Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures, Masks and Wall Art

These downloadable patterns come with complete instructions, so you’ll create a beautiful hand-crafted work of art – even if you’ve never sculpted anything before!

Click on the images below to see the complete details and helpful videos.

About the sculpting patterns:

You don’t need any sculpting experience to make these sculptures and masks.

The patterns include written instructions or a link to step-by step videos that walk you through the sculpting process all the way to a successfully completed project.

After you order you’ll receive an email with the download link, so you can start sculpting right away.

Flat patterns:

The patterns for four-legged animal sculptures come as a printable PDF that you’ll transfer to cardboard. Then you cut around the edges of the pattern pieces and put them together, and fill out the forms with crumpled paper or foil.

If you’ve read my best-selling book How to Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay, you know how much easier it is to sculpt a realistic animal when you start with one of these patterns.

Some of these patterns have been downloaded by thousands of people who have used them to successfully created their own paper mache sculptures, even if they’ve never sculpted anything before.

Baby Indian Elephant Pattern


Wire Armature Patterns.

The Chihuahua pattern helps you create a wire armature that goes on the inside of the sculpture, like ‘bones.’ There’s also a pattern that helps you fill out the forms of your pooch with crumpled foil and masking tape so all the shapes and proportions are right. This is the project that inspired my book How to Make Tiny Paper Mache Dogs.

Mask Patterns

Paper mache lion mask instructions.The mask patterns help you create masks out of cardboard, which are then covered with paper mache and painted. If you’re looking for a fast project, a mask would be a great choice. You can wear your masks or you can display them as wall art.

3-D patterns:

Taping the paper mache pattern together.The patterns for the baby elephant, jackrabbit, bear and frog “faux trophy mount wall sculptures” are 3-D papercraft patterns. They create all the shapes for you, just as the mask patterns do. Just print them out, tape them together using the numbered tabs, and add paper mache or paper mache clay.

The correct placement of each piece is clearly shown on the pattern. After it’s been taped together, you support the forms on the inside, and cover with paper mache or paper mache clay. Add paint and your own creative embellishments – the result is a “faux trophy mount” you made yourself.

Instruction page for paper mache elephant pattern

Do you have to use paper mache to create sculptures and masks with these patterns?

No. The patterns shown on this page can be made with traditional paper strips and paste, but you could also use my paper mache clay recipe or my air-dry clay recipe instead. You can find the recipes in the Art Library. There’s a link to it at the top of the site.

Or you could use Apoxie Sculpt or any other brand of epoxy clay to make your sculpture if you’d like to put it outside, or if you just want to try it out. That’s what I used for my unicorn and bunny sculptures.

You will want to wait until the paper mache is completely dry all the way through before painting your sculpture or mask, and drying paper mache takes time – this is not an “instant” art form. However, you can speed up the process if you put your sculpture or mask in front of a fan to dry.

Painting your sculpture or mask:

Most people use acrylic artists paint or craft paint on a paper mache sculpture or mask. Acrylic chalk paint was used for the unicorn and bunny sculptures, which gives them a soft-looking coat. You can buy acrylic paint online or find it in the craft section of WalMart.

After painting, it’s a good idea to seal your sculpture with an acrylic varnish. If you live in a humid environment, this is very important, because you won’t want your sculpture to draw moisture from the air.

Share your new sculptures and masks with our community:

When your sculpture is finished, we would love to see it! Please post a photo in the comments below, or come visit our community on the Daily Sculptors page and post a photo there. You’ll find a link to it at the top of the page.

Do you have any questions?

Just ask! I respond to every comment as quickly as I can.

148 thoughts on “Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures, Masks and Wall Art

  1. Hi Jonni, I absolutely adore the work you do … you are incredibly talented!!

    I have a question regarding your paper mache air dry clay if I may …

    *** Would you be able to substitute glycerin for the mineral oil?
    I was wondering if the glycerin would keep the clay on the moister side so that it wouldn’t dry so quickly in the air tight container?
    Then again it may take longer to dry, if at all, correct?

