Easy Pattern for a Life-Sized Baby Elephant
This project takes time and patience to complete, but don’t let the size scare you. It’s actually a fairly easy project.
In fact, the video below has been seen by 1.4 million people, and thousands of people have used the pattern to successfully create their own lovable baby elephants. That means you can do it, too.
This is a downloadable PDF Pattern with full illustrated instructions: You’ll be able to download your pattern right after you order. You’ll also receive an email with the download link, and a separate receipt. The emails may take a few minutes to arrive. If you don’t see them, be sure to check your spam or promotions folder.
This baby elephant pattern has been used by hundreds of people who have successfully created paper mache baby elephants of their own. In fact, this continues to be one of the most popular projects on this site.
The finished size of the paper mache sculpture shown above is 29″ high and 36″ long from trunk to tail. If you don’t have room for a sculpture that size, or if you want one that’s even bigger, the size is easy to change. (Some people have even used the pattern to create life-sized adult elephants!)
Watch the video below to see how to make your elephant sculpture.
I copied the pattern onto sheet of plywood, as you’ll see in the video, but if I made this elephant today I’d use a piece of cardboard from a large appliance carton instead. Cardboard is much lighter than wood.
To make this elephant sculpture you’ll need:
- A large sheet of heavy cardboard or a scrap of thin plywood that’s at least 48″ square.
- Lots of recycled newspaper to fill the inside
- Masking tape.
- Aluminum mesh wire for the ears
- Flour and water paste
- More newspaper for the paper mache
- Paper towels for the final skin
- Acrylic or latex paint
- Acrylic varnish
Use either paper strips and paste or paper mache clay –
I didn’t invent my paper mache clay recipe until after I made this elephant. Since the paper mache clay goes on faster than paper strips and paste, I’d use the paper mache clay if I made another life-sized elephant. However, I’d still use the final layer of paper towels to get that realistic elephant-skin look. You can find the recipe for my now-famous paper mache clay in the Art Libray on this site.
Note: Keep your baby elephant inside –
When I made my own elephant sculpture I thought a few coats of marine varnish would protect her from the elements. That’s why I took some photos of her out in the garden. I changed my mind after I did some experiments. Marine (spar) varnish does not prevent rain and sun from destroying a paper mache sculpture, so be sure to keep your baby elephant inside.
Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?
I love questions!
There are two ways to contact me:
The fastest way to get an answer is to leave a comment on this page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might also chime in to help – we have a very supportive community here on this site.
If you prefer to reach me privately, you can send an email to [email protected] – I get a ton of spam and I don’t want your email to get lost, so please put “paper mache” in the subject line. If you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, assume the cyberspace gremlins ate your email and try again.