Downloadable Patterns for Animal Sculptures and Masks

Printable armature patterns – the fast, stress-free way to create beautiful works of art.

Get a fast start on your next paper mache mask or sculpture with one of these easy-to-use patterns created by wildlife artist Jonni Good.

  • If you’re in a hurry, these patterns will help you complete your project faster – perhaps days faster than starting from scratch.

  • If you love to paint, these patterns help you create a 3-dimensional “canvas” that you can use to create a  one-of-a-kind work of art.

  • If you think it might be fun to sculpt animals, but you don’t want to spend weeks or months learning how to do it before you can begin, these armature patterns help you create beautiful, realistic sculptures and masks, even if you’ve never done it before.

The patterns are not intended for small children.

They would be very frustrated when trying to cut out the pattern pieces and taping them together. However, many kids have helped their parents and grandparents create sculptures and masks from these patterns. The kids have a lot of fun, they’re proud of their sculptures , and their grownups enjoy the bonding experience while helping their children create something beautiful.

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?

The armature patterns create all the basic shapes for you. Just cut them out of card stock or cardboard, as the instructions indicate, tape them 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.

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, 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 finish your mask or sculpture with faux fur (many people have done that with the wolf and bear patterns). Or use Apoxy Sculpt, duct tape, spray paint, or whatever your creative genius comes up with. I use paper mache, but that doesn’t mean you have to.

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 an email to [email protected] – I get a ton of spam and I don’t want your email to get lost, so please put “paper mache” in the subject line. If you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, assume the cyberspace gremlins ate your email and try again.

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

  1. Hi , I was wondering if you have a pattern for a dinosaur my grandson loves them.preferably a tyranasaurus Rex.

    • Hi Dianna,

      I don’t have a pattern for a dinosaur, but there is a guest post on my blog showing you how to make one. Irma drew her own pattern but once you see how she made her dino you’ll see that it would be fairly easy. You can find it here.

      I’m sure your grandson would love his new dinosaur when he finds out you made it just for him. 🙂

  2. Hi Jonni, I was wondering if you have an idea (or experience) on how to make the sculptures waterproof… I would like to make one to put in the garden! Thank you

    • Hi Johanna. There are a few guest posts on the site from people who have used a product called Flex Seal to waterproof paper mache. I don’t know how long their sculptures have been outside and we don’t get regular updates. You can see Tom’s Life-Sized Bear post here.

      That said, I don’t recommend putting a sculpture made with paper outside. All of my own experiments have ended in disaster. The only way to make it waterproof paper is to coat it with some form of plastic or rubber, and if you leave even a pinhole uncovered the water will eventually seep in. The sculpture will also need to be re-coated regularly, because almost all forms of sealant will break down in sunlight.

      I recommend using a material that’s originally made for outdoor use, like epoxy clay for small items, and cement (or maybe fiberglass) for bigger ones. My epoxy clay squirrel has now survived two Minnesota winters outside and still looks the same as he did the day I made him.

      While Apoxy Sculpt and other epoxy clay products seem more expensive that paper mache to start with, there are benefits. You can use them in very thin layers like I did on my squirrel so you don’t need to buy as much, you can use the same armatures that you would use for a paper mache sculpture, and you don’t need to buy a separate (and expensive) sealer that may or may not work.

      But if you’re brave, like Tom was, do some experiments. Maybe you’ll have better luck weatherproofing paper mache than I have. 🙂

  3. Do you have a pattern for the sitting elephant. I’ve seen the YouTube video of your finishing the skin and colour however I cannot find any information on making the body. I am hoping to make this for my paper anniversary as my wife’s family is from Kenya

  4. Thanks a million Jonni, your wolf mask saved us tonight. Our son had a school project due tomorrow morning that he’s been procrastinating on. So we got started around 5:30pm tonight and finished 3 hours later. Sure we skipped over the paper mache and did a quick spray paint…it turned out quite well.

    • That was certainly a creative solution! And yes, it did come out well. I absolutely love that photo, too! Thanks for sharing. (And I hope he gets an A for his project).

    • No, I have no goat. Sorry. I’m currently working on a pattern for a piglet (it will be really cute on a kid’s wall) and then I start on a giraffe. I might make a pattern for a wild goat someday – that would be really fun.

