Daily Sculptors Page

Join the conversation and share your paper mache sculptures with our supportive community.

Paper Mache Chihuahua
  • Tell us about the project you’re working on, even if it isn’t finished yet.
  • Ask for advice if you need it.
  • Help other readers find answers to their own questions about paper mache.
  • Show off your projects when they’re done so we can see how they came out. We love to see what other paper mache artists are doing.
  • And tell us a bit about yourself. We’re glad you’re here. Welcome!

Get a fast start on your next paper mache project or hand-made gift with Jonni’s easy downloadable patterns for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts. The patterns help you create a beautiful work of art, even if you’ve never sculpted anything before.

14,310 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Hi Jonni i purchased a couple of your patterns a while back unfortunately i deleted them by mistake i was wondering if there was any way i could download them again thanks Linda

    • Sarah, it’s fantastic! Everyone, be sure to click on Sarah’s link so you can see the whole post, and all of the final results. Including gargoyles! 🙂

    • Are you a rococo nut? I looked at your works this morning and it has taken me all day, and I still don’t know what to say. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk into a house with these type of stuff all over the place? I absolutely love it. Thank you.

      I have been trying to redo my cupboard doors for years, and here you throw this at me. I love your cupboard doors. Everything. But I still think your nuts! Love your sense of color.

      • Hi Rex, Thankyou very much for the compliment (nuts). I do like Rococo but really love Gothic Revival and Mediaeval. The whole house is highly decorated, each room different. I have enjoyed doing it. I just love looking around every room when I am in it. The ceiling was the last and largest project inside. I shall continue outside when I have recharged my batteries. It has been a long haul . 27 panels in all, not to mention the extras!

        • I had a chance to visit Pompeii once. I always wanted to paint the walls in my house after that. Never managed to get brave enough to try it, but what you have done is amazing. Thanks, again.

  2. Hi Jonni…since I have posted a few comments today I might as well have a moan about how badly I’m being treated by who or whatever decides what health problems you’re going to have. In the last month I have had 4 iron infusions and one blood transfusion all done by IV and the worst part is the nurse being able to find a useable vein. Consequently my arms have been covered in really bad bruises. For me it’s almost like having an operation. I have iron deficiency anemia and they don’t seem to be able to fix it.

    Enough of that, but I wanted to say hello to all.

    • Sorry, Joyce. We’ve missed you, and I am sorry about the bruises.

      On a lighter side, don’t you have one of those iron skillets from 60 years ago that you could cook in? I hear they are full of iron! But I’m not sure if that is the iron you need. Get well. And thanks for writing. I was thinking about your yesterday.

      • Thanks, Rex. Nice to know I’m missed. My mom had one of those frying pans but somebody else inherited it. I wouldn’t be able to lift it now. Love your piggies. That is one of the first things I am going to make.

        • Joyce, I don’t know that I would cook anything with those 50-pound frying pounds, especially to cure anemia, but I had heard that. Good luck. Would love to see your pigs.

  3. I just found your Youtube and I would love to make a sculpture! I wanted to make some works with air drying clay and I saw your recipe for it, but you’ve mentioned that it isn’t as sticky when I work with it? I do want the smoothness and firmness but what can I do to make it stick to one another than just using plain old glue?

    • Gosh – I brush on a mixture of glue and water to the edges of the air dry clay to make sure there’s a good bond. I don’t know of any other way to do it. Some of my other readers use the recipe more often than I do. Maybe someone will have an idea for you. Did you see the rhino video? That was the first time I used the new recipe and it has some good tips for using the air dry clay.

    • Mia, I’m not sure of your question. I use air dry clay most of the time. Most everything I make ends up with a smooth surface.

      When I use the regular paper mache clay, like most people, I spread it on with a knife. If you put your finger in water and try to “smooth it out,” you will get a lot of bumps, a mess, and maybe something that would be great for sheep’s wool.

      With the air dry clay, how you make it is really important. (I had to watch Jonni’s video five times to realize what I was doing wrong.) As you are kneading the clay, you need to make certain it will maintain a shape — you do this by pinching the clay you are kneading. The more flour you add, the “less sticky” the clay becomes, but you don’t want the clay to be too dry, either. When you can pinch the clay and it holds its shape, that is usually where it needs to be.

