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.

13,158 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Haven’t been here for a couple of days so it was wonderful to see all the new sculptures. In response to the question about matte ModgePodge, it can be used as a finish on paper mache. It is used a lot for decopauge. If I remember correctly, you have to make sure it is completely dry before a second coat otherwise it can get sticky. Hope this helps.

  2. Hi Jonni & friends- Thank you so much for the help with my first paper mache project! Thought I’d show you all how it turned out. It’s just about done, my only question is the last step. We have a lot of matte Modge-podge. Would that work as well as the usual matte top coat you use? If there’s any doubt, I will just go with what you know works, but thought I’d check to see if I could use what I already have in:).

    Happy Friday All! Pam

      • Awww, he turned out great! I want to boop his little nose, and the tuft of fur on his head is the perfect touch to add even more character.

    • Hi Pam. Your dik-dik turned out really nice – it’s hard to belive this is your first paper mache sculpture. You caught his shapes, expression and color perfectly. I hope he get to live in someone’s home after your he’s done his work this summer.

      I have never used Mod Podge for anything, so I can’t give you any advice about it. I seal all of my sculptures with a good acrylic varnish. I like the Deco-Art Americana matte varnish, but any brand will do.

    • I can’t believe that’s a first project. Well done. What a wonderful little critter. I love it, and I really like the painting you’ve done. Thanks.

  3. Wow, I take time off from my computer to finish a project, come back and it takes me half a day to look at all the amazing new art added, it is fantastic!! Thanks Jonni for such a fun and inspiring site! This is my newest member of the family a Tiger, I haven’t named him yet.

    • He’s beautiful, Susan. He’s got a hungry look in his eye, doesn’t he? 🙂 What an amazing collection you have. You could charge admission, just to let your neighbors see them.

    • Stellar work as usual Susan! You are the master of African animals to be sure! You should experiment with Pal Tiya so you can put some critters outdoors! Then you would need traffic control in front of your home! I love the almost wary expression of this guy.

      • Thank you Eileen, I have been wanting to try the Pal Tiya, I have been putting it off thinking it might be too costly for a project this size, I might have to shrink my projects down a bit now that space is becoming an issue.

    • Hi Susan, in 1 word: WOW. I hope one day my sculptures are just as good as yours. Thank you for sharing, it’s really inspiring to me.

      • Thank you Corinne, I find everyone on this site inspires me, and your sculptures are Fantastic and full of personality, I agree with you, it is addictive.

    • Wow, what a beauty! I love his expression! A photographic tour of your menagerie would be so delightful. Oops, did I type that out loud? I just love your work.

      • Rhonda, thank you for your kind words. I am trying to take a picture of all of them together but can’t seem to get far enough away to fit them all in.

    • Susan, I am in AWE!! I love your African animals!! I second the request for a photo tour of your collection. THanks for sharing. Our VBS is set in Africa this year, so this is beyond inspirational! Blessings- Pam

        • Thank you so much Pam, I will see if I can get picture of all of them together . The mane of the lion is manilla rope that I cut and unravelled , then wet and laid flat to dry, there is probably a much easier way? I just saw your post with pic of your dik- dik, he is absolutely splendid!! You definitely captured the adorable face, color, everything!

    • Wow, these are awesome! I love how you paid attention to so much detail: the paws, the curvy tail, the ears and fur ruff around the face. How many hrs did this take you? I like life sized stuff too 🙂

    • Susan, you are a master. Another great animal. (Is that couch still available?) I love your works and agree with a photographic tour, although I have no idea how you would do that. Thank you for showing us your wonderful creatures. It’s difficult to put into words the joy I feel while looking at them.

  4. Im wondering how many little bunnies can I get from a pound of the Apoxie Sculpt? I have a group from antiques that will be making these and I wonder if I get 2 that we could get 9 bunnies?What glue stick did you get?

    • Hi Diana. I don’t think you could make 9 of the bunnies with just one pound. I had one pound and it was enough for both the unicorn and the bunny, so I think you could make three bunnies with one pound, but I’ve never made so many at one time. For no obvious reason, the price per pound goes down drastically if you get the larger package. If my calculator is right, it’s ten dollars a pound cheaper if you buy the four pound package – and I’m sure that would be enough for your nine bunnies.

      I used the Elmer’s school glue sticks for this project.

  5. Hi Jonni!

    I finished my first project using several of the skills I learned from your videos. (i.e. using an inspiration piece, building an armature, making/using paper clay, using drywall compound for a smooth surface) I enjoyed myself so much learning these new skills and creating something from scratch.

    I made this as a gift, inspired by the sun masks of Burkina Faso but with my own twist, and in a color palette to suit my friend. She loved it!

