How to Make a Paper Mache Cat, Lesson #1 – Making the Pattern

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.

A few days ago I asked if anyone would like me to put together a series of lessons, a “class,” if you will, on how to make a paper mache cat. The response was pretty overwhelming. In fact, there are now over 70 comments on that post, more than I’ve ever received so quickly.

There were so many, in fact, that I haven’t been able to respond personally to everyone, but please be assured that I did read your comments, every single one of them, and I’m taking all your suggestions very seriously.

Several people even suggested other subjects that we might work on in our next class, and I’m putting them all on a list.

I’m hoping that you’ll keep us posted on your progress as you build your own paper mache cat, through your comments on the blog posts. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer them. If you want to upload a photo of your paper mache cat as you work on it so we can all see how you’re doing, that would be great.

I know that you’ll give each other encouragement and support as we work through these lessons. In fact, you’ll be doing me a huge favor if you jump in and answer each other’s questions and offer suggestions when needed. That way, I’ll know that everyone in the class is getting the attention they need, even if I don’t have time to respond to every comment right away.

If you’d rather not make your own pattern, feel free to use mine. Just click here and save the pdf file to your computer, and print it out.

Then you can use it when we do our next lesson – on transferring the pattern to cardboard, which will then become the armature inside our paper mache cat.

You’re welcome to use this pattern for your own paper mache cat, or make your own using the instructions in the video above.


All of the lessons to make a paper mache cat:


54 thoughts on “How to Make a Paper Mache Cat, Lesson #1 – Making the Pattern”

  1. I watched your videos and I would love to be able to make something with paper mache. I would love to try a pelican or a sea otter (something to do with my new address). Any ideas?
    The pelican sculptures I see in Pinterest or in Goggle don’t look too complicated and I’m not looking for perfection, just pure fun art.

    • Hi Myriam. There are over 400 tutorials on the site, and almost as many different ways to make a sculpture. A pelican would be fun – I’ve been thinking about making one myself. We don’t have any pelicans or otters in the tutorials, but I’m sure you’ll find some ideas you can use. Click on the paper mache tutorials button at the top of the page.

  2. Hi Jonni
    I would try to chat but I can not downland, is that it will be possible to send me on my mail?
    On the other hand I have a question. When we finished to an object, it is necessary to cover it with paper mache clay or is it possible to paint directly on the paper.
    Thank you in advance for your reply and best regards

    • Do you mean crumpling paper, adding tape to hold it all together, and painting that, without adding any paper mache of any kind? I suppose you could do that, but it wouldn’t hold up very well.

  3. Hi Jonni, my name is Kenyon. And I am trying to make an adult Jaguar with paper mache. I’ve seen a lot of your videos and I was just wondering if you could give me any tips on how make it. This is for a High a School Homecoming Parade float by the way. So, thank you for your time.

    • Hi Kenyon. If I made a life-sized cat like a jaguar, I’d make it the same way that I made the house cat in this video series. Start with photos of the jaguar from the side, make a pattern, enlarge it to the right size, and go from there. It’s also the same way I made the life-sized baby elephant, except that I used a particle-board pattern for extra support. If you think people might mess around with your sculpture, or even sit on it, you’d probably want to watch that video, too. Plywood would probably be lighter, and you might want to use some recycled bubble wrap or foam to fill out the roundness of your cat, just to keep the weight down.

      Have fun with it, and be sure to let us know how it turns out.

  4. Hi Jonni, thanks for a wonderful set of tutorials. Just loving getting into making things from paper mache. Would love to know what your recipe is as I’ve tried a few now and they don’t all work that well. Yours seem to harden really well. Thanks again, your cat horse and other sculptures look amazing. I always thought you had to make the whole thing from paper mache and it can take a long time to dry them out 🙂

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