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.

13,148 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

    • I really, really, really love this. What a great idea.

      Over ten years ago I tried doing a balloon pig with the universe on it. I’ll attach a photo for your amusement, but I absolutely love this bird.

      • Absolutely love how you painted your pig! I’ve always been a sucker for anything with a space theme, but the blue and orange with a moonrise look really gets me. Well done.

        • Thanks, Sheepish. Here is another side. I had more fun than ought to be allowed in painting this pig. I have a great friend who is a “universal” guy and loves all people. I thought for over a year what I could make him. (At that time I only worked with balloons and hadn’t found Jonni yet.) I would take home branches of weeds from the desert (walking with my dog hours every day) and tried to paint them, but that didn’t work. Anyway, thanks for your comment, and I look forward to seeing more space themes from you.

          • Sheepish, I just remember a Pegasus I made a few years after. I must have a photo somewhere that is better than this one. He was about 3′ long. And, if I had to prove it, you can see my pillow cases are out of this world! lol.

            • Jonni, I’ll try and find a photograph of him. He was one of my favorites. (Do I have a tendency to do sculptures that have parts sticking out all over the place? lol)

              Yes, he went to a cousin. The project was, of course, an extended lesson inspired by your book, “Making Animals,” the final chapter.

            • I’m not sure if it is being taken care of or not. I do worry about him. I have been searching for a painted photograph, and so far have been totally unsuccessful. I’ll keep looking. You might recognize this photo? Obviously, it is before he was painted.

            • Yes, now I remember it. It must have been a huge challenge to get him to stand on three legs with the added weight of the wings. I think it proves that you have an endless supply of both creativity and patience!

          • Your little pig is great on all sides! What great galaxies! I really like that pegasus too, what a fun wingspread and pose. Though I’d love to, I’m still too chicken to try feathers (pun, anyone?) but I did a draft unicorn. She stared at me for months demanding paint. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.

            • Your comment made me do a double-take because I have three or four ravens that I began over three years ago and can’t do them because I’m afraid of feathers. For some reason doing wings on a horse didn’t count! Hmmm. Thanks.

              (By the way, by the time I got to the horse project in Jonni’s book, the final project, I had begun to believe I had to do five of anything to get it at all in the ballpark of being right. I don’t know how many unicorns I have done. None of them are very good at all, but I would love to see yours. I would love to do a unicorn again, but I would go back to the more mythical creature; in other words, not a horse with a horn.)

            • Rex, your comment about unicorns reminded me of one I drew for my very first website, drawfluffy.com. It’s based on an African impala, with a narwhal tusk for a horn and a lion’s tail. Did I come to a ‘real’ unicorn? I’m sure you know much more about the mythology of this creature than I do.

              unicorn

            • Jonni, I love your unicorn. There was a period of time in my life when I framed unicorns and put them on my wall. I think I had over six. Each one was very different from the others. I think your unicorn would be fun to do. I love the head and the lion’s tail. I think feet like a Clydesdale horse would be fun, but they wouldn’t go with that thin body. Thanks.

  1. Hi Jonni I’ve had a great time making several smallish sculptures using your books, tips and air dry clay ..see pics. The Starling got the most comments on Instagram – and it was one of the easiest to do as it is a covered in a stellar print tissue paper I happened to find which I guessed would work well – and it did! I’ll post a separate pic of that one.
    The thing I have most trouble with when I’m making the dogs is their ears – I find it really difficult to get the right size / shape arrangement / etc! Any tips at all? I’ll post a pic of the spaniel I made.

    • I wonder if you could paste two pieces of paper towel together and use them for the ears? I don’t know if they’d dry strong enough to hold up to handling, but they might have a realistic drape. But I have to say that your spaniel’s ears appear to be the appropriate size and they’re hanging the way ears do – so maybe I’m just not seeing what it is you’re trying to achieve.

      Is that a hyena? He looks like he’s intently watching something that should be very, very worried!

      I’m sure the blue fellow has a name – is it a character from a movie or game? Am I showing my age? 🙂

      • Thanks Jonni..yes that’s a Hyena..he’s got great character despite or maybe because of being painted and repainted a couple of times! ( he was my third effort).
        The blue fellow is Totoro, the Japanese Wood spirit immortalised in Studio Ghibli ‘s animation film of the same name. I made him over Xmas .

