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.

14,528 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Hey Jonni,

    Love your work! I just purchased your elephant pattern with the idea of adding a “table” on top and making it into a plant stand–like the attached picture. However, I am wondering if I need to make the armature out of plywood or if I can use a strong double wall cardboard–you suggest both for certain uses. This would be a gift for my sister and she doesn’t have any kids, so I’m not worried about someone sitting on it–I am worried that it may be too weak to support a houseplant, or someone knocking into it and it falling over and taking a houseplant with it. Obviously I would prefer to use cardboard for its ease, but don’t want to finish the project and find it isn’t strong enough! Maybe a combo of cardboard and the 2 x 4s for support and weight? Any suggestions? Thanks for all your help and inspiration!!!


    • Hi Ramona. If you use tightly crumpled paper to fill out the forms, an armature made with heavy cardboard will be plenty strong enough, unless you intend to put a very large houseplant on top. Elephants aren’t exactly shaped like tables, so you might want to make the legs slightly farther apart than the pattern suggests, just to make sure the base is wide enough to prevent any tipping. And be sure to post a photo when it’s done – this is a great idea!

  2. Question! I am looking for which of Jonni’s videos (or any other source) might have the most info regarding the wall mounting process. I’m sure it’s mentioned somewhere, but the mounted project videos I’ve watched so far focused on the fabrication. I wonder if the answer is very simple, but I’m sure someone has a good way ?

    • Hi Danny. I don’t have a specific video for that. It really depends on what you’re making, and how heavy it is. Most of my wall sculptures are very light. The ones made with my patterns are hollow, so they can be mounted just by cutting a hole in the back and hanging them on a nail. My heavier sculptures, like the Bongo antelope, are attached to a wooden plaque with epoxy, and the plaque has a hanger on the back.

      Tell us what you’re making, and we might be able to be more helpful. 🙂

      • Hey Jonni! Thank you for the info. I had hardly started at the time I asked but now I have one piece done. I am making a series of various leaves at different sizes which I am planning to paint. And I have a particular way I want to arrange them on the wall. After sculpting I think I could likely punch a hole to hang on a nail, unless I think of something that will spare my wall.

        For info, inside the leaf is loosely packed tinfoil, masking tape, and paper. I did one layer of traditional paper mache strips on the back and two layers on the front before the paper mache clay.

        Thank you inspiring me with your own work. This is the first sculpture I’ve made in a long time and first time using paper mache since childhood! 🙂

  3. Hi Joanni I bought a elephant head from you. Do i need to enlarge that pattern or is it at scale?

    • Hi Barbara. I’m not quite sure what you mean. The Elephant’s head is the size of a baby African elephant. The widest part of the head, without the ears, is about 7 1/2″ wide. With the ears it’s 22″ wide. If you want to make an elephant that’s older and larger, you would need to take it to a printer who could print it at a larger size on bigger paper.

  4. Hello Jonni
    My Grand-daughter, Bailey, had a lot of fun making this wolf mask. She is almost nine years old and I feel did a wonderful job with it. Wolves are her favourite animal at the moment. Thank you for the pattern. She will make the Lion mask next.

  5. Hi Jonni here’s a few things I’m currently working on. As you can see, I like to work small! I start with a mache base, then a layer of pulp and then I smooth things out with air dry clay.

    • very nice, Freddy. Are you making them for gifts, or do you get to keep them? (The snowman made me think “Christmas,” and that’s why I asked.) Either way, they’re very nicely done. I hope we get to see the cat, bunny and horse when they’re finished, too. Do you always work on a lot of projects at once?

