Create Realistic Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

Even if you’ve never sculpted anything before!

It’s easy with my printable templates, some cardboard, and a layer of paper mache.

(See more Lion King characters below…)

Build Your Own Custom Set of Patterns and Save! Get 15% Off Any Order of $30 or More. Use code 15%OffOver30
Build Your Own Custom Set of Patterns and Save! Get 15% Off Any Order of $30 or More. Use code 15%OffOver30

About the mask and sculpture patterns…

These downloadable patterns are designed for adults (thirteen or older). They will help you create sculptures or masks you can be proud of. This is not the paper mache you remember from grade school!

Because they’re designed for adults, young kids probably won’t have enough patience to cut out the pattern pieces and tape them together. Some of the patterns also require sharp knives for cutting cardboard.

However, many children have helped their parents and grandparents create sculptures and masks using these patterns. The kids and adults have a lot of fun, and they’re excited when they see how well their sculptures turn out. Plus, creating art together is a wonderful bonding experience that will be remembered for years.

cow mask pattern pieces and instructionsHow do the patterns work?

Most of these armature patterns create all the basic shapes for you. Just cut them out of card stock or cardboard as indicated in the instructions, tape the pieces together, and cover them with just one layer of paper mache or paper mache clay.

Then add your own creative touches and a coat of acrylic paint, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind mask or sculpture that could be treasured for years.

A few of the patterns go on the inside of your sculpture, and you add the rounded forms with crumpled paper or foil. The life-sized standing elephant, the unicorn and bunny, and the baby panda all work this way. This is the same way all the projects in my best-selling book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay are made.

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

Paper mache and paper mache clay work well for these sculptures. That’s how I made most of these masks and sculptures myself, with the exception of the baby unicorn and mini-bunny, which were made with Apoxie Sculpt.

Some people have covered the wolf and lion masks with fake fur. And one of our younger artists was in a real hurry to complete a school project, so he used spray paint directly over the cardboard on his wolf mask. It came quite nice. So use whatever material your own creative genius comes up with, and then come back and show it off so we can see how it comes out. 🙂

Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?

If you have a question about putting your pattern together or painting it, leave a comment below or on the Daily Sculptors page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might ideas for you, too — we have a very supportive community on this site.

Downloading your files: To see exactly how the downloading process should work, click here.  If your pattern doesn’t download correctly and you can’t see the solution on that page, let me know right away so I can help. This is a one-person business, but I check my inbox regularly and will respond as fast as I can.

Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

540 thoughts on “Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks”

  1. I love your work. You are so talented.?? My question is about the cat head. I need to make a 3d cat for a float for a cat rescue. I think your paper mache will be perfect. Do you have a body that I can be attached to it?

    Reply
  2. Hi. I’m looking for a pattern for a large Thanksgiving Turkey and a Luau-type of roasted pig (with an apple in its mouth). Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Hi Melinda. We have a guest post about a Thanksgiving turkey that looks so real it’s hard to believe it’s paper mache. You can find Betsy’s post here. I think she used the pattern-making method that you can see in this video. Since you wouldn’t have to add the feet, head or feathers, you could really just draw out the body and drumsticks on cardboard and start sculpting with your crumpled paper, like Betsy did.

      I recently received an email from someone who used my pig’s head pattern to help make a paper mache ‘roasted’ pig. She drew out the body and leg outlines on cardboard, just like the turkey, and then made the pig using the directions that come with the pattern. Then she stuck them all together and added paper mache and some very realistic roasted pig skin with paper mache and paint.

      Are you using your turkey and pig for props for a play?

      Reply
      • Thank you so much. I’ll take a look. I’m making these things for our church VBS in June. This will be my first paper matches project! Wish me luck! I’ll send pics.

        Reply
    • I don’t have a pattern, but it’s really easy to sculpt one yourself. To get a cap on the back, you can use a head-sized bowl covered with plastic wrap for a form. If it’s about the shape of a baseball cap that fits, that would be perfect. When both the face and the cap are covered with paper mache and dry, use more paper strips and paste to connect them together. Have fun! 🙂

      Reply
    • No, I don’t have any classes, but my book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay is ‘class,’ sort of. It starts with really easy projects and takes you through to much more challenging projects at the end. What kind of class would you be interested in?

      Reply
  3. I’m wondering if you can recommend a program for creating my own mask forms? I tried searching for 3D modeling that can convert to printing flat polygon patterns, but am clueless. I’m needing a chicken and goat for a 10 minute play my co-op theatre students are performing in three weeks, and can’t find patterns for sale that I like.

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie. 3D modeling is not a fast skill to master, I’m afraid. There are some low-poly animal tutorials on YouTube using the Blender program, but even after you get that figured out you then need to learn how to convert the 3D file to a flat file in Pepakura. It looks easy, but it’s not. I did use these programs for my elephant, bear, frog and bear patterns, but each one took me at least a month to complete. It’s now been years since I used them and I can’t remember how to do it. I’ve considered trying it again, but I would have to give myself another month to learn it all over again – they keep updating Blender and moving the buttons around.

      But there’s an easier way to make multiple identical masks that is much faster anyway, and it produces much more realistic masks. Just create your sculpture using clay, and then make a silicone mold of it. I have a video showing how to do it, and it’s the way I recommend to anyone who wants to make multiple copies of the same design. You can find that video here: https://www.ultimatepapermache.com/how-to-make-a-silicone-mold-for-paper-mache

      If you really only need one chicken and one goat, there’s an even easier method – make your original with clay, cover it with plastic wrap, and use it as a positive mold. You might even be able to use the same form for several duplicates before the clay gets too damaged. You can see how to do that here: https://www.ultimatepapermache.com/paper-mache-african-mask

      Good luck with it! I hope you’ll show off your masks on the Daily Sculptors page when they’re done! 🙂

      Reply

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