        I’ll try paper for ears..my issue is that I find it difficult to get the right size and shape and position for them! They seem to me to embody the personality of the animal and are their means of expression. I guess I’ll have to keep trying and seeing what works for the sculpture.
        Thanks again for your helpful information

    • Drusilla, you have great projects going on here. Just to be a little contrary, I use metal mesh for ears. A photo is attached so you know what I’m talking about. As Jonni advises, be careful when cutting the wire because it will bite you. That is why there is masking tape around the edges.

      I think your ears are good. Many times when I am making a dog, I place the ears too much on top of the head and end up having to cut them off (at times more than once). I think your placement is right, and I like the way they hang.

      One of the things I like about using wire is that it has a “natural” fold to it when you bend it. My main problem is getting the ear the right size. My poor dog undergoes torture when I’m measuring all parts of her ear!

      For some reason, I have been thinking about using watercolor paper. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you get 120 pound paper (it is expensive) and soak it for five minutes, I think it would bend nicely. I ought to give it a try before I say anything. Someone made a tree on this site that got me thinking about that. Thanks, and good luck.

      • Thanks again Rex. That’s a great idea about using watercolour paper. I have some in the drawer and I’ll give it a try on my current dog project. Cheers Dru

        • Please let me know so I don’t have to experiment myself! Good luck. (I’m glad to see you know how to spell watercolour!)

        • Jonni, in 2005 I took a photograph of Loki, Skooter, and Tikki (brothers and sisters). Since I discovered you, I have dreamed of doing a paper mache project of these three greatest friends of mine. Because they have all died, rather young, I have had the beginning of the project in a plastic box for years now. I know it is time to get them out of prison, and I’m hoping at some point this year I can get them completed. This is Tikki, a two-toned min pin. I loved her more than I can say, even though she went to live with her mother. I saw her often, and I don’t know which of us were the happiest at every visit. I got the brush Jesse used in her demonstration, and I’m going back to write down the colors she mixed for browns because it would be perfect for this project. Sorry to be so long!

    • We would love to see it! Did you try to upload an image? If you did, it was too big and it didn’t come through. The file size needs to be less than 250 kb – I hope you’ll edit the photo and try again.

  2. This is my first paper mache project. We have a log home with a huge post going up the center, I plan to mount this pileated woodpecker on it.

  3. Hello, my name is Rhema. I truly love your videos and I always wanted to do paper mache but never knew how. I love to oil paint and always wanted to try out paper mache. Your video on paper mache clay was a huge help. This is the second elephant that I did. I hope you get the picture.

    • Hi Rhema. Your elephant image didn’t come through with your comment. It’s probably too big. All images need to be less than 250 kb to work on the blog. I hope you’ll edit the image to make the file size smaller, and try again. We’d love to see it.

  4. If the resizing worked, this is that first paper mache project (I call him the bronze dragon because I have no imagination for names) I did since I was 9. I credit you for how well it turned out. Even entered him in the county fair and got the best in class ribbon. Hope the picture worked as it irritated me enough to try to size it. This is the only picture I have on this device of that dragon and was originally intended as a visual aid for an illustration, so that’s why it’s at an odd angle.

    • That is the resizer I used, but couldn’t find how large the file was on this device so just had to guess. Just my little web tablet. I’m working to get my prtfolio in order to try childrens’ books, started with a verbal story a coworker told us one day. Maybe I’m too picky, but I’m not happy with any of them yet. Here’s another attempt with that picture.

      • Wow! I don’t suppose we can see the illustration, too? Only if it wouldn’t give away any secrets, of course. Will you do freelance work with authors, or write and publish your own books? Have you seen this site? They have some interesting courses on the illustration business, including creating a portfolio, freelance work and children’s books – I take a peek every once in awhile, to see if they have any drawing courses that I can talk myself into taking. I found one today that I might ‘have’ to take. 🙂

        For some reason I have never had a coworker who told stories about dragons during coffee breaks. 🙂

        • What an amazing site! It’s not one I have been to before, but I’m sure I’ll be going again. I found one or two courses that might be worth looking into further. Thank you!

      • I want him. That’s all I’m saying. (Maybe I could afford the book.) A step beyond great. Thanks for persisting.

