Make a Paper Mache Raccoon
Warning: I like to experiment, so I tried out several new ideas when first designed this raccoon. Watch over my shoulder in the videos to see which experiments worked, and which ones didn’t.
Because of those experiments, be sure to read the pattern and watch the videos before you begin.
You’re welcome to use my pattern, if you want to make a raccoon of your own:
To make your raccoon, be sure to watch all the videos in this series.
To see the other posts in this series:
- You are here -> Paper Mache Raccoon – Creating the Armature
- Paper Mache Raccoon, Post #2 – The Hands and Feet
- Paper Mache Raccoon, Post #3 – Padding the Armature
- Paper Mache Raccoon, Post #4 – The Shop Towel Mache (and new toes)
- Paper Mache Raccoon, Post #5 – Adding Features and Fur
To make your raccoon you’ll need:
- A piece of cardboard large enough for a raccoon in the size you need. Instructions for making the pattern the right size is included in the videos.
- Old newspapers
- Masking tape
- Heavy wire, like they used to make coat hangers with
- Paper strips and paste, or a batch of my paper mache clay (the recipe is in the Paper Mache Art Library
- Colored tissue paper (optional)
- Acrylic paint
- Matte acrylic varnish
- Dried Indian corn (optional)
30 thoughts on “Make a Paper Mache Raccoon”
I am a beginner. What book should I start with and how do I purchase. What do you suggest
Hi Elizabeth. Thanks for asking! If you want to sculpt animals, the best book would be Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. I wrote it as a complete course in sculpting. If you start with the very first projects and complete each one in order, you’ll be an expert in sculpting animals when you finish the book. And most readers tell me that they have a lot of fun, too. Enjoy!
I am just getting started in this medium and your tutorials are so helpful-thank you! I have read about your clay recipe and was curious as to why you used epoxie sculpt for the nose etc of the raccoon instead of your PM Clay? Thanks again!
Hi Angela. I rarely use epoxy and paper mache clay on the same sculpture, but it’s fun to experiment. I had an open container of the Apoxie Sculpt, so I played with it. It was nice – it’s stiffer than the PM clay, so it’s a little easier to get fine details. Apoxie Sculpt is also expensive, so I wouldn’t use it for an entire sculpture unless I thought I would leave it outside.
Do you have a fox pattern, not a face or head, the entire fox?
I loved your raccoon!!!
Hi Desiree. No, I don’t have a fox pattern, but you can make one using a photo of a fox that’s taken from the side. Then put your fox together the same way I did the raccoon. To see how to start a project from scratch, you can also see my video series about how to make a cat. The instructions for creating your own pattern are in the first video. Links to the rest of the series are at the bottom of each post.
Hi Jonni, any ideas you can share on how to make a skunk? 😉
Hi Karen. You could alter the raccoon pattern to make it more skunk-shaped, and then follow the rest of the videos. I experimented with the corn starch paste for that project, but I don’t think I’d ever use it again. I’d use the traditional flour and water paste with newspaper, or the joint compound and glue paste (same as the gesso recipe) with shop towels.
Thanks Jonni! I started a raccoon first, then I’ll try and experiment with the skunk. I like to use Mod Podge and water. It seems to go a long ways. But, I only experimented once with paper mache, so we’ll see as I go along. I am in the process of making a large (about 3 feet tall) grizzly bear. I’ll post pics when it’s done. Technically I should have tried a smaller project first, but when I do something, I usually go big. lol
I hope you’ll let us see some of these critters when they’re done.
Boa tarde eu sou do Brasil do Rio de Janeiro como eu Faso pra comprar os bichos que você fãs e muito show meu no David o meu zap 991595492 ?
Hi David. Google translate didn’t work very well, so I’m not sure what you’re asking. Are you saying you’d like to buy the raccoon pattern? Or a finished raccoon? Perhaps someone will come along who can speak Portuguese and translate for me.
what is the photo editing program you use.. I am so new to all of this I am 69 y/o and have always wanted to sculp .. I live in a small town and couldn’t even find a large jug of elmers glue at Walmart.. lol will order on line.. Your clay, projects tips …etc just fascinate me so much.. thank you so much for sharing..