      • Yes, I always have a bunch of projects in progress, I tend to do a little bit to each every day, because I get bored when things are drying.
        I made the snowman because we have two dogs and we don’t put up a Christmas tree anymore! The bunny is for my sister in law, and the other things were just test pieces so I could get a feel for the materials and how I wanted to work. The cat started out as a kitten but due to an identity crisis it has slowly transformed into a chihuahua puppy. I guess I’m more of a dog person.
        The horse is quite interesting as it has a tinfoil armature, I used to make little horses out of chocolate bar foil when I was a kid ( I had a whole stable of them) so I decided that would be a fun way to start a sculpture. The legs are holding up the weight of the mache perfectly. I’m going to do three layers and then paint it, hopefully the tail won’t drop off! If I was going to make one for a kid I’d probably make it a bit more robust and put in a yarn mane and tail, but that’s a project for another day.

        • I’m always in awe of people who can keep multiple projects going at the same time. I find it stressful, but you’re right about the down time when things are drying.

    • Those are fun and nice. Love your sheep and ram (now that I just had a try at one). Nice work. You sound as crazy as me working on many projects at once. Thanks.

      • Hi Rex, yes, I’m crazy too! I’ve been lurking here for a while and I’m in awe of your work. I hope to be as good as you are someday.

        • That’s embarrassing! lol. You already are that good, and better. I could use that rabbit head! I have a cutout of a jackrabbit (or hare) ready to make, but it is sitting with the other ten projects waiting. I love the rabbit head, and the sheep are great.

          Thanks for showing us what you are making.

          Where did you get the pattern for the hare? It is really perfect.

          • I drew the hare freehand, it was only a rough rabbit head shape, I tend to add details as I go. I cut the ears out of milk bottle plastic, because it’s made with Das air dry clay and I wanted the ears to be extra strong.

  6. Ok Dragon take 3, he has a 6 foot wing span, an from his nose to tip of his tall just over 9 foot. Tock him out side to take pics, and a man ran his car in the ditch because he was locking at my Dragon . well he wated for help to get his car out he said he just had to get a better look.

    • I can see why he would cause an accident – that is a very impressive beast! Do you have a house that’s big enough for him? And did you just happen to take progress photos? If you did, and if you’d like to spend some time writing up a guest post for us, I know a whole lot of people would love to see how it was made. Including me!

    • I think the accident ought to be considered a compliment! I can’t imagine tackling something that size. I would be interested in seeing how you do it, but I don’t have a room big enough to make something that large, and outside is too hot.


  7. it has come to me that the dragon post I tried to post did not take for so I thought I would try it again.

  8. Hi Jonni! I just read your tiny paper mache dog book, and I’m so excited to get started! I am going to make these to donate to a local rescue organization so they can include them in their yearly art auction (with art depicting rescued animals). I was wondering if you sell a Pit Bull dog pattern that I can purchase? Most of the rescue dogs are that breed. Thanks again for your amazing book and wealth of information! 🙂

    • Hi Danielle. What a fantastic idea! The local rescue group will be absolutely delighted. There is a ‘pit bull’ in the book, but the particular breed of pit bull that I used as a model is called an American Staffordshire Terrier. The Stafforshires have a slightly wider head than a purebred American Pit Bull, and a heavier body, so it won’t be a perfect match for most of your shelter dogs, but it will com really close. If you’re making portraits, the wire armature can be altered, with longer legs or body, to match the individual dog. Most of the pit bulls in a shelter won’t have a pedigree, and they’ll all look a little different.

      So the short answer is yes, use the pattern on page 59 and go from there. And please let us see how some of your pups turn out. We’d love to see them.

      • Thank you so much for your quick response, Jonni! That’s so helpful! I will definitely post a photo when I complete my first dog…I also bought your clay animals book, and can’t wait to jump into this awesome art form! 🙂

  9. Hi everyone. I just now read an article about a process called “scagliola,” which uses plaster, pigments and glue to create a surface that looks like marble. They didn’t actually show us how to do it, but it looks like something that might work with our air dry clay, and it could make some interesting abstract sculptures, or maybe flower petals. Do you have an idea about how we could do something like this? Here’s the article: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/capturing-sea-creatures-in-art.html

    • Jonni-Kim Beaton has a video on scagliola to be used with Pal Tiya. Hers was jade rather than marble but I’m sure the process is similar. She uses iron oxides to color the Pal Tiya so in the end, you won’t need to paint. I have a sculpture curing right now so I’m not sure how it turned out yet. I hadn’t even thought to try the oxides with paper mache and if it will even work. I sense a science experiment coming up! I found the oxides online and found a company that sells a small amount instead of a pound. The company was called Conspec. Oxides are used to color cement. They are messy and you don’t use much. She used a ratio of 3 teaspoons to 1 cup Pal Tiya. Interesting thought here Jonni. I will watch the video you linked and give other thoughts. For Kim’s video just type in Jade Pal Tiya and it will come up.

