How to Make an Owl Mask, Part 4

How to make an owl maskMy owl mask is finally finished. Spring got in the way of this project (and I ordered many more plants than I was ready for), but it froze this weekend, so I had a good excuse to stay inside and get this mask finished.

I’m really happy with the way the owl mask turned out. The painting was very simple, but there’s enough texture and enough different colors to make it interesting. The tissue paper added the texture.


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.


If you don’t have colored tissue paper, or you’d prefer to paint your owl mask instead of coloring it with the paper, you can make very nice textures with one ply of kitchen paper towels. Flour and water paste will work well with the towels, and they wrinkle nicely.

As I mentioned in the video, this is a copy of the owl mask that was stolen from my fictional character, Utah O’Brien, in The Owl Thief, and the Kindle version is currently on sale. If you’d like to meet a paper mache artist who becomes an amateur sleuth, now would be a good time to pick up your copy on amazon.com.

As soon as it warms up again I hope to start on an outside project. I’m thinking about a baby camel, but if you have any ideas that you think would be fun to watch me make, be sure to let me know. And, of course, I need to start book #3 in my cozy mystery series, right after I plant fifteen hybrid hazelnut trees that should arrive any day now. Spring is a busy time – I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

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9 thoughts on “How to Make an Owl Mask, Part 4”

  1. i love all your great projects/
    you are such a nice women.
    Thanks for all the important information and learning.

      • Hi! Am a big fan of yours and have seen lots of your projects. My favourite is the baby elephant. Pls, I’ll like to ask have you worked onan outdoor sculpture before? If yes. How long did it last. Am asking bcos I like to work on one that will last longer and out of paper mache.

        • Hi Jeffrey. I’ve made a few sculptures using concrete that hold up well outside. I’ve experimented with various methods of waterproofing paper mache. and nothing I’ve tried has worked. I’ll experiment some more, but right now I can’t recommend leaving paper mache outside for more than a few days, and certainly not if it’s raining. Some people say they have good luck with marine varnish, but it didn’t work for me because the varnish cracked in the sun and let in the water the next time it rained.

  2. I really liked this tutorial.Lots of great tips .I liked the pull away base sculpture on which to build the mask.The painting techniques was fascinating.

  3. Jonni- this turned out really nice and Utah would be proud! I have never tried your tissue paper technique and now I am inspired to try it with the next bird that I do. Is hot glue enough to put the hanger on? I assume you have done that with other masks. Thanks, this has been a good tutorial.

    • Hi Eileen. Yes, I’ve used the hot glue to attach a hanger, and it works just fine. The mask only weighs a few ounces. I like using the metal picture hangers that have little saw tooth on them, so it will still hang straight even if I attach the hanger slightly off-center.

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