    Jonni, thank you for taking the time to read and answer my question.

    Have a fabulous day!!

    • Hi Eileen. Several years ago someone suggested adding glycerin to the original paper mache clay instead of the oil. I tried it, and the mixture worked just fine. I haven’t tried it with the air dry clay. You would need to do some experiments with it to see if it would work the way you’d like it to. Another way to slow down the drying time would be to reduce or eliminate the corn starch, although it might not be as smooth without the corn starch. If you do some experiments, please let us know how they work out.

  2. Hello Madam
    the mixture of paste is paper toilet glue and preparation for tiling or plasterboard paste
    this is where I do not know what to buy to make my mix
    this texye is done no translator sorry for mistakes i do not speak nor write english
    thank you
    jean luc

  3. I have volunteered to make a life sized slaughtered pig (as part of a replica of a turn of the century farm). The pig will hang in the smoke house. Help! How do I begin. I bought a large plush toy unicorn at Walmart, cause it’s the right size. How can I turn it into a pig?

    • Gosh – that’s a hard question. I do have a pattern for a pig (a cute live one, of course) in my book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. But if you want to use a stuffed unicorn as the padding for the inside of an armature, you’ll need to change the shapes drastically to look pig-like. It won’t be easy to add crumpled paper or crumpled foil directly to a stuffed animal, so I’d recommend wrapping it completely in masking tape or duct tape. That will also give it a more solid surface to work with. Then start sculpting with paper or foil like you would if you were using clay – just keep adding the paper or foil until you achieve the shapes you need, and when it looks right add your paper mache. I do recommend that you also create a cardboard pattern in the shape of the head, because that will be the most difficult part of your project. Good luck with it!

  4. Hi Jonni,I love your work,the skin on your elephant is so realistic and his facial expression is so sweet.
    Do you have any patterns for owls of any description? Thankyou

    • Thanks, Kathy. I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. I did a video series several years ago showing you how to make a snowy owl. You can see how the pattern was made here, and follow the links at the bottom of that page for the rest of the series. Have fun!

    • The baby elephants are both life sized. Are those the ones you’re looking for? And any of the cardboard patterns, like the raccoon and baby panda, can be printed in any size.

  5. Hello Jonni
    Firstly, many thanks for the great video on how to make paper clay mache ! I haven’t tried it out yet, as
    I still have some ingredients to gather, and I’m wondering how to attach the paper clay mache to a gourd ?
    I’d like to add, say, ears & snout for a cat or the well known hat of Nefertiti the Egyptian queen –
    I will be preparing the gourds, after cleaning and sanding, with a gesso primer – Is there anything else I should do ?

    Many thanks for your great videos

    Charmaine in Australia

    • Hi Charmaine. I have never used the paper mache clay over a gourd, but almost all of the ingredients are sticky, so it should work with no adjustments at all. If it doesn’t want to stick, brush some white PVA glue over the area on the gourd and try again. You might need to work on just one side at a time, to keep gravity from working against you.

      We’d love to see your gourds when they’re done. Remember to come back and post a photo!

      • Hi Jonni –
        Oh great – Thanks so much for responding, and the tips – And I sure will share a pic or two when I’m done

        Charmaine in Australia

  6. Hi Jonni!

    Do you have a pattern for a big face? LOL! We’re thinking of making one (well, two actually, the happy face and the sad face) and put them up on our arts club wall. Thanks and God bless!

    • Hi May. I don’t have a pattern for faces, but one of these days I do want to make one. I don’t know if it will work for the traditional masks or not, though. Why not just go ahead and make them yourself? Form the shapes with some crumpled foil and hot glue, and cover it with paper mache. I’ll bet they’ll look great – and it will be fun, too. 🙂

  7. Hi Jonni, I need to make a mask (to wear) of an eagle’s head. I was looking at your owl video and that seems to be quite relevant. Do you think I might need wire for the beak however given it is longer? any other patterns or ideas that might be helpful?

