Paper Mache Chihuahua is Finished

Paper Mache Chihuahua

Making a Paper Mache Chihuahua, Part 3

See Part 2 here.

Doesn’t she look cute, sitting between the baby elephant’s feet?

This little paper mache Chihuahua was a lot of fun to make. I took more time than I needed to — it would be possible to make this sculpture in three days, if someone was in a hurry. For instance, if someone needed to make a really fast present for Valentine’s day. 🙂

If you’d like to make a tiny paper mache Chihuahua, click here for the downloadable pattern.

The tiny size made it easy for me to leave out a lot of detail, like sculpted eyes or toes. I could have used a stiff brush to make ‘fur’ in the home-made gesso, but I decided I didn’t even want that much detail. The simplicity of the project really appealed to me for some reason.

The wire armature makes it easy to change the posture and capture the attitude that you want, while still keeping all the proportions right. To see how the first step of this project, click here.

As I mention in the video, I had so much fun making this little sculpture that I made lots more. You can see them all in my book Make Tiny Paper Mache Dogs. It’s now available on

66 thoughts on “Paper Mache Chihuahua is Finished”

  1. hi jonni!
    i love the chihuahua opera that you’ve done, so beautiful. it inspired me to go back and try paper maché again one of these days. but looking at how you’ve done your pieces kind of intimidating cause there were a lot of stuffs needed that i’m still figuring out where to buy in my area =) nonetheless, yes maybe i should do paper maché again. i once did a chubby signorina walking a chubby pig, and now it ended in the store room as i found a new love on making stuffed toys that i design myself (here is the link to my own blogspot by the way )
    complimenti as they say in italian, you’re bravissima! good day! =)

  2. Hey Jonni,
    Please, please please do a golden retriever or a bernese mountain dog in your book! I know I shouldn’t ask you to pick out something you may not be inspired to do so feel free to ignore me 🙂 But those dogs are so pretty.

    • Hi Nikki. I’ve already picked out a Golden Retriever, so I’m way ahead of you. The Bernese Mountaind dog would be great, too, but I’ve run out of room. 😉

    • I don’t know why it looks sideways, since I know the actual image is right-side up. Sigh… But I’m sure everyone will tilt their heads and take a peek anyway. With a mug like that. how can they not? 🙂

    • thank you very much for sharing your talents with strangers. I just happened upon your website looking for things to do with my granddaughter. She loves doing “projects” with me. We have a lot of fun and she is learning the joy of making things for the people she loves. Since you make such wonderful things, you could keep the knowledge to yourself, but no, you have chosen to pass it on and I think that is so great.

  3. This little chihuahua is so cute it has inspired me to start creating paper mache sculptures of my own animals. I completed my first paper mache sculpture of my boston terrier under your guidance on the paper mache cat series. Hopefully you can see his picture that I attached here. Let me know if you have any suggestions for my next two, you have truly been a great inspiration to help get through the depressing ny winter months I am so glad I stumbled upon ultimate paper mache’s website!

  4. Jonni, I am so excited for you to finish your Irish Setter. the color in the picture is perfect. That’s my boy Bailey, tall and beautiful. I will be watching every day for your new post. I can’t wait to get started. Thanks so much for what you do. Let it snow, I am busy making paper mache.

  5. Jonni, when you get your dog book put together don’t forget a deep red Irish Setter ( named Bailey) . I bet now you wish you had never mentioned a dog book. LOL I already have three of your books, can’t wait for the fourth.

    • Hi Donna. I’m working on an Irish Setter right now, as a matter of fact. For color, I was thinking of painting him like this one. I haven’t actually finished him yet, so I don’t know how he’s going to turn out. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

  6. Hi Jonni! I haven’t been by your site in over a year. I see you have new recipes for air dry clay, which I will have to try soon. I haven’t sculpted a thing since October 2012.
    Your little chihuahua is absolutely adorable. Love your idea for a book of 25 breeds. Will there be a labrador included? Or is it going to be small breeds?
    Have a great day!