A HOT glue gun is just too hot for most foam – it melts the foam so much that there’s not much surface left to stick to the cardboard. A cool-melt gun is much better. Mine takes the oval glue sticks (and I think the really thin ones, too).
excuse me jonni ,im bradley from malaysia would like to make a request for a video how you make a tiger,if you cant do a lifesize a small one will do
Hi Bradley. I won’t have time to do that anytime soon, but you can use the tutorials I put together for making a cat, and just make everything bigger. You can find links to all the cat videos on this page. (scroll down to find them).
I’ve been reading so much about paper mache lately, and after looking at your website, I decided to try my hand. I’m building my first armature, so, a really dumb question for you: what kind of glue gun do you use. I only have a very old hot glue gun and my styrofoam spacers are melting. Thanks, again.
Hi Anna. I use a really cheap, small hobby glue gun. It does sometimes melt the styrofoam, but if you put the glue on the cardboard first, and then put the foam on top of the glue and hold it for a few moments, it usually holds quite well. If it still melts the foam too much, let it cool down just a little before putting on the foam. Then when you add the leg pieces, do the same thing but put the glue on the leg, and then press it onto the foam. I don’t usually have to do this with my cheapo glue gun, but it should work if you have a gun that heats the glue stick hotter than mine.
The raccoon is ace 🙂 I’m just getting my raccoon tail sorted out then I’m doing a big project 🙂 Since I have left college I’m doing a summer project that is making a life size Shetland pony 🙂 I will be happy to show you Jonnie if you want to see it being made and all 😀
Yes, of course I want to see your life-sized Shetland pony. We all do! You can add a photo to a comment – and progress photos are always fun to see.
Sure thing 🙂 Will post them soon for you all 😀
I can’t wait to see the finished raccoon! I had done one myself and I am not too pleased with the finished sculpture, there is something not quite right with it. I made the armature the same as you are doing and you are right, there is something confusing about their anatomy. I am curious on how you will do the feet/hands as well. I may have to start a new one after seeing how yours turns out.
Boy, you are one busy lady! Retirement doesn’t mean you don’t do anything, it means that there is more time to do what you want to do! Are you enjoying your new home? Do you like the new town and being closer to Jesse and your grandson?
Did we get to see your raccoon? I was supposed to start on the fingers and toes yesterday, but decided to take a day off. I feel like I’ve really been lazy. I do love my new house, and the little town of Hendricks, MN is very nice – the houses are cheap, the people are very friendly, and the lake is only a few blocks away. The dogs are loving it. And it is nice to be so close to family. Do you have big plans for the 4th of July?
Here is a pic of my raccoon. As I said before, I wasn’t too thrilled with it so that is why I didn’t post it. We all have some failed sculptures hanging around, but it is never a true failure as you learn from every sculpture. I think your fingers and toes will turn out better – that may be exactly what is wrong with this one. Also, maybe the tail. I find it difficult to achieve “fluffy” in the paper mache clay.
I am glad you are happy in your new home and like the area. It sounds like even your pets like it. What does your cat think? Cats need more time to adjust to new surroundings.
No plans for the 4th quite yet…maybe it will be a quiet one. The family get togethers are getting more difficult as the family is getting larger. Since last Sept. we have added 2- a new son in law and a new grandbaby. Such fun, all are welcome!
I think your raccoon is very nice, Eileen. He has a great personality. But I we all make some sculptures that we just don’t fall in love with when they’re done. Maybe you’ll enjoy your next one better.
I think he looks good. They don’t have to look 100% real. It has a cartoonish appeal to it.
Have you been going through the old archives? This post was 2 years ago, nevertheless, I appreciate the comment. Someone agreed with you as I put it in an art show last fall and this piece was the only one that sold! Thanks again.
Jonni! I love your idea of adding wire to give flexibility to your cardboard armature!! And I love raccoons and woodland creatures. You’ve inspired me to make a raccoon! Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of information and experience!
Be sure and let us see your raccoon when it’s done – I’d love to see it.
Will do, Jonni. I’m working on a full size Corgi that I still need to finish up!