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.

13,733 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

    • It did work – and thank you so much for trying again. He’s delightful. The finish almost looks like a ceramic glaze – did you use acrylic paint and a gloss varnish?

      • Thank you Jonni. I was surprised about the glaze too. I used ‘finest acrylic ink’ by Schmincke maybe that’s why? I did not use a varnish (yet). Do you think its wise to use a varnish just to protect the mouse by dirt?

    • I wish I could “up” the comment by Lyn Berry, but I totally agree. Genius. That is the way to get the Alpha waves improved in this group. Love it.

      And thank you.

      • You just made my day Rex, thank you so much.

        You know it’s funny when I started my project I visualized only one thing and that is making people smile just by looking at an art object.

        With the response both Lyn and you gave me I realize I achieved my goal. And lets not forget about Jonni; you truly are a source of inspiration, thank you.

  1. Hi Jonni, thank you for sharing your creativity, it’s really inspiring to me.
    Today I finished my first paper mache project: a meditating mouse
    I painted it with an airbrush, accept for the eyes which I painted with a brush. (Needs a little bit more practice:-)
    Next project will be a mouse on the back of an elephant.

    • Corinne, we would love to see that mouse! Did you try to upload a photo with your comment? If you did, the image size was too big – the file size needs to be under 250 kb. I hope you’ll post another comment with a photo – I can’t wait to see that meditating mouse. The airbrushing is particularly interesting – I used one years ago in a t-shirt business, but I haven’t touched one since. I’ve thought about trying again, so your example might be the push I need to give it another go.

    • That is so much fun to see. There is character in there. That mouth creates a good attitude.

      (Want to see my first paper mache? I don’t think I’ve ever shown it to anyone! Yours definitely has a lot more character.)

    • Hi! I love all your videos. You are so creative and inspiring. I’m working on two sculptures right now: a running cheetah and a roan antelope bust. These are both meant to hang on the wall, but I didn’t think that part through when I started. I need some advice- how should I hang them, meaning, what should I attach to the backs so they can be supported by a nail, etc in the wall?

      • Hi Cassie. If the backs of the sculptures are flat, you can attach them to a wooden plaque with epoxy glue. I bought several from Walnut Hollow, and they look really nice. You’ll need to add a hanger on the back, but you can get them a lot of places. If the sculptures are fairly heavy you could even use the Apoxie Paste to stick them to the wood. That’s what I did when I prepared my concrete and plaster fast faces for a show a the library in Sioux Falls. But regular epoxy paste might work just as well. I have been told that the really fast-setting two-part glue is not as strong as the slower ones.

        • Hi Jonni, thanks for responding. My sculptures are irregular shaped and I want them to look like they are moving through the wall, so I think adding wood would bring them too far away from the wall. What do you think about cutting two holes out of the back cardboard, using epoxy glue to attach washers to reinforce the holes and using some sculpting paste over that?

          • Nice sculpture, Cassie. You caught the movement beautifully. Almost all of my wall sculptures are hung by simply drilling a hole in the back, which is a flat piece of cardboard, and hanging the hole over a nail. The masks are hung in a slightly different way, but only because there is no flat back on them. If your sculpture is fairly light, you might not need to reinforce the holes, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt anything. The sculpting paste probably isn’t needed, if you use a good two-part epoxy glue.

          • That is wonderful. I can’t wait to see it finished. I think you ought to just cut a whole in the sheetrock and stick it in. (I know. I’m a silly old man, and not good at humor.) I don’t hang things, but I would go with what Jonni said. Thanks for showing us. Your dog looks very content!

  2. Hello! This is my first comment here, and my first project. I’m excited! But hoo boy, am I also prone to d’oh. I’m sure your expertise can handily cover this one, though. Sooo: I covered a beach ball with one coat of wood glue mixture with worked-and-reworked-to-fibrous-as-hell brown paper-bag for the sake of making a paper-mache costume (a ball-shaped skirt). Then I made a boo boo and misunderstood what Jonni’s paper clay is, made some, and smooshed it on the top until the beach ball started to deflate under the weight. For some reason I’d imagined it as a kind of light spackle until I actually had it in my hands. See? D’oh!