      If you add enough flour so the clay is not sticky — doesn’t stick to everything, including your finger — the next step is to spread it onto your sculpture as closely into shape as you can. I use my finger at this point. I dip my finger into water, leaving a little bit on my finger, and then smooth the clay into shape. The clay will not stick to your finger and ought to be easily be pushed into shape and become smooth. My touch gets lighter and lighter. In other words, I push the clay where I want it and then, just brushing the surface, you can get it very smooth.

      When doing the body, I can do larger areas, but when I get to areas like the face, I do tiny bits at a time — an eyeball (let it dry), then an eyebrow and upper eyelid (let it dry), then a lower eyelid, etc.

      The air dry clay will stick to any air dry clay around it. I never use glue. (Unless I not understanding something here.) With a damp finger, you can make a smooth and seamless surface between clay application.

      I don’t know if this is helpful, or if I answered your question, but I’ll be able to help in any way I can. It took me a year to learn to make air dry clay to the texture I love. The clay is very strong. Please let us know how you are getting along. Thanks.

      • Hello Rex,

        Thank you for your reply! I was watching Jonni’s video on the air drying clay and at the end, she put some cornstarch on the table and started kneading it like bread. There, she mentions that the clay is nice and firm (due to the flour that is added?) but it isn’t as sticky. I was thinking of using the clay as is, so without a pattern underneath to work around (kind of like making a sculpture out of just play dough). I wanted to work on whatever I was making for several days using this paper clay, but I am worried that if the clay is dry and I’d like to work on top of it and stick more elements on my sculpture, then it wouldn’t stick. It’s kinda hard to explain what I am trying to say but I hope you get it. Let me know if I need to be a bit clearer with my explanation.

        Also, I saw a beater/whisk for cheap in a store today and thought of making paper clay! Did not get it though :'(

        • If it is air dry clay put on air dry clay, it will stick. For example, I put down a layer of clay for a face. When that is dry, I make an eyeball and stick it on the dry clay. When that is dry, I add eyebrows and eyelids (usually at different times). I have never had anything come off.

          I think if you are making a solid object out of just air dry clay, the problem would be that it wouldn’t dry — unless the sculpture was thin enough. If the clay doesn’t dry all the way through, then mold develops eventually. So, if you are making a sculpture, I would recommend at least having an interior armature. If you make that by squishing aluminum foil, you can put the clay right on top of the foil.

          Yeah, I bought a cheap beater. I’m lucky it has lasted six years so far! Please let us see what you create.

          • Thank you so much for the information! I am currently working on a drawing challenge this month (hopefully I am able to finish it) and I plan to make a sculpture (or maybe mini sculptures to sell? Or paper clay jewelry?) next month. Will show everyone what I make soon! And I love the community here, such responsive people! 😀

            • I love that idea of making jewelry. I almost wish I could go back to my hippy days when I was doing macrame necklaces, etc. Making paper mache jewelry or beads would have been PERFECT. So excited. (Can’t you put off your drawing challenge? I’m kidding, of course. Not a good idea.)

            • I can’t wait to see what you make – whether’s it’s mini sculptures or jewelry. Good luck with the challenge – that sounds like a great idea. Maybe we should have a challenge of some kind. Our “practical paper mache” project was so much fun, but we haven’t done anything like that in years. Maybe it’s time to do something like that again. Does anyone have an idea for a paper mache challenge?

        • My word, he is a handsome dog. I love him. What did you use for an armature. The dog my daughter and I made, had a drinks bottle for his body. (still not finished properly after 3 years!)

          • Thank you Penelope, much appreciated.

            The armature is made out of cardboard, electric wire and aluminumfoil.

            I can recommend Jonni’s tutorials “how to create easy armature patterns” and “make a poseable armature”. Jonni explains perfectly the steps to follow.

            Hope you and your daughter find the inspiration to finish your dog and let us see the result:-)

            • Corrine, we come to accept our hound as he is after so long! Mine will never look as good as yours. Will have a look at Jonni’s patterns thanks for the reminder.

    • Am I allowed to say this is my favorite? I want to get down on the ground and play. I am very happy you posted this. Made my day happier (and it’s stormy and cold!). What’s next?

      • Thank you Rex for this huge compliment.