      • Thanks, Eileen. Kim makes really nice videos, so I look forward to watching it. I appreciate the tip. People have asked if we can use acrylic paint to tint the air dry clay, and it is possible, of course – but it would come out very light. The oxides I’ve used for concrete are much stronger and would be a great alternative, if they work. I’m going to Lowes in a day or two, and I’ll see if they have any of the powdered concrete colorants. It would be a cheap test, if they have some.

  10. Hi Jonni,
    I discovered your videos a few weeks ago and think you do beautiful work! I have a non-animal sculpture question. I am going to try and make the Liberty Bell for VBS. I have 4-5 days to complete it, so am under a time-crunch. I want it to be kind of big (2’x2’x2′) and want to know what paper mache recipe would be best for my circumstances? Basically, how would you do this? I’m not sure where to start.

    • Hi Becky. Do you already have a form or armature that you’ll be using for your Liberty Bell? If not, one way to make one is to stuff a big plastic garbage bag with paper or other plastic bags, and use masking tape to hold it into the shape you want. Another option would be to use chicken wire. I find chicken wire very frustrating, but many people use it all the time. You’ll need to cover the wire with masking tape so the paper mache won’t fall off.

      The fastest drying “paste” I’ve found is wood glue. You can see a video about it here. If you can start adding the paper mache today, any paste recipe will work if you make sure the air around the bell is moving, and you don’t use too many layers of paper and paste. You could also use the paper mache clay recipe in a very thin layer, which should dry within a few days if you put it in front of a fan.

      I hope this helps. Other readers might have more ideas for you. I’ve never done anything like this myself.

      • Thanks so much for getting back to me. I do not have an armature yet, but I think I will do the trash bag idea. Yes, that makes sense. I’ll let you know how it goes if I indeed finish it. Thank you again!

        • Hi Becky,

          If I were undertaking this project with such a short time frame, I would get an old lampshade from a thrift store to use as the basis for the armature. (2 foot is large but you might find one — maybe 18″ would be big enough?) Rip the fabric off the wire frame of the lamp shade. You could supplement those wires by adding on chicken wire or even artist wire to make a more complete armature as needed (like the curved top of the bell). Then as Jonnie suggested, use wood glue paste and strips. Good luck!

  11. Hi Jonni, I feel like my creativity has been given a much needed kickstart after discovering your ultimatepapermache! So firstly thanks for the inspiration. I have since created a Cat (yet to paint – see attached), an Albatross (yet to smooth) and am wanting to start on a Beagle (these are all just busts at this early stage – will consider the full body once I gain a little confidence). I’m overlapping the production of these little guys because I am enjoying playing with the different stages/processes. My question is with the Beagle – re: his adorable floppy ears which pretty much cover either side of his head. I have attached a photo which I am using for the sculpture. What technique/material would you recommend to make these? Any help/suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

        • Thanks Jonni, I’m planning on painting her black so will be delving through your tutorials see if there is something that I can use as a guide.

        • Hello Jonni, here is my painted cat (excuse the slippered foot propping her up). After many, many, many layers of paint – I’m finally pretty happy with the result. Your eye tutorial was a big help, and I also watched your cat painting tutorial – the adding of the burnt umber and ultramarine hugely helped the depth of the black (I started out using just black and ultramarine). My tendancy is to overwork things, and not know when to stop. But what I am loving about papermache is its natural raw tactile finish.
          Absolutely loving this new found craft – on to my Albatross!

