Bring your ideas to life with paper mache!

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Patterns make it easy to create paper mache sculptures and masks. See the patterns.

Over 450 projects and recipes for paper mache, including Jonni’s famous paper mache clay. Get inspired.

Meet Jonni and other paper mache artists, get support, and show off your own work! Join us!

Paper Mache – Why Should Kids Have All the Fun?

On this site we have patterns, tutorials, videos and step-by-step instructions that help you create your own hand-crafted paper mache sculptures. Your host, Jonni Good, is an animal sculptor and the author of four popular books about sculpting.

Jonni is also the inventor of the famous paper mache clay recipe, and she brought back the idea of using patterns inside your paper mache sculptures. These two things completely change the way paper mache sculptures are made.

Now beautiful paper mache sculptures, wall art and masks can be made by artists of all ages. The materials are inexpensive and the methods are easy, but your sculptures will last a lifetime if you take care of them. Your next paper mache sculpture might even become a treasured family heirloom.

Need help with your next paper mache sculpture? Ask for advice on the Daily Sculptors page.

Jonni’s Paper Mache and Sculpting Books:

Other Highly Recommended Resources for Learning to Sculpt with Paper Mache:

GourmetPaperMache – nobody does paper mache monsters and dragons like Dan Reeder!

Papier Mache – lots of great tutorials using traditional paper pulp and paper strips and paste.

Paper Sculpture: Over 25 Cute and Quirky Paper Mache Projects – fantastic book for fun projects both kids and their parents will enjoy making.

Recent posts:

Elephant for Andrew,by Jane Lewis

An Elephant for Andrew

Today’s guest post is from Jane Lewis, who created a paper mache elephant for her brother Andrew. What a lovely tribute for a very special

Read More »

20 thoughts on “Paper Mache Can Bring Your Ideas to Life!

  1. Hi Jonni,

    You have a such a great attitude it is enjoyable watching your videos. Especially, your trial and error approach to searching for a product that can stand up to outdoor elements.
    Have you tried “Paverpol” transparent? It is a liquid brushed on the finish piece. Originally, it was primarily used as a fixative for stiffening fabric, etc.

    Best Wishes,

    Martha Greiner

  2. Hi Jonni,

    Great website, thanks! I’m hoping to be able to replicate the same paper clay form for trophy mounts over and over again and I wanted to know if you have any suggestions please as to the best way to do it? Thanks!

    Jasmine

    • Hi Jasmine. Have you already made your original sculptures for your trophy mounts? If you’re referring to my paper mache clay recipe, it will stick to a plaster mold unless a very good release is used – and that can put an oily surface on the copy, which could make it difficult to paint. Another problem is that it dries very hard, and if you have any undercuts in the original sculpture at all, the copy will get caught in a plaster mold and you can’t get it out. That’s why I would use a silicone mold instead. I like the Rebound 25 brush-on silicone product.

      You would want to do some experiments, because the paper content of the original paper mache clay recipe can sometimes make it hard to make a good copy. It also tends to dry very slowly when air can only get to one side of it. I’ve tried using the paper mache clay in molds in the past, and I wasn’t very happy with the results.

      However, I did create some trophy mounts with silicone molds several years ago with a different recipe, and I still have them. They’re thin-walled and lightweight, but much stronger than I had expected them to be. I explained the methods and recipe I used on this post. Take a look at it, and see if that might be a method that would work well for you. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to ask.

  3. Hello!
    I am working on a sculpture at the moment, a fairly large one (not huge but good-sized) and i was wondering if it’s true that you need to allow each layer to dry individually before applying the next? If so, how long would you recommend letting each layer sit so it does not attract mold? Are there further tips for preventing mold in the first place? The materials I’m using are a a regular liquid craft glue paste and toilet paper (seems to be hardening very nicely so far).

    Thank you so much, love this website.

    • Hi Christina. When you say “regular liquid craft glue paste,” are you talking about Elmer’s Art Paste? If you are, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about mold. If you’re using a starch-based paste, like the one made with flour and water, then you will need to make sure it dries quickly. However, I don’t usually recommend drying each layer one at a time. The reason is that the dry layer gets wet again just as soon as you add the second wet layer, and it’s easy to believe it’s dry all the way through if the second layer is dry, even if the first layer is still damp, but hidden.