    Thank you for sharing your ideas, recipes, processes, and tips! You brought joy to me, and to my friend. 🙂

    • Jennifer, that is a remarkable mask. I don’t put masks on my wall for some reason, but I would definitely find a spot for that one. It’s really nice, and I love the colors. Masterpiece.

  6. Also got this one done this week to, It was a pateren i down load from this site but i changed it a bit.

  7. Here is a Frog I just got it done this week i have about an hour in making it
    and it is wire and aluminum foil paper strips air dry clay.

  8. Hi Jonni! I’m new to paper mache and have watched several of your videos. I’m thinking of make a yarn bowl using your paper clay recipe. The bowl would hold a ball of yarn and feed through a hole to prevent tangling as I knit. My question is…how do you think I could give weight to the bowl? Since paper clay tends to be light I didn’t want to yank the yarn and have the bowl flying around. ? thank you for any suggestions.

    • Hi Teri. That’s an interesting question. You could put a plate in the bottom, but you probably wouldn’t want to do that. Hmm – does anyone have a good idea for Teri?

  9. Hola: yo apenas voy s empezar un león (cabeza ) he visto los comentarios y trabajos subidos y esto me da más confianza al realizar mi trabajo porque me siento acompañada sobretodo por una gran Maestra. Gracias por la paciencia y detalle de dar seguimiento y respuesta a todos los que escriben en este chat. Gracias nuevamente y pronto subiré mi trabajo

    • I love it, Rohini. He has a look all his own, and with those beautiful blue eyes, the whiskers and the stripes, I think he’s great. But if he didn’t come out exactly the way you intended, just make another one – sculpting gets easier the more you practice, like any art form.

    • It doesn’t need a realistic look, I say! It has a very remarkable personality on its own. I like it. I never make anything that whimsical, but it is a lot of fun. Thanks for showing us. Yeah!

  10. Really enjoyed creating this Giraffe project. Thanks Jonni

    Added a few refinements, Destryoed an old brush to make the mane old fur from discarded jacket for ears and tusks and fake eye lashes from local pharmacy. Thanks again Gary

    • I love your giraffe. (I may have to try and make me another one. They have all disappeared!) Nice spots and love the mane idea. Perfect. Thanks.

      • Rex, I like the image of a herd of giraffes sneaking out of your house in the middle of the night, perhaps through the dog door. But we know you gave them away – and yes, you should make another one. 🙂

  11. Hi everyone! My name is Miranda– I started doing paper mâché about six months ago– I learned a lot from this site and other resources out on the internet. I love to connect with other paper mâché artists– I’m on Instagram @thecardboardlady

    I’m influenced a lot by Mexican paper mâché and alebrijes– so a lot of my pieces are simple in shape but have a lot of painted detail. I wanted to ask advice about achieving clean detail. I feel like no matter how small the brush is, I have a lot of trouble with control, and also the brushstrokes being evident even when I want the color to go on smoothly. Is this just a matter of practice? I’ve found that holding the piece/ resting my hand while painting gives me some manual control, but sometimes I feel like the brush just does its own thing. I’d appreciate any advice!

    • Hi Miranda. I’m the wrong person for painting advice, but I do understand why you find that frustrating. Your cat turned out great anyway – I love that somewhat devious ‘smile’ and the upturned front paw. But for your question about controlling the brush, I wish I knew the answer. I hope one of our other artists will enlighten both of us! 🙂

      • Thanks Jonni! I just ordered your book on making animals from paper clay– I’m really looking forward to achieving a smoother surface, though I do think some bumps add character 😛

        • I hope you like the book, Miranda. I like some texture on my sculptures, too, but I admit I don’t even try to add many fine details when painting. I tried doing that recently and found out I could really use a new pair of glasses. 🙂

          A few weeks ago I made a video showing how to make paper mache clay smooth without sanding – even if you want to keep some of the texture you might want to watch it, if you haven’t already.

    • I hear ya, Miranda! I find painting, in many forms, to be frustrating. I’m by no means an expert, but have a couple suggestion: make the surface as smooth as possible so you aren’t fighting bumps and holes, and make the paint the right consistency (too thick and it won’t flow well, too thin and it will run). Also, have you considered using markers, instead of brushes for detailing? Either Sharpies, or paint markers might be easier to control and you can hold them in your hand differently. By the way, your cat has such character and I really like the color and pattern!

      • I agree with Cassie, making things smooth helps because it is really hard to get a straight line onto a curved or bumpy surface. Your type of project does not lend itself to techniques like dry brushing or staining either. That is how I usually compensate for my imperfections. So, it seems that your original thought of lots of practice is your answer. Good luck, and your cat is fun. Keep us posted if you have any break throughs.