  7. Hi Jonni,
    I loved watching you do your thing with paper. I want to tell you about my dog. I got her from the local SPCA when she was 10 months. She is a Chiwinnie designer dog Ladybug. She was turned in because she didn’t get along with one of their other dogs. I had lost 2 dogs at 17 just a year and a half ago. My beloved Schnauzer PWee and my sons well Loved Silky Yorkie. They had to be put down just within a few weeks of each other. I prayed for the Lord to bring me a dog to love that had 1 ear up and 1 ear flopping down. She only weighted 8 lb. She is 3 now and my love is growing and growing for her. Let me tell you about her coat she is a Cinnamon color with a muzzle and around the tip of her ears a lighter color. She has golden eyes and Doxie front legs and a curly tail. She loves belly rubs and when we play she will bring the soft squeaky toys and lay them on my foot for me to kick it out in to the room it’s as if she knows my shoulders hurt me a lot. Arthur came to visit and won’t leave. She sleeps with me part of the night and when she get up to go potty she comes back in and gets in her favorite chair. She is laying right here under a pink baby blanket. I am 75 and I worry what will happen to her when I die. I hope we die together so I can go across the Rainbow Bridge with her to see all the loves of my life. I pray the Lord will continue to give you good health so you can make all the things you want to. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  8. I just started following since I found this site. The dragon was amazing to watch the progress. I made some paper mâché in the past when my son was small(he is 28 now) for Halloween we made a parrot head that he wore looking out the beak area. I sure wish I had some of your tips and recipes available back then! This dog is so cute! I have a Toy Fox Terrier which looks very much like a Chihuahua. I think I will give it a try and see if it can look some what like my dog. Thanks for a great tutorial!

    • Hi Pam. I’ve never heard of a Toy Fox Terrier – he sounds really cute. Be sure to show us your sculpture when it’s done!

  9. Great video, Jonni! She’s a cutie.
    I really appreciate you showing your homemade gesso — mine always seemed too thick, but I had no idea what its suppose to look like … and now I know (and mine IS too thick compared to your’s.) I also liked seeing how you smoothed it out after it had dried. All-in-all a very informative video as usual. Thank you!

    • Hi Karen. The nice thing about the home-made gesso is that you don’t really need a recipe. You can just add more glue if it’s too thick, or more joint compound if it’s too thin. Some people have trouble with the gesso cracking when it dries, but I think that’s because it’s being applied too thickly. But I could be wrong. Has anyone else had problems with it cracking? It doesn’t happen to me, so I can’t reproduce the problem to see what causes it.

      • I have become a BIG fan of your homemade gesso. Occasionally my homemade gesso cracks, and it is because I apply it too thickly. I am attaching a photo of Pegasus. It has been quite a project. (I think there are 100 sides to it.) I made the gesso thick and put it on with a stiff brush. Then I used a sumi brush, dipped it in water, and smooth out the surface. I don’t want brush strokes to show on this because I’m going to paint him black. The gesso cracked in a couple of spots around the mane, but later I added a little bit more gesso and softened it up with water. So far it hasn’t cracked again.

        As a side note, I didn’t have a math question to answer to leave a reply, and I have not been receiving emails about replies. Don’t know if anyone else has had this problem.

        Thanks, Jonni.

        • Hi Rex. Your Pegasus is looking great! And thanks for the heads-up about the email notifications. I disabled the captcha because some people told me it wasn’t letting them comment even when they knew they were getting the answer to the math question right. I have no idea how the email notification plugin got turned off – it should be working again now, but I’ll be sure to keep my eye on it.

  10. Jonni,
    She turned out fabulous! She is so delicate looking, great job with the paper strip method. I finished my Tricorn vase using the paper strip method along with the home made glue recipe. I used news print and bright construction paper for detail, then sealed it with varnish.
    1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup liquid starch, 1 tsp. vinegar, 1 1/2 cup water. I wish I could give paper credit to this recipe. Rich, or Ridge from your site last year or 2012.

