Paper Mache Art Library

Find Your Next Paper Mache Project or Recipe, From Over 480 Posts on This Site:

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.

93 thoughts on “Paper Mache Art Library”

  1. Hi Jonni!

    I am so excited to have found your YouTube videos this weekend! I’m always on the lookout for a new craft and really look forward to trying out things I learned from your channel, like armatures, foil, and the CLAY! An animal or bird is in my future, with your techniques. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Last year, a friend wanted a mermaid pinata but couldn’t find one big enough. Remembering paper mache ornaments I made in elementary school, I thought, “Sure, I can make a giant mermaid pinata!” 4 feet tall, with only 3 nights after work to plan, purchase, create, and decorate. WHAT A CHALLENGE! I used newspaper strips (cut) which I fully immersed in flour/water/glue mixture (soaked) and wrapped around a rough combination of a pool floaty, balloons, crumpled paper, and masking tape. What a mess. Sooooo much mess I had.

    It turned out fine, and my friend’s daughter loved it so much, they didn’t bust it as a pinata. Instead, it’s now a “friend” in her playroom. But, I sure wish I’d known THEN some of the tricks I’ve seen you do!

    • Jennifer, I have never made a pinata, and I would love to see the one you made. In fact, I hope you took photos when you made her. If you did, would you consider writing a guest post for our blog?

  2. Hi Jonni

    I have being using paper mache for a while now, mostly old school (flour paste, newspaper and kraft paper). I have seen some paper maché flower pots and want to give it a try but I don’t really know what would be the best way to seal it to make it as water resisitent as possible….. any suggestions?

    I’m a big fan of your work and watch every single video on your YouTube Channel, thanks for sharing all your knowledge!

    • Hi Karen. I really don’t think that anything will seal paper mache from water if it’s sitting in that water for a long period of time. However, some people have had good experiences using FlexSeal. Not for pots, but for outdoor sculptures. You might consider creating a paper mache ‘sleave’ to go over pots, but far enough from the saucer so you don’t need to worry about standing water. You’d still probably want to seal your paper mache with marine varnish, though, just in case.

  3. I found you while looking for a basic cheap recipe. Thank you so much,I was so inspired by everything! I watch so many of your videos and read for hours on this page. My project was a Dragon puppet (Halloween costume). First timer here who can not wait to start my next project!

  4. I just found your site and I was planning on making the faux animal trophy for the nursery for my grandaughter. I found you at the perfect time. I do have a question about the elephant snout and if it would be difficult to adjust the spout? In my head I have a semi mobile with chandelier crystals I was wanting to make it look like it’s spouting water. (High on the wall so baby could not reach until it’s older and not over the crib. I seen all your cautions. Or as I call them “Here’s your sign Warnings.”)

    • Hi Cathy. The pattern pieces for the trunk can’t be changed, but you could replace a section of the trunk with a ‘sausage” of some lightly crumpled foil covered with masking tape. Fit the new piece into the last pattern piece that works for your new configuration, and then fit the very last pattern piece, at the end of the trunk, onto the end of your crumpled foil. The weight of the foil might add some changes to the balance of the wall hanging, and you might need to add some wire on the inside to support the new trunk, too. I’d start some heavy wire up near the top of the forehead, down into the trunk and all the way to the end. Bend it the way you want it, and securely tape the wire in before adding the back piece.

      That sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. I’d suggest that you go ahead and tape all the trunk pieces together first, so you can see how long your elephant’s trunk would be, and then cut out the section that you’d like to bend.

      We would love to see how it comes out, by the way. 🙂

  5. Hi Jonni!

    I am a puppet builder from Finland and I’m always searching for new materials to use. I just came by the youtube video, where you made a portrait mask for Halloween, and the smoothies of the masks surface was something I loved. Could you describe how hard the material becomes once dried? Which one of your recepies should I use for a light and durable result? It’s very important for a theater puppets head to sustain some bumps and not to break easily. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Helena. The strongest recipe on the site is for my original paper mache clay. When I was developing the recipe I tested it by covering a ball of crumpled paper with the material. I let it dry and then dropped it on the concrete sidewalk in front of my house. It didn’t break. It isn’t quite as smooth as the air dry clay recipe, but many people use a very thin layer of the original recipe and then cover that with a thin layer of the smoother air dry clay. And I make my doll heads with a base of plaster cloth and a final thin layer of the air dry clay. They’re very strong, and the surface is very smooth. The fibers in the plaster cloth add strength to the hollow heads.

      You can find all my recipes in the Art Library. I hope this gave you some ideas you can experiment with to find a solution for your puppets.

      • Thank you for replying! I’ll try out your suggestions and I look forward to my new experiments! You have been a great help!

  6. Hello Jonni,

    Just found your website as I scour the internet for ideas on how to make a papier mache cave and tree, to illustrate hibernation. I teach in an afternoon school program with K through 5th graders, so skills vary. (We just completed an awesome haunted house for October, constructed of boxes, not papier mache.) I envision a base of about 24 inches deep by 30 inches wide, to include the cave and an adjoining tree. There will be an “underground” for snakes and rodents also. What recipe would you recommend to ensure that the structure is strong enough to keep? We’re on a budget, of course, and safety is important too. Thank you!

    • Hi Pat. The least expensive recipe is the raw flour and water paste. If you use enough layers, it will be quite strong. However, the paper mache itself is only a skin – the real strength should be the underlying structure. What you’re envisioning requires some engineering skills, especially the tree. (Unless you think the kids might sit on the cave, of course.) If the tree will be tall enough to possibly fall over, it needs to be firmly attached to a base, and to the wall or ceiling. An armature made with cardboard and crumpled paper or foil should be strong enough, and then four or five layers of paper strips and paste. But don’t add the paper mache until you know your armature will stand on it’s own. Good luck with it – and have fun!

  7. My Paper Mache Clay recipe is
    1 cup of soaked newspaper.
    2 Tbsp of Fuller Earth powder
    1 Tbsp on Fenugreek seed powder (Methi powder)
    1 tbsp of Gaur Gum powder (Gaur palli is a native vegetable-It is called Cluster beans in English)
    Grinded together and used as paper mache clay

  8. Hi Jonni Good,
    Hope you are doing Good!

    After long time I made the following paper mache Finger and Stick Puppet. I have used my own recipe of Paper Mache and I have used used disposable plastic spoon as base on which I have done Paper Mache.
    One is Ms Gracy Grace, them it is Mr. Sharp Nose, then it is Mr. Long Nose

    • Hi again. Using the spoon as a base for your stick puppets is a great idea. And you’ve put a lot of character into such small sculptures. Thanks for showing us what can be done with your recipe – it was kind of you to share.

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