Downloadable Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

It’s never been easier to create beautiful, realistic animal sculptures for your home. Or choose one of the mask patterns for your next big party.

Patterns and templates for paper mache masks and sculptures.

Pattern Sets:

Single Patterns:

About the mask and sculptures patterns…

These downloadable patterns are designed to help grownups create sculptures or masks they can be proud of. This is not the paper mache you remember from grade school!

Because they’re designed for adults, young kids won’t have the patience they need 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 have a lot of fun while they’re adding the paper mache and painting the faces, and they’re excited when they see how well their sculptures turn out. Plus, creating art together is a wonderful bonding experience that both kids and adults enjoy.

But please – don’t expect very young children to use these patterns without your help. For that, the artist should be thirteen or older.

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 used spray paint directly over the cardboard on his wolf mask. 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?

I love questions!

There are two ways to contact me:

The fastest way to get an answer is to leave a comment on this page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might also chime in to help – we have a very supportive community here on this site.

If you prefer to reach me privately, you can send me an email.  I’ll try to respond as quickly as I can, but if you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, assume the cyberspace gremlins ate your email and try again.

282 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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