      • Jonni,
        I made the vase eleven inches tall, however, it can be made any size. I am including the pattern which comes from the book PAPER MACHE by Miranda~Innes from my local library. Simply cut three pieces of cardboard, fold, connect, and add mache. Thank you

        • Jonni,
          I’m sending the pattern again for the Tricorn vase as it looks as tho it did not post the first time. Happy mache’ ing

  11. Jonni, I was very excited to see this video, and you didn’t disappoint one bit! I love her. If you make a book, I will surely buy it.

    When I worked on the projects in the animal book, I used the acrylic gesso because I had a quart of it. I have since learned to love your recipe because it is versatile and I hate sanding, also. I can make it thick or thin, put it on thick or thin. (Pegasus is almost ready for a coat of gesso. Drying pm is a big factor, and there are a hundred different surfaces, it seems.) I appreciate your painting lesson; they are always helpful. And my struggles with varnish are lessening. I need more patience in thin and multiple coats. Thanks for the lessons in this video.

    My self-serving suggestion for your book would be to do a min pin! Of course! I have the begging dauchaund and two min pin puppies waiting for fur. I think I’m going to do the puppies again using this method. I can’t avoid making thick legs. So thanks for the MANY lessons.

    • Hi Rex. I’ll bet your min-pin puppies are already adorable. Can we see them before you do them over? I do think you’ll like playing with the wire armatures, too, since they let you play around a bit more with the posture. It’s a slightly more spontaneous method, I think.

      • Here is a photo of the min pin armatures, and another dog you are sure to recognize. (Poor begging dog!) The one with the ears is Tikki, and you can see how thick the legs got. Skooter is the one undergoing surgery! I hope to get the wire out tonight (if only my head would stop hurting!). I guess I need to do a pattern first.

        Because the min pins I’m doing have short hair, do you think putting gesso on with a brush would do for fur texture?

        I will say one thing for you, Jonni, you are always a step ahead, inventive, creative, and educational – and entertaining. It doesn’t get any better than that. And a challenge.

          • Yes, I see what you mean about the legs. That’s the same problem I was having with my chihuahua, before I took the foil off the legs. The really small sculptures have issues that you don’t run into with bigger ones, but they’re sure fun when they work.

      • Jonni! Once again you have bought a giant smile to my heart with your fantastic creations. I had a recent death in my family and your Chihuahua just cast a spell of great humor and whimsy. If it wasn’t for your forum,videos and tutorials…it would be harder to be able to grieve. Your MAVELOUS works are a constant reminder of what JOY it is to be alive. They are a reminder of what great gifts WE all have and why we should be even more grateful. Thanks for sharing and PLEASE keep them coming Jonni!

  12. Hi Jonni

    It’s so ironic that I received your email this morning. On Friday I rescued a stray Chihuahua. It took me 4 days to get him. He spent too many nights out in the cold and rain and so I was grateful that he finally trusted me enough to let me take him home. I was seriously tempted to keep him after I couldn’t locate his owner, but he really wouldn’t fit into our lifestyle. I ended up giving him to a young girl who could give him the pampered life he apparently was used to. It’s a great home and she’s been sending me photos almost every day.
    The dog looks almost identical to your sculpture. The coloring is just about a perfect match. The only real difference is that the Chihuahua I saved had a blaze and a white muzzle…

    • Hi Donna. I would love to see that little rescued Chihuahua. Would you like to share a photo with us? You can upload one in a comment, as long as it isn’t too big.

      That little guy was lucky you found him. I can’t image a dog that small being able to survive on its own for very long.

  13. Hi Jonni,
    I have been following your work for quite awhile now, but only recently subscribed to your newsletter. I am glad I chose to do so, as your work is fantastic, and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this little guy, he’s so cute!

        • On really small sculptures, I don’t put in toes or other fine details. And they still seem to work OK, anyway. Tiny balls of foil could be taped on for toes, I suppose. For larger sculptures, that works really well. I’m glad you enjoyed the chihuahua – he’s still one of my favorites.

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