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.

14,596 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. I mixed a half recipe of paper mache clay using my gram scale. I am having trouble getting it to stick to my armature. It wants to follow my fingers off or whatever tool I try. Once I get it to stick it dries nice and hard. Any advice or maybe something I am doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Hi Heidi. The paper mache clay is supposed to be sticky, so it will stick to your armature. Of course, that means that if you get your fingers in it, you’ll end up with a bit of a mess. I always use a knife to spread the paper mache clay over the armature, and if it sticks to the knife you can dip it in water.

      You could also add more flour or even a small amount of corn starch to reduce the stickiness. Just don’t overdo it, or you’ll have a hard time getting it to stay on your armature. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hi Jonni,
    Need your opinion…..I’m making a large volcano scene for my Grandson to use for his dinosaur toy collection. I want it to be very durable yet lite. Would the paper clay be a good choice and if so, can I make a large batch to use?

    Reply
    • I don’t know if this helps at all but last year I made a Noah’s ark for my grandson and used Jonni’s smooth clay recipe for it. It has held up beautifully and my grandson is rough on his toys. The smooth clay does dry a bit heavier than the regular clay so I guess it depends on how big your scene will be. If your armature is strong, either clay should work. Hint: apply several coats of varnish to prevent the paint from chipping off with a bit of rough play. Good luck!

      Reply
      • The only thing about using watercolor on a project would be difficulty in sealing it without smearing the watercolor job. You could use very light spray varnish but brushing a varnish on could muddy the watercolor job. Good luck and come back and show us your finished work!

        Reply
  3. Paper mache question. I’m making air dry paper mache clay bowls and wondered if I an use watercolors to paint and what are the best paints to use. I love your web site and all the clear instructions you give.

    Reply
    • We’d love to see the bowls when they’re done, if you’d like to share a photo. And if you do try using watercolors, please tell us if the paint works the way you wanted it to.

      Reply
  4. Hi, after losing my career due to a spine injury… I’m hoping to start making an income with my art work. Right now, I’m making several Nisse (Norwegian House gnomes) each a little different from the other. As you can see in the pics I still have a few last touches (beard, etc)… and will post again once finished. They are about 12-13” tall and will come with a “Nisse Foster Certificate” and a page on how to care for their house gnome. I have no idea where to begin on pricing!

    Reply
  5. Hi Jonni,
    thanks for all your help with my order and paper mache questions. As a newbie that just completed my first non-Jonni inspired paper mache (interpret as completely unrealistic and rather odd), I appreciate all your knowledge and help.
    I’m just getting started on the baby elephant, and I love putting the pattern together; it appeals to the part of me that loves jigsaw puzzles. Now if I can just learn to paint an eyeball….
    Thanks again!
    Pam Jurach

    Reply
    • Hi Pam. We would love to see that “non-Jonni inspired” sculpture. 🙂 Did you try to upload a photo with your comment? If you did, it didn’t come through. Photos need to be less than 250 kb, and most cameras save images at huge file sizes. If you don’t have an image editing program, you can use one of the free online photo resizer tools.

      Reply
  6. Hi Jonni.
    What are the advantages of using cellulose insulation over toilet paper? Does it improve tensile strength?
    Thanks for you help.

    Reply
    • I don’t use the cellulose insulation in my paper mache clay recipe, because the brand available in my town contains boron to inhibit mold. When boron is mixed with the glue in the recipe, it turns into “flubber.” I have used the insulation with plaster, and it works well. And I think I used it as padding for my baby elephant, years ago, before I developed my paper mache clay recipe. So, that was a long way of saying that I don’t see any advantage to using cellulose instead of toilet paper, and the only way I can get it is to buy a huge bale, when one roll of TP is more than enough for my needs.

      Reply
  7. I am new to paper mache clay fun. I bought your book “Make animal Sculptures. It’s great.

    Can I use aluminum foil and masking tape to pad my armature instead of newspaper?
    I am making small reindeer with a pattern on cardboard like your kangaroo tutorial.

