Thank you Eileen! After reading your comment about mugs and all my instant reaction was “yuck, no way!” but, hey, why not? Whenever I’ll have my own gallery / historical doll museum I’ll probably try that!!

        • Today I talked to someone who is very proud of her Terry Redlin plate collection. She started collecting them because they were part of a giveaway promotion at a local store. She loved them so much she looked in stores for the last two to finish her set, and she paid dearly for them. Then she bought several of his prints for her kids, and her kids started buying his work for themselves in larger sizes …

          But my daughter and I both had the same initial reaction to the story – we thought, ‘but that’s tacky!’ And then we immediately changed our minds. Terry (or perhaps his wife) knew that one way to get real people excited about your work is to get it into their homes, any way you can. Now, many years after giving away those plates, he’s a cultural icon in the state. You can’t walk into a house or store that doesn’t have one of his prints on the wall. He sold so many paintings and prints that he could afford to build his own gallery – it feels like a museum dedicated to his work.

          So I agree with Eileen. There’s nothing yucky about sharing your art with as many people as you can.

          • Thanks Jonni- I just thought that if “marketing” your artwork is important to someone, that would be another way to do it. It is hard for artists in general to make a living doing their art so coming up with commercial products is one way to support what they really love to do…there’s no shame in that! I liked your story and now have to go look up that artist!

          • Jonni, Eileen I will treasure your opinions and story, didn’t knew the artist but seeing his work I understand why he became so popular (not being ironic though…lol)
            Print wise I’m more into going to a print shop and try to sell them directly. Sounds to me that enterprise you mentioned charges lots (more than half as they say if a product costs 20 the artist would get 8 (what??). Oh well …
            Its always nice to dwell on these “issues” and stay open to other opinions, so I thank you both!

  8. I am new to this wonderful website.
    I used your paper mache recipe — and hair from seven goats
    I tend to make a spider for Halloween. My cats were very interested in the final results. Hope the trick or treaters like it too.

    • Hi S. We would love to see what you made. Did you try to upload a photo with your comment? If you did, it was probably too big, so it didn’t work. I hope you’ll try again, because that comment about goat hair really has me interested! 🙂

  9. Hello I bought the paper elephant marche . May i know the size that the paper cutting should be printed . Is it A4 ?

  10. This is a redo of the little white dog I did named “Sandy”. The person who commissioned the pup thought it looked a bit like a labradoodle. When I looked up labradoodle, I found a white one in the same pose as the dog I had made.
    So, I made a new Sandy with the new pics they provided. Tried a new technique adding “fur” on top of the papermache clay using fabric glue. Work great! They love it!
    More angles follow.

    • Susan, it really came out nice. I’m sure Sandy’ mom and dad will treasure your sculpture. The fur is very nicely done, by the way.It must have taken ages!

      • Hey Jonni!
        Happy you like the fur pup! Actually, the fur had a really nice and very forgiving backing, which made it very adaptable. I had to place it in stages of course. I used fabric glue to attach the fur. Fabric glue is some good stuff! I always gesso my work prior to adding the pm clay. Gives the piece some “tooth” to hang on to the clay.
        I always date my clay. The clay that I used for Sandy was dated a year ago September! It was still in great condition. Never have issues with mold. I don’t use any flour, which could be why no mold.
        I have an Eternal water bottle sculpture in process right now, soon to reveal. You’ll get a kick out of her!

        • Suzan, have you already told us what you use instead of flour? Or do you just leave it out and use the pm clay in a thin layer? Please excuse me if you already told us – my brain is a sieve.

          I can’t wait to see your next sculpt. 🙂

          • Hey Jonni,
            When I make my clay, I follow your recipe in the book “Make Animal Sculptures…”
            I don’t add flour, never did. I use an old food processor to blend the mix. No issues with it being too wet, it is more sticky at first, but that resolves shortly.
            When I am covering the sculptures, I’ve gessoed the piece first and let it dry, especially the parts that have polymer clay because it lacks “tooth” for the clay to hang on too without gesso. I keep a bowl of water and a wet washcloth beside the project and clean my fingers frequently. I also have several tools at hand to help spread and smooth as I go, rinsing those frequently as well. I use a wet finger to smooth the clay too, rinsing frequently. Good results every time!
            My clay is the consistency of peanut butter cookie dough for lack of a better description.

  11. Hi Rex. Thank you! I made the tree (roots and branches) with crumpled newspaper and paper tape, then I covered it with paper mâché clay and painted it. The clay helps shape the tree and harden it. The leaves (believe it or not) are paper (the craft roll kind). I used tie-dyes to color them and a fabric stiffener called “Stiffy.” I have some silk-flower hot iron tools that I used to shape them. A fairy garden sounds wonderful!

    • Thanks, Sherry,

      My girl, Teca, walks me twice a day — an hour morning and night. While she is off playing and chasing rabbits (never catches them; she’s small), I’m not examining all the dried weeds for inspiration in making a tree. I’m going to give it a try. I never thought of JUST using paper, but I’m coming up with ideas. Thanks for your help and your inspiration. I very much appreciate it.

      I have many projects that I am working on, and I feel very far behind! (I’m blaming pumpkins at the moment.)

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