    To my (slight) luck, though,, this caused a weight where that part of the ball hardened heavily and flattened and therefore solved my problem of the ball rolling away–I just turned it upside down and used that as the bottom. . But after adding a second layer of paper, I have another problem:

    I’m getting dents. And a hole I opened at the top is reaaaally sagging. I cut it in order to push out some of the early dents showing up in the clay debacle–it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, because I will need to cut a hole for fitting around the waist. Now it’s threatening the ability to cut that hole right. I’m wondering if after two paper layers with wood glue I can still push out the dents. Is two layers strong enough to cut the bottom off and push out the dents from the inside? Maybe reinforce with duct tape or something?

    Also, I’m wondering if adding some sort of hard sealant and then going over with plaster of paris tape of plaster or paris itself will help, or if it will make it too heavy to wear. I’m ultimately needing to sand this and am then covering it with acrylic mirror tiles (think a disco ball skirt!) so it needs to be as light as possible.

    What would you all suggest? The idea of doing two or more layers of brown paper to a 42″ ball is making me feel a little crazy, but if that’s my best option I’ll keep going. My main concerns are 1. totally, bughouse insane by the end of the process (see above); 2. too much weight from plaster or the like; 3. sanding away too much strength.

    Any ideas? And thanks so much! I hope Jonni won’t mind if I send this personally as well, as I’m on a tight deadline. Thanks thanks thanks again.

    • Hi Mickles. I’m afraid you lost me when you said the paper mache clay was so heavy it was causing the beach ball to deflate. Can’t a human sit on a beach ball without causing the air to escape? Or am I thinking about the yoga balls? Anyway, a very thin layer should not cause the ball to change shape – although the air inside the ball will cause the ball to change shape, because wet paper mache makes the air colder, and cold air doesn’t take up as much space as warm air.

      I don’t think two layers of brown paper and glue will be strong enough to hold the weight of your mirror tiles. I don’t think even 4 layers would work. That’s a really heavy load. I know you want the finished skirt to be light enough to wear, but it’s going to need some reinforcement. Actually, a lot of reinforcement. The fibers in plaster cloth would help, but even with the plaster cloth you’d need about four layers to get it hard enough to hold up under the weight of the tiles.

      • I think I just made the clay too thick and heavy. It didn’t work.

        So would you recommend plaster cloth then? I have until next weekend to finish it, of course counting the time to tile it.

        This person seemed to do fine with just paper mache in four layers (remember that it’s acrylic mirror tiles, not actual mirror glass):

        http://ariellejacobs.com/blog/human-disco-ball-dreams-come-true/

        That’s where I got the idea. I’m sure the glue helped. So I guess my question now is:

        Do I do plaster tape from here on out?

        Can I cut out the bottom to reinforce the inside and stop the sags? Even if that takes another layer?

        Has anyone ever done something like this and sprayed the inside with something with epoxy content for strengthening?

        Anything, will help here!

        • PS I did put down a layer of drywall tape but it didn’t seem to do anything. It’s under the second layer of wood glue and manipulated-to-death brown paper bags.

        • Did you try asking Arielle for help? It looks like she used six layers of newspaper, and diluted the wood glue with a lot of water. I’m surprised that it got strong enough – but I don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear something like that. 🙂

          You’re right – I was thinking about glass mirror tiles, so my thought about the weight might have been overblown. At this point though, with all the sagging and weirdness in your ball, I’d probably start over from scratch. Do one layer (and I’d suggest not using as much water as she did – wood glue by itself with no dilution would probably dry faster and be stronger) and let it dry. Do another, let it dry, etc. Put it in front of a fan or over a hear register to get it to dry faster. Don’t cut it until it doesn’t have any ‘give’ to it when you press in on the sides. And keep adding layers until you get that solid feel when you press. If you do this, you probably don’t need to bother with the plaster cloth.

          If you do use plaster cloth, I’d still start from scratch with a clean ball. It would just be easier. Does anyone else have any ideas?

          • I did “fortify” the top hole with some popsicle sticks so that when it’s time to cut it, I won’t have too much sag there. I just don’t know if I have time to start over.

            The sags aren’t hideous, just a bit here and there: could I maybe use paper clay to fill them in a bit before sanding and painting?

            And does working the brown paper bags until they’re very fibrous/leather-like make a major difference in the end? Because oh god, the time that took. Holy crap.