    Reply
    • Hi Heidi. Yes, you certainly can use the foil and masking tape instead of newspaper. And I sure hope you’ll come back and show us your reindeer when it’s done! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Hi Jonni,

    I’m new to your site and just wanted to give you a great big thank you for providing such an excellent resource. I’m just starting out with paper mache, and your tutorials are a lifesaver! Thanks for sharing all your hard earned knowledge, I’m looking forward to learning and experimenting!!

    Reply
  9. Hello, for my art show case at my college. I’m tried to make a paper mache prayer bead. The ingredients I used was a bunch of paper that I didn’t throw out, flour, water, and salt. I did it and it smells pretty bad. I left it oustide to dry but it didn’t dry. So I dipped some of them in to plaster thinking it will take some of the wetness away. However , I don’t know if it will.

    Reply
    • It sounds like the wet paper was made into a shape that was too large to dry quickly. The odor would be coming from mold growing inside it, because of the water. The fastest way to get it dry is to put it in front of a fan. I don’t know if the plaster will help or not. Good luck with it!

      Reply
  10. Hi Jonni,
    I tried to order the three African masks patterns, but I’m not sure it went through. It asked for all my Visa info, but I haven’t received the pdf email. Can you check and see if the order went through? Thank you, and I’m really excited to try one of your patterns, especially after attempting a less-realistic rhino.
    Pam Jurach

    Reply
    • Hi Pam. The system says your order was started but not finished yet. I know there can sometimes be a delay between the time an order is submitted and when the card company’s computer finalizes the order, but it doesn’t usually take this long. I’ll keep my eye on it for an hour or so. Hopefully, it will work soon so you can get started on you new sculptures. I hope you have a lot of fun with them. 🙂

      If the system tells me there’s a problem I’ll contact you by email and let you know.

      Reply
  11. After leaving a comment on another post I thought I would post a note about why I have not been active. I have had a number of health problems starting a few months ago. First I had a blood vessel break in the back of my left eye leaving a clot that affected my vision. I had one of three scheduled injections and then I contracted pneumonia which hospitalized me for two weeks. That was the beginning of October and I am still having breathing problems. Am now on prednisone and a steroid inhaler so hopefully I will feel better soon.

    Jonni, I wanted to let you know how much I loved your gnome..I think I have the same book. You saved my sanity while I was in the hospital. I watched so many of your videos going back years. I was in an acute care room and the other patients were so much worse than me it was very depressing so I would just prop my iPad up on my tray and watch your “bonny “ face and listen to you describe how to sculpt with paper mache.
    Sorry to be so long winded. A question: how do I find where I posted something….a little elf that I made a couple of years ago.

    Joyce

    Reply
    • Hi Joyce. I’m sorry you haven’t been well, but I’m glad we could help cheer you up – at least a little – during your hospital stay. I’m afraid there is no way to do a search for comments, but I found your gnome. Is this the one you meant? He’s adorable! If there’s an elf, too, let me know and I’ll keep looking. (By the way, does anyone know the difference between an elf and a gnome?)

      gnome

      Reply
      • Thanks, Jonni…that is what I was looking for. I couldn’t find that photo anywhere and it was so important to me because I had given the sculpture to my best friend at Christmas two years ago. Sadly she passed away in August a year ago. I am so glad you found my elf/gnome. I am going to try and make some miniature gnomes for Christmas, but haven’t thought exactly how yet.

        Reply
    • Joyce, good to hear from you, and sorry to hear about your medical issues. I can relate, a little! I hope you get feeling better every day. I haven’t been on the site for around a month because of sinus surgery, and recovery is no fun.

      Like you, this site has been a gift for many years, and the artists and people who share their talent are phenomenal inspirations. I hope to get back to paper mache soon. My sister has a project she got me started on, making a tree. A new challenge.

