Make a Giraffe Sculpture with Paper Mache Clay

Giraffe Sculpture Pattern


Make a Giraffe Sculpture with Paper Mache Clay

Make this stunning Giraffe sculpture for your home.

No sculpting experience required – the  pattern creates all the realistic shapes for you.

You add the spots with acrylic paint, and watch him come to life when you add those last few spots of white in his eyes.

Your visitors will be amazed that you made it yourself.

How to Make Your Giraffe Sculpture:

Pattern for giraffe sculpture
Print the pattern, attach it to cardboard, and cut out the pieces.
Tape giraffe template together.
Tape the pieces together and add Styrofoam eyes and a foil mane.
giraffe add paper mache
Add paper mache or paper mache clay (I used both).
Paint your paper mache masterpiece.
Paint the spots. When the paint is dry you can add false eyelashes, if you want.

The first few pieces you’ll tape together are a little tricky, so be sure to watch the video below. After that, the pieces are quite large and go together quickly. You will need to weight the base with a plastic bag filled with plaster of Paris – it’s really easy, and the video shows you how.

Finished size: About 24 inches (61 cm) high, 14 inches (23 cm) wide and 14 inches (35 cm) deep.

My downloadable PDF Patterns come with full instructions.

There’s no waiting for your pattern to arrive, and no shipping costs, so you can start on your project right away.

Click here if you’d like to know more about how the patterns are delivered. (If you’ll be saving your pattern to and iPhone or iPad, they do tend to hide your files. You can scroll down this page to see how to find them.)

And remember – if you have any problems downloading your files or putting your pattern together, just let me know. I’m always happy to help.  😀

Make a Giraffe Sculpture with Paper Mache Clay
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How the giraffe sculpture is made:

Play Video

To make this paper mache giraffe sculpture you will need:

  • Printer
  • Copy paper or full-sheet labels
  • Glue stick if using copy paper for pattern
  • Cardboard from 3 standard-sized cereal boxes
  • Pieces of corrugated cardboard from one or more shipping boxes
  • Knife and sharp scissors for cutting cardboard
  • Tape, both clear plastic tape and masking tape
  • 2” Styrofoam ball, cut in half
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue gun
  • Plaster of Paris and two plastic bags, to weight the neck
  • Paper strips and paste for ears and eyes, and paper mache clay* for everything else
  • Acrylic gesso
  • Acrylic paint and matte varnish

*You can find recipes for paper mache paste and paper mache clay in the Recipes tab at the top of this site.

Helpful links:

Make a Giraffe Sculpture with Paper Mache Clay
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Just a few of the giraffes that have been made with this pattern:

You may also like…

Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?

If you have a question about putting your pattern together or painting it, leave a comment below or on the Daily Sculptors page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might ideas for you, too — we have a very supportive community on this site.

Make a Giraffe Sculpture with Paper Mache Clay

40 thoughts on “Make a Giraffe Sculpture with Paper Mache Clay”

  1. Hi Jonni –

    These are amazing! I need to put together a giraffe costume for the Lion King Jr. What do you recommend to transform these into headresses that kids can wear? Do they still need to be weighted or no? How to securely attach to something that the kids can put on relatively easily?

    Thanks for any advice!!

      • Alright, thank you. I purchased all three I asked about (giraffe, jackrabbit, and moose). However when I went to enter payment I didn’t end up seeing any way to enter a code for the 15% off over 30. My PayPal says the payment went through at $31 which is the amount without the coupon code. Btw I received the files fine and was able to download them without issue.

  2. I came upon your creatures while looking for a paste recipe, and find them really delightful. I also love the fact that so many of your customers sent pictures of their finished pieces.
    A very enjoyable look even if I never make any. Thanks!

  3. Hi Jonni. This is really awesome, and thank you for the great pattern and instructions. I spent all day on my giraffe and have just got him fully covered in masking tape. Our tape is bright blue, so he’s quite striking! I was really impressed with how well your pattern went together, Excellent work 🙂

    Waiting for supplies to arrive so that I can have my first go at paper mache clay. Here’s hoping I don’t ruin it!!!