            • To save some weight, you could fill the dips with crumpled foil and cover that with a few strips of your brown paper. I’ve never softened brown paper like that – I do it with cardboard when I need it to take a soft curve, but not paper.

          • Perhaps I’l do one more layer and then cut the bottom off and do the foil trick.

            I chose brown paper bag because of reading someone’s testimonial that it turns out much stronger than newspaper, but it’s best worked ’til its really fibrous, either by rolling and crunching til its “leather like” or smooshing it into a ball in the glue and kind of kneading the glue in. Either way….tedious!

            Sorry if I’m using your comment page wrong, btw…I’m not seeing “reply” after your name so am just replying to myself.

  3. Hello all! Just made my first batch of paper mache clay with the no flour recipe. Borrowed my sisters food processor to “coconut flake” the toilet paper. That was fun and made me want a piece of coconut meringue pie. I think it turned out ok, it’s the consistency of cake icing and wondering if that is how it’s supposed to be. Also, do I keep it in the fridge? Too tired to try it out today. Shelley M.
    Galveston, Texas

    • Hi Shelley. I like using it when it’s the consistency of cake icing – it’s easy to spread a thin layer over your armature with a knife. You can make it thicker by adding more of the paper flakes. And you’re right – coconut meringue pie does sound awfully good right now!

  4. Hello Mrs Jonni good , I’m a fan of ur work , I love making paper mache sculptors however I’m not good at lot of aspects of it …..see some of the things I made

      • I’m so all smiles to hear from you …… I made all that fur from tissue paper. And then applied lodge podge n paint …. I don’t have blender for paper mache clay or Dough.

    • What a surprise your dogs were to see. They are great characters. Even though I love them both, the look on the face of the white one is fantastic. You’re definitely great at some aspects of paper mache! Thanks for the laugh and the delight.

  5. Recently learned about paper mache , loved it , can’t do it as good as you joniiiii , I’d love to improvise ……..by learning more from you.

    • Hi Rohini. You’re in the right place to learn about paper mache! The best place to start is in the Art Library. There are over 450 tutorials and videos on the site, so I’m sure you’ll find a great first project.

    • Ah, just jump right it. Every project is a learning lesson anyway! There are many good people here who will help you on your way.

    • I am your number-one fan.

      Do you “pet” your projects? They are great and lovable. Thank you for showing us. They brighten my day.

      • Thank you Rex, you are always so encouraging. I do find myself patting them on the head and talking to them, oops did I say that out loud? Haha

    • Susan, your work is just amazing. I can just imagine the look on the faces of people who come to your house for the first time – and I’ll bet they wish they could take some of your critters home with them. Do you know what the dogs are looking at so intently? A snowshoe hare, perhaps?

      • Thank Jonni, I think I am considered the crazy animal lady in the neighborhood. ? Having raised 10 huskies for the last 17 years I think a snowshoe hare would definitely grab there attention!

        • Maybe you could let him hide behind the couch. Unless you moved the couch out to make room for your rhino. (I tried to think of an animal you haven’t made yet, but I can’t keep track of them all. Do you have a rhino already?)

          • Oh my, I haven’t taken on a rhino yet, that would be fun but I would surely have to move the furniture out and I believe I promised Rex the couch to stay on?

            • I had a great time doing my small rhino, and I can’t wait to see you do one. Throw out the couch. I’ll come and mop that lovely floor instead. Definitely a hare, also. (We see them every morning walking, and I’m in love with them.) I love that you are the crazy animal lady; it shifted my image of you a little!!!

              Thank you beyond words.

    • I love your life sized sculptures! If only I had the talent, the patience, and even more importantly–the space! Good thing we’re not neighbors, I would be such a pest. Do you have pictures of all of them? I would love to see them all. What a wonderful slide show they would make. See? Pest already…

      • Thank you Rhonda, I am most certain you have all of those qualities, the space is an issue with me as well, I am just getting rid of furniture instead? I will look for photos.

    • Hi, Susan…that lion and its mane are amazing! Is that jute or what did you use for his mane? So clever and beautifully done!

  6. I wanted to show off my first creation in 20 years, she’s quite primitive compared to the other works Jonni has created And many other artists around here
    I was carried away with the inspiration and made many mistakes ..
    She’s going to be for my 4 yr. old granddaughter as a keepsake not a toy. ?? let you know how that works out ….
    And another papier-mâché Orca just need to be painted which for me is the hardest part have a few disabilities to work through..Though Great to have a creative outlet again !