      Thanks for letting us know what you’ve been going through. I love your elf. rx

      Reply
  12. I’m an artist but I’m a beginner at paper mache. I bought your animal sculptures book and I’m working on the blue hippo and the piglet. I’d really like to make a bunny dancer, inspired by the Degas sculpture and your bunny dancer. I have a wooden moveable manikin model (picture attached). It wasn’t very expensive and I’d like to use it as the start of an armature for my bunny dancer. I’ll add tin foil and hot glue to build it out. I hope once I have a tin foil layer glued and dry it won’t still be moveable. Or maybe once the layer of mache is on and dry. I was planning on using the same recipe you used on the blue hippo.
    What advice can you give me if I start with this wooden model as the armature. Thanks for all your generous sharing of your experiences and fantastic art.
    MADDY

    Reply
    • Hi Maddy. It sounds like you have it all figured out already. The foil is very stiff and strong after it’s crumpled, so you shouldn’t have any moveable joints after the armature is finished. The recipe I used for the hippo is great when working over foil.

      I hope you’ll come back and show us how your bunny turns out. We would all really love to see it! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Not been here for a while.

    I found I could not post here & not sure if Kuriology was banned or blocked. That aside, just wanted to share some paper mache ‘goodlyness’.

    As a UK based severely cognitively disabled housebound self-taught artist I had built up a massive number of sculptures.

    In 2017 I had a solo museum exhibition of some x250 of my sculptures that gave me confidence to begin to downsize the 100’s & 100’s of sculptures created over 10yrs of being housebound.

    Now paper mache (& decoupage) is sometimes thought of as something just for kids.

    Well I have now sold over x500 sculptures.

    …& have just completed a sculpture commission for the prestigious British Psychology Society magazine publication – ‘The Psychologist’ to be used as cover & internal artwork in an edition of the magazine in 2020.

    I’m posting this as a form of encouragement to Paper mache artists everywhere. Its not just for kids!

    Reply
      • Thank you.

        It took a while to build some momentum in UK, but since opening up to overseas collectors I have Kuriology sculpture collectors in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Eire, Finland, Hong Kong, Hawaii, USA, Canada

        …Oh, & the Isle of Wight*.

        Reply
    • It’s good to hear from you! I think some algorithm has decided it doesn’t like your email address. I have no idea why, but I’m glad you could post today. If you have problems in the future, try making up an email address. I don’t know if it works or not, but it’s worth a try.

      It looks like you’ve really been busy! Congratulations for your success selling your work, and for that fantastic commission for the magazine. That is really exciting!

      I see that you have an eBay page. How is that working out for you?

      Reply
      • Hello Jonni

        There was some sort of gremlin at work preventing my posting. Seemingly glitch is now resolved.

        You ask about eBay.

        Being disabled & living in a rural area I rely a lot on the interweberry. I think I have been on eBay since 2004 & it has seldom let me down (although I wish it would stop trying to become a little Amazon site – instead of being the best & biggest yard sale in the world that it was (I think that’s what Americans call them).

        It was natural for me to try selling via eBay, but I also tried Etsy & Folksy (Folksy – A British only craft/art business online) I tried a number of other internet outlets. I looked at numerous others as well – which I dismissed.

        Initially I only sold to the domestic UK market – With my disability I have to try to regulate & control my levels of stress & anxiety, so only taking on that which I can control & manage. After a year I opened up to international markets -BANG! ….& away it went with now 40-50% of my Kuriology sculpture sales going overseas.

        After two years eBay has won hands down for me. For every x1 sale on Etsy I’ve had x100 on eBay…Folksy was less impressive in sales than Etsy, although the community was interesting.

        I’ve seen people whinge about eBay fees.

        I monitor it & it is between 10-16% of the selling price (It fluctuates as I take advantage of listing fee deals) -When compared to between 30-60% commission charged by bricks & mortar art galleries & given the footfall through ebay -It works for me.

        You may recall l can be prolific in my productivity, part of my compulsive condition, & I’d create ‘things’ regardless of sales. When you’ve filled a room ‘floor to ceiling’ with sculptures & then shut the door & not ventured in again for several years -Well, sometimes you just have to let go!