    • Hurrah…your picture came through! He is worth the wait because he is fabulous! Just how big is he? From your picture, he looks huge but I think that was the intention. Bronze dragon is a fine name, you don’t want to get too cutesy.(unless he is a character in your children’s book)

      • It was a unique work environment at an organic garden and we had a lot of time to talk when we would be weeding or packing plants – a lot of interesting things came from such times. This dragon pulls double duty in the story as the villian and then the hero, a neat little teaching tale my co-worker would tell his children at bed time. I’d share the illustration, but truly it will not see the light of day until I do it again. From the tip of his tale to his nose, the bronze dragon isn’t more than 18 inches and maybe 12 inches tall. Sorry, Rex, I was going to see if I could get rid of him when I was done, but I fell in love with him and now he guards my bookmarks. But if I ever change my mind…

  5. Hi Jonni.

    I wanted to say thank you and tell you how much I am in love with your work!!
    I found your site within the last 3 months or so. I believe something in pinterest led me here. I made 3 paper mache projects for Christmas gifts this year. Having never done any before, it was a fun challenge.

    I first made a tree which I found and copied directly from youtube. I was looking for something to do to pass some time. I usually work in stained glass but was feeling adventurous. My art room was recently completed and I wanted to get it dirty!!
    I didn’t know that I would fall in love with the process! Before the tree was done, I ventured on my own to create a Beach Cat for my mom. As I researched and looked for inspiration, I found your site. I purchased 2 mask patterns (Pig and Jack Rabbit) and immediately got to work on the Jack Rabbit. She came out lovely and I will include a photo for you.
    I decided I would give my projects as gifts for Christmas. I only have 3 family members so I figured it was completely do-able.
    They were a big hit and my family couldn’t believe that I made them.
    I gave the rabbit to mu aunt and she actually asked me if I was quite sure I hadn’t purchased it somewhere!

    Anyway, Thank you so much for sharing, encouraging, educating, and inspiring me! I feel like a stalker, as I am on your site almost everyday..lol
    Have a great day. 🙂

    • Your jackrabbit is lovely, Wendy. And I really like the idea of giving hand-made gifts at Christmas. It’s so much more personal than buying more stuff. Thanks for sharing!

    • First off, what a wonderful jack rabbit! It is hard to believe you are a novice. Do you have pictures of your other projects? We would love to see! You can even show us your stained glass if you would like!
      Quite a few of us are stalkers to this blog and they feel like old friends even though you know you will never get to meet them! So welcome to the club and we look forward to your next post.

      • Thank you Eileen!

        I think I’m addicted now! I’m working on Jonnie’s pig pattern at the moment. Somehow his face came out a little spooky so I decided he should have glass taxidermy eyes. Awaiting them in the mail.

        I’m a little modest so your compliment made me feel proud of my rabbit. My family kind of had to say it was great but that kind of feedback from a stranger is nice!

        Do you have any projects posted? I’ll scroll further and check. I’m new to this part of the site and still learning how to get around it. In fact, I just found the subscribe button so I can get notifications!

        Chat soon!

          • Here is/are progress photos. I’m not sure if he is spooky/dark or just expressive?

            I thought I’d still paint him pink, but I’m not set on that yet.

            • Let’s go with “expressive.” 🙂 He definitely has a real pig character, and I can’t wait to see how he looks after he’s painted. There are so many different breeds of pig that you could make several and have them all be a different color. Thanks for showing him to us!

    • Wendy, great rabbit. Welcome to the club! It is addicting to some of us.

      (Right now I’m working on some stained-glass trees. I would love to see your stained glass. I’ve been doing it since the 70s — one of the old hippies!)

      I love the idea of hand-crafted gifts. That’s the best.

      • Thank you for you compliment, Rex!

        I’m currently working on a stained glass mobile. Another beach item for my mom (if you saw the beach cat). I have all the glass critters done but need to sculpt an octopus to hang them from. It’s a daunting task for me. I have until April 5th though so I’ll probably procrastinate until April 3rd..lol

        I’ll see if I can try to upload some of my latest projects soon.

        I’d love to see your glass work. I don’t feel like a pro or anything but I do enjoy it immensely.

        • I have made a few mobiles (mostly for babies to look at), and I hope you can get the pieces so they don’t fall off. It took many projects for me to learn not to have a piece of glass sticking out by itself because they usually fall off. I did see your beach cat. Your idea to sculpt an octopus as the center is a great idea, and I hope it works out great. Please let us see it when you get it completed. Are you doing a paper mache octopus? I’m sure it would work well.