    • Hi Trudie. How big will you be making your beagle bust? If it’s going to be quite small, you could use the cardboard from a cereal box, covered with paper mache clay or strips and paste. It will be difficult to get the ears to drape naturally, though, so you could use a fine aluminum sculpting mesh instead of cardboard. Our friend Eileen makes some smaller shapes with the air dry clay recipe, with no backing at all, but your pups ears might be too big for that. Maybe she’ll see your comment and give us some more ideas.

      Another possibility would be to use several small pieces of plaster cloth. Dip two at a time into warm water, put the upper edge against the head armature, and arrange the ear portion so it drapes the way you want it. You will need a temporary support behind it to keep it in the right shape. It will get stiff in a few minutes, and then you can add your paper mache. The paper mache will also reinforce the connection between the ear and head.

      If you use the aluminum mesh, be sure to bend over the cut edges all the way around, because they’re sharp.

      • Trudie, for floppy ears, I would definitely use tin foil…layer several pieces together with a glue gun and it will become as strong as leather. Shape the way you want. Place on the head and cover with masking tape. When doing your final layer of clay, let the ears adhere to the jowl area of the face or neck. You don’t want those ears to be floppy in the end because that will be the weak point of the sculpture and might possibly break. (I speak from experience!) you can also line the edges with thin wire for added strength. Good luck and make sure you share your progress and finished piece. Welcome to the “obsessed with paper mache “ club!

        • Thank you for this recommendation Eileen. I will give this foil option a go for sure. Your instructions are very helpful.
          And yes – the obsession has well and truly hit ; )

          Many thanks

      • Thanks for the prompt reply Jonni. Was planning on the head being life-size-ish.

        The plaster cloth sounds interesting – for my Albatross, I was wanting to add a scarf around the base of his neck (I have attached the concept pic), and I was wondering how to get that fabric look. I hope I am not being too ambitious here – but I figure the best way to get the hang of this amazing craft is to dive on in.

        Unfortunately the aluminium mesh link (to Amazon) does not deliver to NZ, so I will do a little research to see if there is a comparable product available.

        Thanks again for your help here.
        Much appreciated

    • Jonni has given you a good list of choices. On the sheep I just finished, I made the ears out of aluminum foil, but that scares me a little. The plaster cloth sounds like a great idea because those ears do flow. I wanted to show you how I made the ears on a few dogs. I like the mesh because it stays where you put it. You can push the mesh around and make forms with it, so it is not as flat as one might suppose.

      I’m excited to see your work. The cat is great, and I can’t wait to see the rest! Good luck.

      • By the way, that photo is great. You might want to watch Jonni’s demonstration on how to paint dog eyes. That dog is beautiful and has wonderful eyes.

      • Thank you very much Rex! The mesh looks magic, those ears look perfectly floppy. The Beagles ears look like draped velvet fabric, so the closest I can get to that effect – the better. Very keen to get my hands on this product, I just need to do a little research to see where I can get it in NZ.

        Appreciate your time here.

        • I bought mine at ACE Hardware. The label on mine says, “Garden Zone. Galvanized Hardware Cloth. For Home, Craft & Garden Projects.”

          We spent a lot of time looking in the chicken wire aisle, etc., and then a clerk went down the garden isle. It wasn’t where I expected. You might also be aware that there are different sized holes in the wire. The one I bought was 1/4″ mesh, but the mesh I used before this one was a bit smaller. Good luck. Don’t be afraid to push it in and out, here and there.

  12. Posting after Pia is like singing after Pavarotti!

    Finished the calf and sheep for two different babies. The “older” cow was here for repair on a broken ear.

    • Here is a shot of the calf with the elongated nose. Just couldn’t “get it right” until I realized the pattern was messed up.

          • Hi Jonni. I really hope you can help me with a frustrating conundrum. I need advice about structural integrity on a large scale project I’m working on.
            The pic is the shaping method I’m using. Standard stuffed chicken wire.
            I had to retire the project for a few years and now that I’ve pulled it back out, I noticed that there is cracking in the parts I covered and there is a lot of give behind it.
            What did it do wrong and what do I need to do to make it more solid going forward?