  5. jonnie, love your work. I’m thinking of making my daughter’s bulldog’s face and want to adhere the sculpture onto canvas. Is this possible with paper mâché work and is there special glue or medium that can attach the face automatically to the canvas? How many layers need to be done in order to sculpt the face realistically? I’m looking forward to this challenge and if you have any advice…it would be most welcomed.

    • Hi Julie. No, I don’t have a turkey pattern. Sorry – but that does sound like a really interesting project. Especially those tail feathers! I’ll put it on my to-do list, but it probably won’t get done this year.

  6. Dear Jonni,

    What wonderful things you make! I would like some advice from you regarding how to make an elephant’s trunk for a 3D acrylic painting. I have a paint studio and teach people to paint with Oils and Acrylic paint and one student already made a elephant and it looks great, but at some point the trunk collapsed when it was painted. we have been able to restore it by sliding plastic underneath. See the attached photo for the result. We then made the trunk with powertex over a mold of chicken wire and I now think that I have to do it with paper mache. However, I wonder if I have to leave it hollow or make it massive to prevent collapse. Do you have an idea?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Bakker. You probably already received my email, but I didn’t realize you had also posted on the site. I will stick with my suggestion that you use foil and hot glue to create your trunk, and then cover it with masking tape so the paper mache will stick. It’s much easier than working with chicken wire, and gives the sculpture support from inside. Good luck with it!

  7. Hi – I just want to let you know how much I have enjoyed your site. I have learned so much from you and I’ve recommended you to a couple of friends. Thank you so much for sharing so much and such a light hearted and simple manner.

  8. Hi, My son is doing a King Tut death mask project. He used a styrofoam head and the rest of the mask he used cardboard and ducked tape. Can he use paper mache? It needs to look museum quality.

    • Hi Sarai. Yes, he can use paper mache. It might not stick to the plastic duct tape, though. If it doesn’t, he can cover it with one more layer of masking tape, and then add the paper mache. If he wants the finished surface to be smoother, he might want to watch my video about making paper mache smooth. I hope he has fun with it.

  9. Hey Jonni, Your work is wonderful and I am happy to see all the variations of things that you can make. I second the request on the Dragon Mask Pattern. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I know you’re busy but if you can, I’d love to buy it. Thanks!

  10. hi madam,
    my name is sudha.. i love your videos. i saw ur paper mache elephants big size.
    is there any chance can i buy those elephants?
    i am seriously looking for those elephant.

    waiting for your response.


    • Hi Sudha. Do you mean you’d like to buy a paper mache elephant that is already put together and painted? I don’t sell them myself, and I don’t know anyone who does. But you can take the pattern of the elephant you like to a local artist, and ask them to make it for you.

  11. Hi i tried to dowload your 5 free downloadable paper mache receipes but wont load comes up error , is this still available thanks

    • It is still available. A few other people have told me they had problems with it, but they haven’t told me enough to help me fix it. I hope you have a few seconds to let me know what page you were on when you signed up. Did you fill in the form, and did the email with the download arrive in your inbox? Did the error message happen when you clicked on the download link, or when you tried to sign up?

      Knowing what happened would really help me get this fixed. I know there’s a problem, but when I fill in the form everything works, so I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I hope you’ll give me a bit more info – but in the meantime, I’ll add you to the list so the download link will be sent to you. Be sure to look for it in the next few minutes.

  12. Is your cheetah mask available as either a pattern or do you make on for sale? I have made my now 7year old grand daughter’s Halloween costumes every year since she was 8 years old. This year, she wants to be a cheetah and while I have the costume nearly done , I lack a mask. I saw yours and I know she would love it because it is so realistic and because it leaves her with movement room and does not appear too tight on her face. I hope you can answer soon as I need to get it done soon.
    Thank you

    • Hi Patricia. I don’t have a cheetah, but you might be able to make the cat mask work if you add the spots and that distinctive stripe between the eyes and muzzle. You’d also want to make the ear round, and move them down the head just a little. Those small changes would make the mask look entirely different.

      If you do try this, I hope you’ll let us see your granddaughter’s costume when it’s done. It sounds like she has a pretty cool grandma. 🙂

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