Pattern for a Paper Mache Giraffe Sculpture

$12

You’ll enjoy creating your very own giraffe sculpture and painting all those spots.

And when you’re done you can proudly say “I made it myself!”

What you’ll get when you order:

This is a downloadable PDF Pattern with full instructions, so there’s no waiting and no shipping costs. You can start on your project right away. Be sure to download your pattern directly to your computer or device, so you can access it again later.

Note: Please double-check your email address when you order so I can send you the download link. If you don’t see it in your inbox, check your promotions folder. If it doesn’t arrive, please let me know.  If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, they have a special way of hiding your downloads. This article shows you how to find them.

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

To make your giraffe:

  • Print the pattern on copy paper or full-sheet labels.
  • Attach the pattern pieces to cardboard.
  • Cut out the pieces.
  • Tape them together.
  • Add a few bits of crumpled foil for the nostrils, eyelids and mane.
  • Put some plaster in the neck to keep your giraffe from falling over. (The pattern shows you the no-mess way to do it.)
  • Add paper mache and paper mache clay. You can find the recipes in the Art Library on this site.
  • And add the spots with acrylic paint.

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. 

Watch the video below to see how to make your giraffe sculpture with this pattern:

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 Art Library tab at the top of this site.

Helpful links:

$12

What others are saying about this pattern:

Giraffe helmet-style masks by Victoria Flick

This is the heads attached to helmets.

Victoria Flick

Giraffe sculpture by Alisha Anderson
This pattern was so much fun to make. This was my first experience with paper mache, maybe ever. I watched the YouTube video first, and that really helped with putting the mouth together. I’m a horrible painter, but I ordered the Filbert Grainer recommended in the cow painting video. That brush is awesome. Also, I used light Ardell eye lashes on the top eye lids and a fuzzy yarn inside the ears. Adding the clear fingernail polish on the eyes and inside the nostrils added a touch of realism

Alisha Anderson
www.AlishaAndersonDesign.com

Paper mache giraffe head covered with faux fur.

The paint hasn’t quite dried but oh my goodness how amazing does this look? I can’t thank you enough. I have had so many compliments and your pattern was so easy to follow and the pieces fitted together perfectly. I had so much fun making this.

I can’t paint and do justice like you can so I went for a fur covering.

Nicky Leamy

Giraffe headdress mask

When my daughter needed a giraffe costume for her high school musical production of The Ark, I found your patterns. I used the giraffe pattern to make a head that I attached to a bicycle helmet. I skipped a few steps, leaving the paper mache clay as the final layer. I never could have made such a detailed model without your pattern. Many thanks!

Jean

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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 me an email.  I’ll try to respond as quickly as I can, but if you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, assume the cyberspace gremlins ate your email and try again.

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

  1. 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,

    Claire

    Reply
    • 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. 🙂

      Reply
  2. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  3. 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

    Reply
  4. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  5. 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

    Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply

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