  7. Hi Jonni,
    I have an idea to create a paper mache “Hatchimal” egg for my nieces birthday. My vision for the egg is to be quite large (about a foot tall and 9in across) with lots of small toys, candies, and prizes of that sort inside. I gauged this size out by blowing up a standard balloon without feeling like it is on the verge of popping. I planned on applying paper strips around the balloon and popping it once the paper mache is dry in order to make the egg hollow. I want the egg to be strong enough to hold the toys without breaking prematurely but weak enough for an 8 year old to be able to “crack” the egg to get to the prizes without having to get out a chisel and hammer. I would also like the egg to be smooth like a real egg shell and am planning to paint it speckled. I have watched several of your videos and read through many of your methods and I think I have devised an appropriate plan based on what I have learned, but would like your input nonetheless. I was thinking I would use the blue shop towel with the homemade gesso mixture, though I do feel like there is some risk of popping the balloon. My other thought was maybe if the gesso mixture is thin enough, would I be able to use newspaper strips with it?, or maybe this is a straight forward flour paste and newspaper job that I can later brush the gesso on to make it smoother? I may even go as far as carving around the entire egg sculpture and “gluing” (with something that is not so strong that she cant bust through the thing) the top part of the shell to the bottom part, much like the way that the Hatchimal toys function. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you think it is something that could work out for me! I have much love and respect for you art and talents!!

    • Hi Hanna. The DIY gesso recipe (the joint compound and glue mixture) will dry very hard, so I don’t think it would be a good choice if you want the shell to break apart like a pinata. It would work with the shop towels if you cut it apart yourself. The joint compound/glue mixture is very thick, and it might work with newspaper but I’ve never tried that. For newspaper the best paste is the traditional flour and water mixture. The hardest part of your project will be caused by the balloon – the air inside will shrink when the wet paste is put on top of it, and most people end up with wrinkles in the paper mache. I ran into that problem when I made my Humpty Dumpty, and got around it with plaster cloth. You can see the video here.

  8. I really love your art. I am a self taught artist of many items. I relate to you video about not making money from your post. I have had the same issue. I have even got ask what do you do with it, is it a bird house. That was with my gourd art. The list is very long, but I totally feel your pain. Have a blessed day and a super new year.

    • Hi Demetria. It’s true that my print-selling experiment didn’t go well. I started the experiment because I hoped to write a book about it to help other artists sell their own work, but my plan to get free traffic to a new website using Pinterest didn’t work. Of course, many of my experiments don’t work, but I promise it doesn’t bother me – there’s always the next idea to try. And this blog and my YouTube channel do keep me pretty busy. 🙂

  9. Hey Jonni. Wanted to share something I’m working on. It’s going to be a tobacco pipe holder. Can you guess who this is?

    • Hi Mònica. Your image needs to be edited to make the file size smaller. It needs to be under 250 kb to load. I hope you’ll try again – we’d love to see it.

      >Translated with Google translate: Hola Mónica. Es necesario editar la imagen para reducir el tamaño del archivo. Necesita ser inferior a 250 kb para cargar. Espero que lo intentes de nuevo, nos encantaría verlo.

  10. Hola !! Acá les muestro mi último trabajo del 2018, es un cuadro hecho en papel machè. Lo hice para adornar la cocina de mi nueva casa.
    El gorro lo hice con tela endurecida y tiene una copa en sus manos para brindar !!!!.

  11. I recently got into paper mache. I’ve been having fun making masks for costumes.

    This is my most recent project. It’s a half-face masquerade mask which I made for a New Year’s Eve party. The gold part is made with Jonni’s air dry clay recipe, and the brown I made with strips of graph paper and mod podge. The brown back piece was a last minute addition to support the gold piece, which kept cracking. I used plain cardboard for the base, which was too thin and flexible. But in the end I think the addition made the mask more interesting.

  12. Ilana, what a “wow” moment. I looked at it and thought, “She has no fear.” I mean you, doing this. (Envy and jealousy have nothing to do with it!) Please let us see it again.

  13. And this is the spaniel – many thanks to Jonni for her tip about doing the ‘feathers’ on the legs – great fun to do ..Bot oh the ears!! Any advice gratefully received!

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