    • Hi Claire. An eagle mask would be wonderful, and now that you mention it I will add it to my list of future projects! An eagle could be made just like the ones I made for my book about masks. The ‘beak’ of the Plague Doctor mask is longer than an eagle’s beak, but the paper mache alone was plenty strong enough. However, if you wanted to reinforce your eagle’s beak, I’d recommend using cardboard instead of wire. The thought of wire being worn so close to the eyes gives me the shivers – what if you tripped, or someone accidentally bumped into you?
      I do hope you’ll post a photo of your mask when it’s done. We’d all love to see it.

  8. hi Jonni I had some wheat flour do you think i could use that? Other than the color do you think there will be a difference? thank you

    • Hi Kristal. If it’s whole wheat flour, the brown kind, it won’t work. There isn’t enough starch, or the starch is cut up by the bran and other healthy parts of the whole wheat flour. White (all-purpose or bread) flour is needed for paper mache paste.

  9. Hello, what an inspiring page! I’m not an artist, but I’ve got to begin making honey bee sculptures for my beekeeping club’s independence day parade float. May I ask if you have any patterns for realistic looking honey bees? Thank you very much!

    • Hi Susan,

      No, sorry – I don’t have any bees in the book. Maybe I should have thought of it, though because I just did a Google search and a lot of people want to know how to make paper mache bees. It just never occurred to me!

      How big is your bee going to be? Will you be making hundreds of them, or just one? I made a cicada mask. It’s totally different, of course, but you might be able to make the wings for your bee the same way I made the cicada wings. Several people offered other wing alternatives in the comments below the videos, too, so be sure to read through them. The cicada mask videos are here:

      Good luck!

    • Hi Kim. There are several dragons on this site, but they’re all sculpted without patterns. You could make a pattern, though. Draw the outline of your dragon from nose to the tip of his tail, and also draw the outline of his legs. Then use this as your pattern on the inside of the sculpture, the way I used the pattern for my blue hippo. Many of the tutorials in the paper mache art library will help you get started, even if they aren’t dragons. The method of using a cardboard pattern on the inside of a sculpture stays the same, even if the shapes change.

  10. I bought a round mirror and I want to wrap paper mache snakes around it like the old mirrors I have seen on Pinterest where do I even begin?

  11. I made a small sculpture of an old man using a self drying clay.
    I want to duplicate it using paper Mache.
    Any suggestions?

    • Did you want to make a mold and reproduce it exactly, or did you want to start from scratch? I haven’t used paper mache in molds, but to make an armature and cover it with paper mache (or paper mache clay) you can do it the way I made my Tomte.

    • If you make your sculptures with Apoxie Sculpt, they will be waterproof. I have not yet found a good way to waterproof paper mache. I recommend using a material that’s made for outdoor use, like epoxy clay or concrete, instead.

  12. Hi Jonni! I’m so glad I found your site. You’re inspirational and your sculptures and just amazing. I really love the barn cat sculpture you’ve done and was hoping you had a pattern or maybe a chapter in one of your books for “Mike.” Cats are my heart and I could sculpt them everyday if I had your help. I’m getting ready to purchase your rabbit pattern as it’s just the most adorable rabbit I’ve ever seen done. Thanks for your video on selling art online. Very informative and helpful to many of us who are looking to make money from our creations. Cheers!

    • Hi Angie. I don’t have a pattern for Mike because he was a last-minute idea and I was so engrossed in it that I forgot even to take progress photos. However, I do have a video series that shows you how to create a cat sculpture, body included. My version didn’t come out as nice as the cat with the goat, but many people have followed the series and have created beautiful cat sculptures. If you type ‘cat’ into the search bar you’ll see all eight videos in the search results.


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