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.

14,199 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Hi there Joni,
    I would like to add the pigment directly to the paper clay pulp. Have you tried this and if so would you care to share the pigments you found and sizing, retention agents etc. that you might have found to make the pigment retain it’s color.
    Miya

    • Hi Miya. I have never tried to add pigments to the paper mache clay. The materials in the recipe are all white, so it would need a lot of pigment to get any color that wasn’t pastel. If you do some experiments, we would love to see what you find out.

  2. Hi Jonni,

    You’re probably already familiar with it, but I wanted to bring to your attention this 3-D printer, which prints using paper pulp:

    “Beer Holthuis, from the netherlands, is as a product designer. In this regard, he has crossed path with 3D modeling and additive manufacturing. Through this process, he noticed the worrying amount of plastic being used in the process and started searching for a more sustainable material to replace it.

    As the amount of paper waste per person is at around 80 kg yearly, he decided to work with this wasteful and hugely used material. Unlike earlier paper printing techniques such as the 3D printing technology from Mcor, Beer wanted to print directly with the waste material itself. Giving us the world’s first 3D printer to print pulp.”

    https://www.3dnatives.com/en/paper-pulp-printer-launched-replaces-plastic-3d-prints-paper-waste-091120184/

    While that printer doesn’t appear to be a commercial product, there are thick paste extruder toolheads that you can purchase to turn any 3-d printer into a paper mache printer:

    https://zmorph3d.com/products/toolheads/thick-paste-extruder

  3. I wanted to make something simple so I can use the Clay first time all over and also a first time on a foil sculpture, still working out the shapes on that.?! Used pattern Without the blocks .
    Clay will be going on both the jack-o’-lantern and the cats (strips on ears)head coming out from the top. I want to know the best way to attach it, can I use a layer of clay to bond the two pieces together? Or glue or strips?I think I’m going to clay cover the cat before putting it on top of the jack-o’-lantern. I don’t want to mess anything up .
    P.S. I’ll accept any kind of constructive criticism And advice.
    Thank you !

    • Hi Linda. You should let the paper mache clay dry completely before attaching the two pieces, so no moisture will get caught between them. If the two pieces fit together well, some good wood glue should bond them together.

  4. Hi Jonni, here is my Albatross, he is inspired by the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Who thought white could be so tricky? Once again many layers of paint (too many) went into this. Had a play with plaster cloth for the scarf, which was a very satisfying medium. Followed your tutorial again for the eyes which brought him to life. On to my Beagle!

    • Trudie, your albatross is amazing. What a nice sculpture! Are the eyes painted, or did you make them with glass, like Pia did in her recent tutorial? Either way, the eye we can see is really nice. Love the scarf, too – but I think there must be a story that goes with this sculpture – Can you tell us more about that?

      • Thank you very much Jonni. The eyes are polystyrene balls that I painted following your dog eyes tutorial. Still haven’t quite nailed the white shine that you make look very easy in the tutorial. All I had to do was add a white highlighted feathered edge so it looked more bird-like.
        The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem is about an old sailor who tells strangers about the supernatural adventures he had at sea after he killed an albatross, a friendly sea bird. It’s a little tragic with the death of the bird – but the moral of the poem is to appreciate all forms of life.

        • Ah – I should have remembered the poem. This closeup shows all the beautiful details you were able to get with the white areas, and I know how hard that is to do. Do you have any advice for that, too? And what are you going to make next?

          • Thank you for the feedback Jonni. I’m still doing an awful lot of experimenting at the moment with paint technique – such a different beast to painting a canvas. I found that I ended up daubing the brush allot for shading effects. I started with a smooth soft grey/white coat and then daubed in the shadowed areas with a dark grey, then added graduating shades from the grey back to the white highlight.
            My beagle is next on my list – he is an MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) detector dog hero in NZ, so he will be suitably attired and I’m working on a carrot for him to hold in his mouth ; ) Should be a bit of fun.
            On that note – I would very much appreciate some more advice from you Jonni. I am creating animal busts – and wondering how you attach these to backings so they can be mounted on the wall? For my Albatross, I just used a ridiculous amount of glue, but it doesn’t feel that stable.
            Many thanks in advance.
            Trudie

            • Hi Trudie. Thanks for the advice for painting white. That’s really helpful. And I can’t wait to see you beagle. (Although I have no idea what an MPI detector dog is. Sounds really important, though. 🙂 )

              For really lightweight, hollow heads, I just use hot glue to attach the flat back of the head to a wooden plaque. But for anything that’s even slightly heavier, I use epoxy. I had a coupon for Apoxie Paste when I mounted all the heads I made for my Fast Faces book for a library exhibit, and it worked really well. The faces were cast in plaster, so they were fairly heavy. But Apoxie Paste is expensive, and ordinary two-part epoxy glue would probably work just as well.

  5. I’m working on a paper mache clay project and was wondering how you clean up afterwards. Is there a trick to cleaning joint compound mixtures? Thanks.

    Lisa Pugh

    • There’s no real trick. All of the ingredients of paper mache clay are water-soluble. I just scrape any pm clay that’s left in the bowl into the trash and then fill the bowl with water to soften any bits that might be dried on. Then wash with soap and water.

  6. Here is my second project! This was harder than my first (Bambi), as I need not get the paper packed tight enough so it was very lumpy! It ended up with a ton of tape (and paper) and joint compound but after a lot of persistence I finally got it smooth enough to where I was satisfied. I felt, at some point, you just have to say enough is enough!! Now it makes me smile whenever I look at it so it was all worth it!