      • Thanks for the advice Cassie! That’s a really good idea to add a touch of water to the paint, I will definitely try that out– hopefully it will create flow-ier lines. Maybe I’ll also go pick up some paint markers as well. Cheers!

        • I love the comments you have received. I just wanted to say that a glazing liquid will make the paints flow better — like the water. Great ideas here for you.

          So, what’s next?

    • I have found some small rubber “brushes”, and use them to make small details. They are more forgiving than a brush with bristles. I have seen them with the clay supplies, but the ones I bought were with the pastels, charcoals.

    • Miranda, I love this type of art. I was watching Antique Roadshow the other day and they had on this fox from Mexico. It was done by a famous artist, but I couldn’t retain his name. You might know him.

      As far as controlling your brush, my only comment would be that I find if I use stiff “acrylic” brushes (which isn’t a fair statement, anyway), that I get your type of result. I took to using my watercolor brushes (camel hair) and I like the feel of those brushes better. Not to mention I destroyed a lot of expensive brushes, but you can buy soft brushes. I think one of the reasons the watercolor-type brushes work well for me, is I buy them that come to a fine point. Try looking for brushes that when you wet them, they come to a fine point no matter the size. Hope that helps.

      I’m going to try and find another Columbian piece that I saw. The dog was called “spot” because of a black spot on his side, but I loved him. Good luck. I like your colors and your stance. (May have to change my stance that warthogs ought to be brown or black or gray!)

      • Thanks for the tip about the brushes Rex! Round tip brushed are definitely great for making tiny dots. I’ll have to look into watercolor brushes!

        • I ought to have mentioned they make acrylic brushes that are have soft bristled. Some are for watercoloring or acrylic. Good luck.

  12. Hi all,

    Today I finished the birthdaypresent for my neighbours granddaughter (6 years old). The horse was changed in an unicorn. Now I only have to decide which plinth (is that the right translation?) to use so the sculpture doesn’t fall forward.

    • Corinne, both your bull and your unicorn are wonderful. The mane on the unicorn, and the spiraled horn, are perfect! Any little girl would fall in love with him, and your neighbour’s granddaughter will be so proud of it.

      If the unicorn in made to stand on a shelf, with a flat base, could you make it balance the way I did with my giraffe? (Start the video on that page at around minute 3:25 to see what I did). I know your sculpture is already finished, but if the base is hollow (or if at least a few inches could be made hollow) you could mix some plaster of Paris and water in a plastic bag like I did, and drop it into the hollow base as the unicorn is held upside down. Maybe it could be safely propped up with pillows until the plaster sets. Once the plaster is hard, a cardboard base could be put back on. An easier option would be to create a custom plinth with plaster, and attach the base of the unicorn to it with two-part epoxy glue. I’ve been told the slow-acting epoxy glue is much stronger than the five-minute type. You can easily find plaster of Paris in small boxes at the hardware store, and you can make a mold with cardboard and hot glue.

      • Thank you Jonni!

        I did have made a small hole, just like you did with the folk art bunny. Maybe if I make this hole a little bigger the plaster idea would work. (The inside is made with aluminium foil)

        I also love the idea of the epoxy glue. I have recently been to a morning class and learned all about epoxy. The possibilities are endless.

  13. Hi Jonni
    I am from Denmark bit I hope that I am making myself understandable in written english.
    I have been given the task of making the costumes for the performance of Mowgli on our local amateur theater. I was thinking of making paper mache masks for the animals when i found your fantastic videos. I am thinking of downloadning your patterns and follow your videos.
    My question to you is how you get the masks to stay on the head. The masks must be worn for 8 shows and both kids and adults will waer masks. What kind of string would you use and how would you attach these? Maybe you show this in a video that I did not find?
    In advance – thank you so much.
    Jannie

    • Hi Jannie. Some of the mask patterns include pieces that allow them to be used as a helmet mask – although for active plays you might also want to add an under-the-chin ribbon or elastic. Other patterns, like the wolf, do not have the extra pattern pieces. For these masks you would need to try on the mask and determine where the cord or elastic should go. It should start where the mask meets the top of the ear. I don’t have a video, unfortunately. Before making the holes, reinforce the area with an additional piece of cardboard glued to the back side of the mask, or use a rubber washer. Drill or punch the holes. A large knot on the outside of the mask should hold the cords in place.

      It will be more comfortable for your players if you glue foam strips or felt strips on the inside of the mask to keep the paper mache away from the face. This allows the skin to breath, and it also keeps the hard surface of the mask from rubbing on the skin.

      I hope this helps.