        Overhere the weather isn’t any better:-(
        But we look at it on the bright side, it gives us time to sculpt:-)

        Next dog will be a sitting dog in the colors black and tan. Also I have 3 babypenguins waiting to get painted…

        Oh and yes the link Jonni reposted is the right one and so helpful, you only need to follow the steps and then you have a perfect eye. If you use the nailpolish as a final layer the eye comes to life , unbelievable good.
        In between the layers I used a hairdryer to get them dry sooner.

        Hope you have a good day.

  4. Hi Jonni

    I love making oversized platters and bowls from hat blocks, but I struggle to get a smooth finish on the inside.

    I generally cover the blocks with glad wrap but it doesn’t always form a tight fit.

    Have you got any ideas on what else I could use please?

    • Would it be possible to lightly dampen the hat blocks before putting the plastic wrap over them? You can get a much smoother surface if the plastic sticks to the form underneath. If the hat blocks are made of paper, that wouldn’t work, of course. But plastic wrap is the only ‘release’ I know of that won’t leave oil residue on the form.

      • Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll give it a go. The hat blocks are made of wood, so oil might work, but I’ll try water first!

        Many thanks Jonni!

    • This may not be helpful at all, but I hate Glad wrap. I have a bunch of rolls in the drawer, but I went out and bought a roll of Saran Wrap to use with paper mache. I may be prejudice, but if I put a little pressure on the clay with Saran Wrap, it comes right off.

      Good luck. The platters and cups are very interesting and colorful. The idea is a great one.

  5. Hi Jonni

    I’m a little obsessed with making oversized bowls from Paper Mache and then painting them really bright colours!

    I’ve been using some of my gorgeous hat blacks as moulds but I’m struggling to get a smooth shape on the inside against the plastic glad wrap I use to protect the hat black.

    Have you got any suggestions as to what else or what other way I could cover the moulds and get a smooth finish please?

    (It’s just occurred to me that maybe I need to make a silicone mould from the hat block?)

  6. Hi Jonni,

    How long does it take for the clay to dry once applied? I used the gram method for making the clay. I realize it depends on how thick it is applied. I just need an average to be sure it’s ready to paint. I’m working on the bear pattern. I also ordered the deer pattern. Unfortunately, I have a bit of stiffness in my fingers, so the cardboard is hard for me to bend. Do you think the pattern would be ok if I use card stock? BTW, your patterns are fabulous. You really have the details down. I ultimately want to create Golden Retriever models as I was a show exhibitor and breeder for many years. Thanks for your wonderful gift of sharing.

    • Hi Sylvia. I’m glad you’re having fun with the patterns. As for the drying time, you’re right – it’s really hard to even give an average. I like a paper-thin layer of paper mache clay on my sculptures, applied with a knife. It’s almost always dry in two days if the humidity in the room isn’t too high. Other people like to use a thick layer, which could take a week or more. Thinner is better, and it will dry fastest if you put it in front of a fan or over a furnace vent.

      The deer should work OK with card stock, if you fill the inside for support. In other words, do it the same way as the bear. The antlers should be made with regular cardboard, but they don’t need to bend, except in a soft curve when you add the foil.

      We would love to see your work, but the website link you gave us didn’t work. Try again? 🙂

    • I wanted to leave a brief reply here. I have lived in humid and dry climates and we have four different seasons here. They all play a part in how long it takes the clay to dry. Not saying, of course, about how thick the clay is. After years of making paper mache clay subjects, I made a large dinosaur and after a week in the summer heat, I thought I was going to have to tear apart its neck and start over. The clay was soft to the touch. What I realized after a while is that the water in the clay was soaking down into the bottom of the neck and because of that it was still wet. Another three days in the sunshine took care of it.

      Good luck. Please let us see your projects after you finish them.

  7. Hello,

    I’ve been inspired to try paper mache sculpture because of your wonderful website!

    You have a photo of William, the Met mascot on the cover of your recipe ebook. By any chance, do you have a pattern for him?

    Warm regards,

    Astrid

    • I love William the Hippo, and you will have fun creating him. Jonni did a great job in instructions all the way through the process.

    • Susan, great to hear from you. I have a sister who wants a fairy garden, and I think this would be a great beginning, even if it isn’t a fairy. I love the feel of it. Your coloring sense is crazy-good. The octopus, also, is great. (I tried making one once, and it isn’t as easy as it looks.) Thanks.

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