    • As an update to my first project (Bambi). It has been outside all summer in Vegas. The weather has been well over 100 since June (over 110 many days and a few at 115 in July/August) and it sits in a location highly exposed to direct sunlight. I know some have not had success with Spar Urethane as a protector, but it has actually worked out great for me …so far at least!! I used the Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Clear Semi-gloss (I also put a layer of RedGuard on the bottom to protect it from direct ground moisture) and it still looks the same as when I finished it. We have had a number of days of rain too and it has withstood it without issue, but winter will be the true test. Fortunately, we don’t get a lot of rainfall here. Of course, I may chicken out and just bring it in my shed for the winter!!
      This second project I put an undercoat of some exterior house paint I had laying around (the final coat is acrylic paint). Then I used clear spray flex-seal as some had recommended. Time will tell if that holds up as well, and if so, which method outlasts the other over the (hopefully at least a few) years to come in my climate!

      • Thanks for the update, Angela. My experiment with spar varnish didn’t work well, but I may have used the wrong brand. I’m glad Bambi is holding up well. And we look forward to hearing how your latest sculpture hold up, too, after it’s had more time outside.

      • Thanks Angela.
        Your ” Winnie” was my granddaughter’s favorite character as a child. Good luck with your waterproof project!. I’ll try it with one of my sculptures.

  7. Hi Jonnie. I just purchased the African Animals download package. In the instructions for the giraffe, cereal box cardboard is used, with the elephant, cardstock is used and with the lion, corrugated cardboard is used. Will cereal box cardboard work for all 3 patterns?

  8. Post#3-“Black Bird” I finished this piece a while ago. After finishing, it showed several cracks . I think because of the humidity. On my first attempt to fix it I used plaster and again it showed the same cracks.
    Finally I deepened the cracks and inserted cloth fibers soaked in wood glue into the cracks. So far so good.
    Corn silks are real. Kernels are made of air dry clay.

    • I have sculptures in the house made with paper mache clay that are about 11 years old, and they haven’t changed at all. The only thing that could cause them to not last is if they’re stored in a humid area, or they weren’t dried out completely before they were sealed. The same thing is probably true of plaster cloth.

  9. I’m very excited to begin my first paper mache project with you. Before I begin my owl project, I’m making some very small bird ornaments for my family for Christmas. I mean small. I’m afraid your clay recipe may be too thick and am wondering if I could simply use joint compound to cover my aluminum foil/masking tape armatures. What do you think?

  10. It’s been a while since my last post (years?). Here is a finished Dilophosaurus aka Spitter inspired from the movie Jurassic Park. Started mid April. Paper and paiste with acrylic washes. Husband picked out orange stating it would be “pretty cool”. Measures aprox 3 foot long and extends about a foot from the wall. Many processes learned here were used. I thought it fitting to post it here first.

    • Welcome back! Unfortunately, Spitter’s photo didn’t come through, but we’d love to see it. The file sizes need to be less than 250 KB (to keep the page from loading too slowly.) If you don’t have image editing software on your device, you can use this free image resizer. I do hope you’ll try again. We really want to see it.

  11. Hi Jonnie and thank you for the instructions and recipes you offer, I have learned a ton from watching your videos. I’m a monster kid from the 60’s and have built and promoted monster model building for many years. I find paper mache to be the best product to make larger life-sized creations and your instructions have been pricless. I’m using your recipe and it’s taken a couple batches but now I have it down to the consistency I like. For my first project, I took a cheap plastic skull and added to it to create a Frankenstein’s monster skull. My next one is a full alien head based on a old cartoon show, this time using cardboard and paper. Thanks a lot, I love your works.

    • Wow – that is a great idea, and it looks fantastic! Would you have any interest in writing a how-to article for my blog so we can all see how it was done? Even if you don’t have time for that, I hope we get to see that alien head, too. (And anything else you make… 🙂 )

  12. Hi Jonnie,
    Do you have a donkey … gold miners donkey pattern?

    I’m working on a project that includes a donkey.

    Thank you
    Karen Knecht

  13. How long does it take to complete the giraffe? I am wanting my high school art class to do this project. I am currently working on the giraffe and was wondering a time frame.

    • Hi Cheryl. Are you referring to my pattern for a giraffe’s head? I don’t have a specific time frame for a class, so you’ll probably want to put one together yourself in advance. Cutting out the pieces will take several hours. Taping them together takes about the same amount of time as cutting the cardboard, because they need to be taped together in the order shown on the instructions. If the kids put one layer of brown paper mache over the head, that would take at least two hours, and possibly more, plus several days of drying time. And give them at least two hours to paint the spots. It took me longer than that, but I didn’t have a deadline.

      Like I said, this is just a very loose guideline. You really should put one together yourself first, because you know your class schedule and the skills of your students.

      If you were actually referring to the wall sculpture giraffe that Terry posted recently, she said it took her two weeks, working fairly long days.

    • Hi Betheny. None of your photos showed up, I’m afraid. Did you make sure the file sizes were less than 250 KB? If you don’t have image editing software on your device, you can use this free online tool to make them smaller. I really hope you’ll try again, because we would all love to see them.

  14. Finally took a photo of the seagull’s spots that appeared about 7 months after making it. Don’t want this to happen again! Thanks for help.

        • It did work – and I can see why those spots have you so worried. Can you tell if they’re under the clear varnish, or on top? Can you rub them off? If they’re caused by mildew on the outside of the piece, you might be able to get rid of it with a mild solution of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. If they’re under the varnish, I’m not sure what you could do. Any suggestions, anyone?

  15. This is my 2nd Jonnie craft. I wanted to make an elephant for my grandsons room, eventually I’m going to make the full sculpture one but he’s 2 n it wouldn’t be a good idea right now lol.

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