  4. Hey there, all your work is amazing! I was thinking of taking a crack at this giraffe as a gift for a friend for their nursery but would like it to hang on the wall! Do you know if anybody has modified this as a “trophy hanging”? Do you have any ideas for how to do this?

  5. Hi Jonni, I’m in charge of costumes for our production of The Lion King Jr. I already have the Lion mask templates but was wondering if this could be edited to attach to one of the head pieces from the lion templates for a child to wear?

    Also, what sort of brown paper do you use – would recycled brown wrapping paper be ok?

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Claire. I haven’t tried putting the giraffe on top of one of the caps. Many people have used it in the Lion King play by taping the bottom of the giraffe’s neck to a child’s bicycle helmet. The strong straps on the helmet help keep the mask in place. I’m not sure if the same thing could be done with the cardboard cap, but only because the neck is so long and it might tend to fall over. If you can add straps that keep that from happening, the cardboard cap ‘should’ work, theoretically.

      You can see how the bicycle helmets work if you scroll up to the image that was submitted by Victoria.

      I use the brown paper that comes in Amazon.com packages – the paper they use to keep small boxes from moving around inside bigger boxes. So far, it’s the best paper I’ve found. If you don’t have any, you can use the brown paper they use to make lunch sacks, but you’ll need to remove the seams.

      I hope your Lion King play is a huge success! Have fun. 🙂

  6. What color paints did you use to paint your giraffe? Did you use acrylic color paints only? I wasn’t able to save my pdf file for my giraffe, I printed it though, could you send me one?

    • Hi Michael. I resent your order email to you just now, in case you still don’t have the original email with the download link. If you don’t see it in your inbox, check your promotions folder. If you’re trying to download your files to an iPhone or iPad, this article might help.

      I only use acrylic paints. I think it would be possible to use oil paints, too, but I haven’t tried them.

    • Mona, I sent you several emails about six hours ago. Did you get them? Are you getting an error message, or are you trying to save the files to an iPad? Be sure to check your promotions folder, to see the emails I sent before.

  7. Gostaria do molde da girafa,sou apaixonada por girafas e faço com a técnica de enchimento de jornal com papietagem ,gostaria de fazer com os moldes ,amo os trabalhos de animais

  8. This looks so beautiful. I wanted to make this giraffe for a play. Do you know how heavy it is (without the weight)? It would be attached to a child’s helmet so I would adjust the neck to be a little wider at the bottom. Thanks!

    • No, I don’t have a pattern for an entire giraffe. However, I did make a video recently that shows you how to make an internal pattern for any animal sculpture. That type of pattern will only set the outlines for you. It doesn’t do all the sculpting for you, like the giraffe pattern on this page – but it does give you a big head start on a sculpture that you create from scratch. You can see that post and video here.

  9. Hi! I’d like to make a Chinese dragon mask (for a dragon dance) to use in a community parade (July 4, 2019). I think widening the giraffe’s nose, squaring it off, enlarging its head, and eliminating the neck is the way to go. What do you think – any suggestions? Thx! Suzan

    • Hi Karen. I don’t know – the pattern was based on very thin cardboard, so it could be a real challenge to make it out of thicker material and get all the pieces to fit correctly. What kind of foam are you thinking about using?

    • That would be an exciting project. It would probably be easiest to do with one of the inner patterns, like I used for my book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. I have a post series about a snowy owl (completely different, I know) that shows you how the inner patterns work and how to make one using photos. It would give you a good start if you’d like to make your own swan. If you do make one, please come back and show it off – we’d love to see how it comes out!

    • I don’t know when I’ll have time to make a whole giraffe, and my house is definitely not big enough for one. A baby might fit…

      However, we have several guest posts about giraffes. You should check out Cris Kelly’s giraffe (she has a very tall ceiling!) and Rex Winn’s much smaller giraffes. They both made their own patterns using the instructions in my book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. There is no giraffe in the book, but the method for creating a pattern works for any animal. They’re not the same kind of pattern as the one I made for the giraffe on this page, which creates all the shapes for you – but they’ll get you started.

  10. I just love giraffes, and your creation is adorable.

    I watched a video by a sculptor, Forest Roger’s, and she uses ph negative mulberry paper to make feathers and wispy animal hair.

    Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.


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