          I’ll attach a photo of a window I completed when I first began. It is about six feet tall and about 18″ wide, as I remember.

          • Wow, That’s a lovely window. It seems Huge! And of course, I’m loving the ocean theme!

            My largest one to date was 36″ x 24″. It seemed giant at the time..lol.

            • You may be new to the media, but you really use it well. Love that pig (and have seen that expression on real pigs) I think the eyes really add. Did an octopus for a photo shoot (it didn’t have to be very detailed since it was tucked in the background) and I was also intimidated and put it off. Once I got going, it was so much easier than I had built it up to be. Don’t be afraid! If your other projects are any indication, it will turn out great!

    • I have used just the smooth clay over masking tape, usually when i have a small item or thin item to cover, say for a small goat. That way you can get your detail without too many layers to make it too thick. It seems to dry tough and strong even though it is only one layer. I don’t know if i would do it over a very large piece though. I think you need several layers for the strength. I’d like to know if anyone has done one layer on a large piece.

    • I’ve done the smooth air dry clay over a dragon about 18 inches, not sure if that’s large or small or somewhere inbetween. My layer wasn’t very thin (it was the first paper mache anything I hd done since I was 9) and took about a week to dry completely, but it’s super strong and stuck just fine over the masking tape. My biggest frustration was the wings. It didn’t stick well to the slick side of a cardboard cereal box and I only did the top half of the wing and waited for it to dry before doing the bottom. Like normal clay, shrinks when it dries and popped right off so there was space between a nice hard layer of dry clay and my cardboard wing. Worked out and gave a slight curl to the bottom of the wings like they’re interacting with a bit of a breeze, so it was a Bob Ross Happy Accident. Haven’t done air dry clay on anything like that since so I couldn’t say if there’s a better way or not. Masking tape: good stick. Cereal box: not so much.

      • Thanks – this is really helpful information. The air dry clay recipe isn’t as sticky as the original paper mache clay, but it’s interesting that it has no trouble sticking to masking tape.

      • I’ve had the same experience. The tape over cardboard is crucial. Also, I tried covering a varnished piece with the air dry clay, and it didn’t stick, either. Dried and fell off. Don’t know if the regular kind would stick either over varnish.

    • Hi Veltina. We would love to see your lion mask, but the image you sent didn’t come through. The file size needs to be under 250 kb. I hope you’ll edit the image to make it smaller and try again.

  6. Hello everyone! I wanted to post my latest sculpt of a kingfisher. There is a pond across the street from my home and we watch them divebombing after little fish all the time. I just had to sculpt one! It is mounted on a piece of driftwood.
    I also wanted to wish one and all a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!

      • The owner is sort of an absentee land owner so no to that question. I’m glad you could see that there was a fish in his beak, it is sort of a strange camera angle.
        Will you be spapcoching another turkey this Christmas?

        • No turkey this time – the kids are heading to the in-laws for Christmas so we had ours at the Solstice. Pasta and cake – not quite the normal fare, but we had a good time playing some brand new instruments. “Silent Night” might not have been the best song to play first, but it was still fun giving it a try. We’ll sound better next year, I’m sure.

          I hope you have a great Christmas, with or without the turkey. 🙂

          • Are you referring to the ukulele? Did all of you get one? It is hard to learn any musical instrument after childhood-something about how our brain processes things. So, more power to you for attempting! Do you read music or is that new too?

            • I bought myself a ukulele, and I gave some easier-to-play instruments to the kids so we could play a few Christmas songs together while they were here. All the instruments were right out of the box, so our ‘music’ was pretty awful – but it was still fun. I played sax in high school, and can sort-of read music. I’m determined to learn the uke, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve thought about starting another YouTube channel to ‘learn out loud,’ like I did with paper mache ten years ago, but that might be too embarrassing. 🙂

            • I hear you on the embarrassing bit. I’m like you…I sort of read music but am not a wizz at it. I played flute when younger,gave that up for the much easier Irish low whistle. Currently I also play bells in a bell choir. That is a challenge. Like art, music does something to our souls so keep it up! Do you watch YouTube videos to learn?