            • Hi Shelly. Your image didn’t come through – probably because it was too large. Images need to be less than 250 kb so they don’t slow down the site. Before answering, I’ll wait for the photo. I hope you’ll try again. Also, more people will find your question if you start a new thread instead of replying on this one.

              I can say that chicken wire alone has no structural strength at all. Depending on the size of the sculpture, there will have to be something behind it.

    • And here is the sheep. Thanks to Isis for the inspiration. I love that lamb a lot more than mine. I let them talk me into coloring the wool, but I liked it a lot better plain white.

        • I had great visions when I began this of using regular pm clay and then dobbing it until it looked like wool. What happened fairly quickly was that I made a batch of the smooth air dry clay and put it on thicker than normal. I did a small area at a time and went through it will a small painting plastic pallet knife. I think my biggest trick was when it looked like wool at all, I moved on. I didn’t labor over it too long. The air dry clay worked well. (Maybe I’m just used to it at this point.)

          • Thanks, Rex. Perhaps those of us who have less experience with the air dry clay could do some experiments on a flat piece of cardboard first, until we get the hang of it. The babe who receives the sheep is a lucky kid. 🙂

        • Thanks, Isis, and great on the inspiration part. Appreciate it. I actually got excited before doing it. I liked your thick wool, but this was a thin imitation of what I thought yours looked like!

    • Also, Jonni, I want to thank you for the eye tutorial. My sister made this dog from plaster of paris decades ago and it has been missing a glass eye for much of that. I decided to put the smooth air dry clay in it and paint it. At least the poor thing has two eyes now. It actually looks better in real life, but I see from the photo I ought to have made it darker. It is doable.

      I used that painting technique on the calf and sheep, and I like the eyes a lot better.

        • I’m going to paint that eye again, even over the varnish. The little black circle larger than the eye was left-over clay that stuck in the fur. This was made from a mold with glass eyes stuck in. Even though the color is off, I’m surprised at how well the technique worked.

          (Just to continue my complaining! I painted seven sets of eyes on different pieces I’m trying to get painted. I like the layering of paint and how I have more choice and control over what color the eye turns out to be.)

    • Well done Rex! I’ll tell you what, you are your own worse critic! These are amazingly sculpted and painted…even the eyes! Congratulations, they will be nice gifts.

      • Thanks, Eileen.

        Can’t wait for your next class results. Now working on another stained glass. Hope you are well.

    • And you should be happy. Ecstatic, even. What a wonderful gorilla portrait, and those eyes are so wise. Even the fur is the perfect mix of dark and red. Congratulations. Did you tell us this is a gift for your husband? Lucky guy!

      • Thank you , Jonni . I made him for myself it’s a portrait sculpt of Harambe . Hubby wants a planet of the apes soldier gorilla on it’s horse so I will try to give that a try along with a fruit bat for my daughter hahaha. I already bought another table lamp at the thrift store it screams Lioness head sculpt at me .

    • Pia, this is a museum piece. I could go on all day, but suffice it to say that I love everything about him. Thank you for sharing, and PLEASE post pix of everything you make.

      • Thank you Mr Shelbot , my family said this in about the same lines 🙂 My hubby was watching me paint and he said OMGosh you are an Artist, he is very taken by this sculpt . I replied I don’t know why I can do this perhaps a artist had passed and re carnated into me . I am so comfortable doing this is like I been doing this for years . This one is mainly done with the stalloween cellulose clay I modified the receipe and I find it very pleasing to work with now. I did after these pictures where taken darken the white of the eyes because gorillas really done have that much white like we do . I also gave it a wet eye look by the tear duct and corner of eye . I used shellac but I think I want to go to the craft store and get the super gloss stuff I saw a while back .