        The image is my studio/study & my tiny workspace is circled in red.

        Reply
        • What an awesome story. I remember you from a few years back and am so glad you decided to share your success. I haven’t been around UPM for a while due to health problems and my 91 years, but you give me hope that maybe I can still create something.

          Reply
          • Hello Joyce.

            Congrates on reaching such a good innings & if you can still create something/anything then more ‘power to your elbow’ to you. I believe it is important at any age to be creative, it is the one truly infinite resource. Keeping my body, & spirit going.

            Image: Kuriology created ‘Grumpling’

            Reply
        • What great information! If you ever feel inclined to write a book about how to sell art on eBay, I’d be the first one to buy it. Of course, you’d need to write it during that hour of your day when you aren’t busy sculpting. 🙂

          It sounds like you have a system set up with eBay that works really well. And that commission they charge doesn’t sound bad at all! I think Etsy’s charges are lower, but they seem to change their rules all the time. Recently I believe they decided to make it harder to find makers who don’t offer free shipping. That had to hurt a few people who didn’t have shipping charges already figured into their prices.

          Reply
          • Hi Jonni

            With regards to eBay, I don’t overstretch myself.

            I only list between 10-25 items a week (once or twice x30). Oh, I’m not quite as productive it may seem as still working through 100’s of sculptures created over 10yrs of being housebound – But I can get a bit of a creative whizz-wiggle on sometimes.

            Hour free?? When?
            Besides my being disabled (cognitively, – PTSD, severe anxiety, panic attacks & agoraphobia ) I am otherwise in reasonable physical shape…just as well, as am full-time carer to my disabled octogenarian mum who has reached a stage in life where mum is unable to do very much for herself.

            But my artwork suits the circumstance -i.e. Do a bit -attend to mum – do a bit-attend to mum – do a bit, so on & so forth, etc. etc.

            RE: Etsy- Yes, there seems to be a lot of goal post moving & quite frankly I could not play their corporate game of constantly fiddling with listing descriptions to just to rise higher in their etsy searches – I found I was spending more time messing about with search terms on their website just to get seen than I was in being sculptural-y creative. Etsy started off for some crafters & artists fine, but then etsy let overseas factory made products flood into what had been a pretty exclusive handmade website. Etsy still remains relatively unknown in the UK.

            When I first looked at etsy it had some astounding, genuine & interesting ‘different’ art work by some truly unique individual artists – but now most of the artists work that interested me have left – & 90% of it is generic same as the next. (ie: 500,000 listings for- ‘steampunk necklace’).

            The – ‘FREE shipping or else you don’t get seen’ caused a lot of UK sellers to reconsider where Etsy was going. – Which some saw as usual corporate greed. (Then there are the seemingly constant questions about the companies actual profitability as a company). What started as a brilliant idea – got screwed by the greedy grey suits of Wall Street.

            Hey, but what do I know, I’m just a self-taught disabled artist who sells a few sculptures & who cares for me mum!

            Image: Kuriology sculpture using recycled materials. -These are all sold

            Reply
    • Wow, what a testament to the human spirit. I am so happy for you that your perseverance has paid off and that you are getting recognition for the fabulous artist that you are! You have some mighty impressive credentials! What an encouragement for others out there! Thanks for sharing and by the way, your sculptures are stellar as usual. Don’t be such a stranger, we missed you!

      Reply
      • Hello Eileen

        Thank you.

        This site was important to me & I was a bit ‘hacked off’ when I could no longer access it.

        So I just got on with it- as you do!

        Image: Nautilus by Kuriology

        Reply
    • Hi Emily. There are lots of different ways you can do it. I have created really simple forms with a plastic bag filled with wet paper, when the mask doesn’t need to fit. I’ve used the plastic mask forms that you can buy on Amazon (although most of them are made child-size). I’ve used my mannequin when I want a mask that goes over the head like a helmet. And I’ve even used a resin skull for the form.

      Reply

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