    • Thank you så much for the reply
      I will follow your advice and keep following your fantastic work.
      Thanks
      Regards Jannie

  14. Hello!! I have been watching your tutorials for a while now and I love them, I am a paper artist but generally I quill, so paper mache is totally new to me. Inspired by all you do I thought I’d show you my first project: Harold the Stag. He took about two weeks to complete, so he wasn’t the fastest thing I’ve ever made, and he is life size and I had the common sense to use a pattern internally he may have been easier!!! I love him though. A huge thank you to you for all your inspiration. Carla. XXXX

    • Carla, I’m sure you tried to show us a photo of Harold the Stag, but if so, it didn’t come through. There is a file size limit of less than 250 kb to upload to the site. I sure hope you’ll try again, because we would all love to see him!

  15. hi, my name is Magi I am sculptor and now I am making dolls, I was wondering if a can use papermashe to make a heads for my puppets but I already have a plaster negative mold so can I put the papermashe directly on da plaster or do I have to put a layer of some sort in between (like oil..) So it makes the separation, the removal easier?

    • Hi Magi. You definitely need a release. Paper mache will stick to plaster, and I’m not sure you’d ever be able to get it cleaned off. We received a guest post from Laurence Black, who did an experiment with plaster molds and paper mache clay. It’w well worth reading, even if you will be using paper strips and paste, because the petroleum jelly didn’t work for him. But he did find a solution that might work for you, too.

      I use silicone molds with paper mache, and that works great. You don’t need a release, and the molds can be used many times.

      • Thank you so much for your immediate reply Jonni. I will definitely look at the link you sent from the experiment. I will try out the silicone and get back to you with the results.
        Regards,
        Magi

  16. Hello there! Thank you so much for being the type artist that is so willing to share. There are many that hold info so closely guarded, rather than openly sharing in the spirit of discovery and learning. I have watched many of your videos, skipping around and FF to really get a good overview of tips and techniques. Your work is absolutely lovely of course, and teaching style is just perfect-not to mention the production value of your videos (picture in picture!)

    I am making masks for our Elementary School play. I have 2 armatures completed, and one layer of a boiled cornstarch paper mache (strips)-and now I am stuck. I am not sure now, after seeing more of your videos if I am using the best techniques and formulas. So I am stopping and contacting you before I go any further.
    -being that kids are going to be using these masks for dress rehearsal and 2 show nights, they need to be strong. Which formula would best suit that? Your cooked with flour recipe? or can I use the paper mache clay now instead of strips even though there is a layer of strips already??
    -I made the armatures from cardboard, crinkled paper, lots of masking tape. I planned to take the armature off the back once mache layer was complete, but there is one mask that is 3d on a section at top. I should have used the technique you used for the bunny heads, but did not discover it in time. I expect I will have some trouble removing those cardboard bits. But! since I only have one layer of paper mache strips, is there something I can do now that will make it easier?

    Thank you so very much!

    • Hi Jenifer. I haven’t used the boiled cornstarch paste, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. It would also avoid any allergy problems if any of your kids have an gluten sensitivity. It’s the paper that creates the strength, so you just need a paste that will hold paper together. I wouldn’t use paper mache clay, except to add details on the front like eyebrows – It’s heavier than paper strips and paste, and it dries very hard. A mask made entirely with paper mache clay isn’t comfortable to wear.

      If you remove the cardboard you will need quite a few layers of paper mache. I made an African mask a few weeks ago with just four layers of paper, and it is quite strong – but I don’t think it’s strong enough to be used in a play. On the other hand, some of the masks on the wall behind me in my videos have one layer of paper mache, front and back, over cardboard, and even the ones made with cereal box cardboard are very strong. Kids would have a hard time destroying them. Do you really need to take the masks off the cardboard?

      • Thanks so much for the reply.

        The masks are not worn on the face, but above the face as more of a headpiece…ala’ Lion King. So I am not too concerned with comfort, as there will be no contact with skin ( the headpieces will be attached to another support that is on the head). However, this does bring up concerns of the weight of the headpiece, as I don’t want them to be SO heavy that they require chinstraps or additional support mechanisms. So I am wondering if the clay is any heavier than using 4-5 layers of the strips and paste? The form is pretty good as it is right now (I don’t need to add any details/eyebrows, so a thin coat of clay would be easier at this point than multiple strip applications. ?

        I can certainly leave the cardboard on most as they are open backed, and not fully 3D-they are more or less a face mask that sits above the head-the open back visible as they move (it will be painted though). There is just the one headpiece that has the 3D element for the top portion and if it comes out relatively light with 4-5 layers of paper strips (or one layer of the clay) then I can leave the “innards” intact certainly!

        So, one layer of your clay recipe? or multiple layers of your cooked flour/water paste with strips? thank you so much!

        • A thin layer of the paper mache clay shouldn’t be too heavy for that kind of mask. This sounds like a great project – and a big one. I hope you’ll show us how they turn out.

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