        • Pia, I just don’t think that he could be better. I’m totally in love. Reincarnated? Hmmm… Michelangelina maybe? Again, I must say, your family is very lucky! The eyes of the gorilla are beautiful and spot on. As for glaze, I use DuraClear that King Rex gifted to me or Triple Thick, which I usually overwork and mess up. What brand are you getting?

          • Sorry, but I tend to confuse gloss, glaze, varnish, shellac, etc. I don’t know the difference, but the DuraClear is varnish.

            • Sorry, again. Pia, you wrote that you actually darkened the white of the eyes? I was reading about gorilla eyes and although some apparently do show white, I understand why you might darken it a bit. I love the eyes in the pic, but can you show us a pic of the eyes now, if it’s not too much trouble? Thank you.

            • eyes darkened just a tad didn’t have the light on the sculpt like I did on the other pictures

            • Pia, I honestly didn’t think that those eyes could be more perfect. But you have succeeded in making them so. Thank you so much for the new pic. I eagerly await pix of anything that you sculpt/paint, etc.

            • Just amazing. The eyes are great. Funny what a little light will do when taking a photograph! Thanks.

    • Well, I’m jealous. When I come back, I want to come back as you.

      So, this must be a study for the apes! (lol) There is no doubt you are an artist. Can’t wait to see that lamp and everything else. Thank you for brightening our days.

      I can’t say how wonderful it is to see these works of art.

      • Thank you ,Rex . Some of my friends on FB say I should enter this piece into an art show . I looked into it we have a Art center in town that conducts shows all the time . My hubby said people would appreciate seeing him and I think he is right. I really don’t have the urge to compete with any of the local artists so I enter just to share him with the locals 🙂 They have a section for the sight impaired and sculpts are allowed to touch .I think that would be great since he has so many textures. I don’t know much about it talked to the lady on the phone yesterday . I am going down Monday and check it out and get info.

    • Magnificent Pia! I am sure your family is quite in awe of your achievements! Isn’t it fun to discover hidden talents? Jonni shared many years ago a trick for making really glossy eyes is to use clear nail polish. It is super shiny. Depending on the piece, I use several different varnishes to achieve the look I want, it is fun to experiment.
      This gorilla is wonderful.

      • Thank you Eileen , since the eye itself is glass it is nice and glossy . I want to gloss up the corners of the eye to give it that life like look it shows a little not much . I used the nail polish too . Perhaps I need to add more layers . Thanks

    • Yes, the wall elephant does use card stock, but the cereal box cardboard would work just as well. Corrugated cardboard would not work well, because of the tabs on that particular pattern.

  13. Forgive me if this is already addressed in a prior post and I missed it…
    I am creating half and 3/4 masks for a theater production (in vein of commedia style) , but the masks will need to be worn by multiple people of assorted shapes and sizes. any suggestions on how to accommodate that? Would one approach/material be better than another as far as wearability, rigidity vs flexibility, weight and durability?
    Also they will be taken on and off onstage over the course of the show so that adds an interesting challenge as far as how the performers will secure them.

    • Hi Tatiana. You might want to check out the post about using wood glue as paste for masks. It’s very strong. The mask I tested it on was made out of cereal box cardboard, with one layer of brown paper held on with the wood glue. If your masks won’t have the cardboard backing, they would need many more layers. In part of my pattern-making process I need to make very thin test masks, and I use one layer of brown paper with the wood glue, with no backing. It is extremely flexible, almost like a rubber mask. But, of course, it isn’t nearly strong enough to wear. Do some experiments and see what you think. For holding them on, I suggest you put a few strips of felt around the inside edges to make them comfortable, and use elastic bands. Take a look at the paper dust masks for some ideas about how the elastic can be used. I hope this helps. 🙂