      The fastest way to dry paper mache is to put it in front of a fan. Mold can’t live without water, so getting your paper mache dry quickly is always a good idea. If you are using starch-based paste, you can also add a few drops of oil of clove to slow down the growth of mold so you have time to get the piece completely dry.

      I hope this helps. Have fun with it!

  4. Jonni,
    I caught your video on the lion head, was very exciting! You made a mold. But you had to start with a lion head, correct? Where did you get it? What is the cost? Or do you have an extra one lion head to sell? Please verify. Thanks, Fernando
    Please

    • my name is Barbara and as of 4 years ago I started making paper mache’s to finish a Christmas tree I was donating to raise money for the disable. I surprised myself when I sculpted the faces by hand; I didn’t know I was capable of doing it. I have improved over the years and now find people asking if I sell my mache’s but I don’t know how to price them; can you help me?

      • Hi Barbara. That’s a really hard question. There are two ways to go about it – if you’d like to sell as a hobby, or to get some money back so you can buy more art supplies, you can imagine trading the item for a certain amount of money. If you feel it’s a fair trade, then that’s what you should ask for. If you want to turn it into a full-time job, then you’d need to figure out how many items you can make in a month, how much money you need to make in a month, and then price them so you can make a living at it. Then you would need to go “shopping” for similar items, perhaps on etsy.com, and see if your prices are higher or lower than your competition. No matter which way you go, there’s no easy way to do it. And in the end, it’s the buyer who really decides if a price is fair or not. Perhaps the next time someone asks if you sell your work, ask them how much they would be willing to pay for it.

        Do you have some photos of your work that you’d be willing to share?

  5. Jonni, I love your iron finish on your lion and have a question. Can you tell me the source of this iron material, is it a bottled product, powder ??
    Nice work and thanks, Tom

  6. Advice/help. I have a scupt made from monster clay (wax clay). I know papee mache shouldnt hurt the clay but im wondering if there may be a good release to use? I want to make a few base pieces to detail but i also still want to keep the sculpt to refine its details and make a latex mask. Any suggestions or ideas for me to “think on” would be ao welcome! .

    • Hi Misty. Petroleum jelly will work as a release, but I don’t know how the clay will react to it. It softens oil-based clay. You might want to experiment with it. You could also experiment with a silicone spray. Try it on a small bit of your Monster Clay, let it dry, then put on a coat or two of paper mache and let that dry. Remove the paper mache and see if any residue is easy to wash off. Then try squishing and shaping the clay to see if it’s affected by the silicone. You can do the same with the petroleum jelly. Or – you could contact The Monster Makers – they’ll probably have better ideas than I do. 😉

  7. Hi there, I’m working on a project in which I must cover a 3d printed large-scale sculpture with concrete, but concrete does not stick to plastic. If I covered the sculpture first with papier mache, would the concrete stick? Thanks!

    • Hi Karin. Papier mache doesn’t stick to plastic, either. I’m not a concrete expert by any means, but it sounds like you need to attach something to the plastic that the concrete can grab onto, like stucco lath. It would need to be attached to the plastic form with screws, I assume. But again, this isn’t my area of expertise. You might want to contact your local concrete contractor and ask him for advice. Good luck with it!

  8. Hello, I am interested in finding someone who can repair a “Joseph” from a manger scene that was under our Christmas tree fifty years ago. I’ve put it out every Christmas for 20 years. Poor Joseph was much shorter the last two years. It is the ONLY thing that was broken in a move. Of course, its only value is family oriented. But I read the information about how to repair paper mache and will be honest; I am horrible at all art including even cutting with scissors. If someone is interested, I will be happy to send a picture and, of course, pay for your work. Thank you so much. Denise

    • Hi Denise. You might want to contact local art galleries, museums or antique stores for a local referral. There might be someone in your town who could take a look at it and either fix it or tell you who could. Another possibility is your local university or community college art department. One of their teachers, or even a student, might be able to help. Good luck!

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