            • I’ve been watching YouTube videos, yes. Lots and lots of videos. And I’m taking a very short online course to get me started with a few cords and the correct way to hold the instrument. I’m starting to get enough callouses that it doesn’t hurt so much. 🙂

              I recently found the low whistle by hopping around the internet, and put one on my wish-list – but some people say you shouldn’t try to learn two different things at the same time. Not enough room in the brain, I guess, but kids jump around from one hour to the next in school. Do schools have it all wrong? Or does the one-thing-at-a-time idea only apply to old people?

              I see bells played in some of the British cozy mystery TV shows I watch, and it looks like a lot of work! You must be in great shape. Do you play the whistle with a local group? Do you stick with the Irish tunes?

    • Eileen, sorry I have been “away” for so long. Stuck in a stained-glass tree forest.

      I love the bird. I want to know how you do the feet. Do the feet stick in the driftwood? Glued on?

      What I really love about this little guy is his face. He has such character, especially those little all-knowing eyes. A great piece.

      • The feet are made of wire and the feet are a thinner wire taped about one inch from the bottom. That leaves a 3/4 to 1” of plain wire under the foot. I use paper strips and paste to keep the feet and legs as thin as possible. When all done, I drill 2 small holes into the wood and use epoxy to glue the feet into the holes. It is sturdy but definitely the weakest part of the sculpture and you have to be careful.
        So you have been doing stained glass? We would love to see your projects! Don’t stay away so long next time. There are those of us who begin to worry if you aren’t around for too long!

  7. Hi Jonni.

    This is the final result for my son’s nursery. Your bear together with some freehand friends. Not very realistic, but still cute I think. Had so much fun with these. Thank you so much for the great pattern. Keep them coming!

  8. Hi Jonni
    Used your lion head as a basis for this sculpture,tweaked some parts, then furred it, clipped and painted it with acrylic paints, never done this before but was up for a challenge. Now he is nearly finished, probably a few more tweaks, the nose is clay and needs some more painting, and I will try and sell him as I fancy making a something else.

    Cheers
    David

    • David, I would love to see how your lion came out. Unfortunately, the images didn’t upload with your comments. They were probably too big. My site doesn’t have a fancy automatic image resizer like Facebook does, so I’m afraid you’ll need to resize it yourself. If you don’t have image editing software, you can use this free online tool. The file size needs to be smaller than 250 kb.

      I really hope you’ll try again, because I really want to see how it looks. It sounds really nice.

  9. Hi my name is Rachael. This is my first paper mache project. I’m just learning. I’m very pleased with the way my elephant has come out but now it’s time to paint it and I’m afraid to ruin her. After two coats of Jesso I spray painted her with one coat of matte spray paint. I feel like it’s too dark for the first layer of color. What can I do to lighten her up

    • Hi Rachel. I think you probably tried to upload a photo, but the file size was too large for it to come through. I hope you’ll make the image smaller and try again. As for the base color, do you intend to use acrylic paint over the spray paint? If so, you could mix up a lighter color and cover the dark layer, basically starting over with a new base. Or let some of the original darker color show through, which could also be interesting.

      I hope you’ll try again with the photo so we can see what you’re making!

  10. Hello hello!
    Have been mache’ing a canvas with some medieval architectural notes (lets call them notes) and thought it would be something that you might like seeing as it opens up lots of adventures within mixing papermache potentialities with painting. In fact I’m planning to do some “historical” paintings and thought that such details in relief using papermache would look interesting, texture wise.
    Most of it is cardboard with newspaper glued on, the fleur de lys are aluminium foil covered with dasclay and in the end all was covered with a paste which consists of flour+cement+crack filler paste+white glue. Its a paste that does fills cracks and gives some unified strength to the pieces (not water resistant once dried though …
    Thanks 🙂

        • I’ve been reminded of it a lot lately, because the cardboard patterns I’ve been making are really three-dimensional paper mache canvasses. Maybe I should start calling them that, since so many people are afraid of the word “sculpture.” 🙂

            • Pedro, this is totally off-topic but you’re the only person from Portugal that I know, so I’m going to pretend you’re an expert. Hey – you’re into history, so maybe you are. 🙂 I just bought a ukulele, and I know they were made in Portugal before being taken to Hawaii. And the book says the ukulele was originally called a Machete. Someone on YouTube reeled off a few other long names in Portuguese, which I didn’t catch. Do people still play tiny guitars in Portugal, and do you know anything about them? Like, for instance, why did they make them so little?

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