    • Hi, I make wearable masks using Jonni’s Long time ago recipes in her first mask book. Blue paper towels, etc. To make them wearable I stuff the recesses, then pad it with felt. Very comfortable. Acrylic is slightly flexible, so it doen’t tend to crack, and is reasonably fixable if it does.
      Drill a hole on either side of the mask, behind and just up from the ear, like where a pair of glasses would go. You need to build a tab area so there’s room for a hole though. Oof this is hard to say and not show. I’ll get on my computer today and post pictures. Maybe you’ve already solved your problem.
      I use elastic which goes through the metal loop in back of the button, feed the elastic through and finish with ribbons.
      Also, I glue gun in a ribbon loop at the top, center of the back of the mask, that lays flat inside it when in use, when it’s not being used, the loop is accessible for hanging or displaying.
      In a stage situation, just off stage can be a panel with hooks that each mask is hung from, easily changing wearers without losing track.
      If you put felt in, the top felt layer can be personalized, for santitary reasons. If they feel it’s nexessary. Just cut enough from your pattern. Hope this helps. I’ll check back later with photos. Maybe I’ll see if posting from my phone works…..

    • I’m not seeing my reply to your post. I make wearable masks and am happy to share how I deal with the forms, so they’re comfy and hangable when not in use. I’m not on computer yet and will look for your post to send photos.

      • Tatiana sorry, I’m having a hard time loading photos.
        Perhaps I can send them to Jonni in an email?

        Mainly I wanted to add that if you make the masks slightly wider to accommodate a variety of face sizes, the elastic will keep it on any face, as long as the nose and forehead areas are still the same, or even the cheek bone area. Plus, using felt as padding will help make up any difference in sizing. Better to have a slightly wider mask, than making one too narrow that it hurts the temples. (Headaches and actors are no fun.)

        Best of luck!

        • Hi Tatiana. Did you get an error message of some kind when you tried to upload your photos? They do need to be 250 kb or less, but if you don’t have image editing software you can use a free online picture resizer. I have noticed that some people have trouble uploading photos from an iPhone or other Apple device. If you can give us some idea about what problems you’re encountering, we might be able to help – and that will also help other people having the same problems.

    • Thank you all for all the input! My current approach is that i bought inexpensive paper masks as a base and then used the papermache clay recipe to build up structure (on second attempt I wadded up strips of paper towel in the clay because it was pretty wet and not as formable as I’d hoped) . Im currently letting those dry for a few days and want to do a test run with the cast. If they work I’ll do a layer of the woodglue paper mache for a harder smoother surface, then gesso before paint.
      Lining with felt also sounds like a good idea — we have some sweaty actors.
      I’ll post another update as stuff progresses. If you see me heading in the wrong direction Im open to more advice!

      • Hi Tatiana, these look great! I was thinking about another option to the felt lining. I’ve used window insulation foam for padding on the forehead, cheek bone and rarely but for some masks ive lined the nose too. For mask forms that have been mass produced, and then altered for shape and so on, don’t always fit a real face well, and many people want a more comfortable fit. The foam padding comes in a variety of densities, I use the most squishy, less dense roll. (They come in rolls, you then cut a small strip to fit to the mask.)
        Hardware stores carry them; they come with one sticky side and the soft foam side. I’ve had a lot of success fitting larger masks on smaller faces using the pads in just the right places. Hope this helps!! What a fun project to do!

    • Hi Angela. Which patterns are you interested in using? Some of my patterns do use card stock, but you could replace it with cereal box cardboard. It would be too heavy to go through a home printer, but you can print on full-sheet labels and stick them on the cardboard.

  14. I had originally posted this question in another location and Jonni Good mentioned that others may have more suggestions on this page. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    I am interested in the African Animal 3 pattern set for a VBS project. My question is: how long will the process be to make something like these? As a class, the students (5th & 6th graders) will only have five 20 minute sessions to work on a project. I want to make this project but I don’t want them to run out of time and not finish. Maybe you know of one project that is quicker than another or how much I should prepare ahead in order for them to finish on time. Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated because I have never made anything from paper mache before. I am really looking forward to trying this project and even if my class can’t do this one I will definitely be giving it a try. ?

    • To cut off on time perhaps you can glue all the pieces together basicly they start with an armature , ready for paper mache /or and clay

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