Downloadable Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

It’s never been easier to create beautiful animal masks and sculptures.

These patterns make it easy, even if you’ve never made anything with paper mache before.

Paper mache mask patterns

Pattern Sets:

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Single Patterns:

About the mask and sculpture 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.

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

  1. how can I make a paper mache-like material out of a cotton fabric? I want to be able to place the wet, pliable fabric over an object that will then dry to the shape of the object.

  2. Is there anything that can be used to coat it with so It can be outside. I live in Missouri and we have snow and ice in winter and heavy rain in summer.

    • I have not yet found any material that can stand up to rain, sun, wind and snow. Some people have used Flex Seal, but it doesn’t work for everyone. I did a lot of experiments to try to find a product that would work, and none of them worked. I now use Apoxie Sculpt for smaller outdoor sculptures. It’s more expensive, but it’s heartbreaking to work on a sculpture for weeks and then have it ruined by the weather. I made a video showing how my squirrel was made with a similar product, although I like Apoxie Sculpt better. The squirrel has been outside in Minnesota, summer and winter, for four years, and it still looks exactly the same as it did when it was first made.

    • Try using ‘Mod Podge Outdoor’…thus far it has worked for me. I live in Ontario, Canada. Use about three coats & be sure to let each coat to dry well before adding the next one…don’t worry, they dry quickly.


  3. Hi !This is Deeya. I love your work and efforts for taking us through the project. I wanted some suggestions from you regarding a project. I am planning to create a shell for a mermaid party . 6 ft tall 5 ft wide. I want it as a back drop of a bench. Where a mermaid can sit and we can have some photographs . Can you help me understand the , how to plan it and make it.

    • Hi Deeya. You’ll need to make a form for your shell to start with. I suggest using some cardboard to start with. Cut the outside edge in the shape of your shell, and then make ‘darts’ in it where you need the edges of the shell to curve inward. Tape the cardboard into the right shapes, and add crumpled foil for the thicker shapes. You can get it to stick on with hot glue or masking tape. Once you have a shape that is as close as possible to the final shapes you want, you can cover it with paper mache, or with a thin layer of paper mache clay. For the inside of the shell, where it’s really smooth, you can use the air dry clay recipe, or watch this video to see how to make paper mache (of any kind) really smooth.

  4. Hello there, Ms. Good

    My name is Chad. I have been so incredibly obsessed with everything you have done with paper mache and sculpting. I have spent an entire week watching every single video you have ever made and I was so inspired that I have decided to put aside my 10-years knitting hobby for now And try my hand at mask making. I recently bought nearly everything I could need for this and have set up my workspace. I am happy to say that I will be making my first mask form and go from there. I even bought a copy of your “how to make masks” book on kindle so I could review and make notes. Anyhoo, my big question is….

    After applying first coat of joint compound based gesso recipe, could I kind of give it texture, something like scoring the surface with a fork or clay sculpting tool to give it a woodsy texture? Then after that, slap on another and final coat of thin gesso? Let me know!

    • Hi chad. I’m so glad to meet you – and that you’re so excited about your new art form. Your idea of using the gesso to create texture should work, but you might need to use just a small amount of glue in the mix, or even no glue at all. Otherwise, the mixture may self-level and you’d lose the texture. You can test it on a scrap piece of cardboard. Also, if you use just the drywall joint compound without glue you would want to give it a final coat of acrylic gesso, which is much more flexible than the glue/joint compound version. The acrylic gesso would help keep the textured layer from cracking.

      Have fun with it – and be sure to let us know how it turns out. Our community tends to hang out most often on the Daily Sculptors page, and you might even want to ask this question again on that page. I’ve never tried doing what you described, but it’s possible that one of our other readers has done it, and has even more ideas for you.

  5. Hi Jonni!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful skill and kind personality with us! I am going to try to make this creepy mask for my son for Halloween. The video I watched of someone making it showed that they used a traditional paper mache. I’d like to use your silky clay recipe, but do you think I should do the paper mache first and add the clay over it so it was something to stick to? This is the first time I’m using these materials. Any advice you could give would be helpful! Thanks so much!

  6. Jonni,
    Love your chipper you-tube tutorials! My first attempt at Jonni clay (in place of DAS air dry clay) in faux taxidermy heads, which I then cover with textiles, came out a little stringy. I think you must really mean it when you say mix it for *several* minutes! The swan will be covered with layers of knitting & crochet, so this was a good experimental pass & getting-to-know-you with the clay. Your recipe makes plenty! I hope to reach a better level of detail for future endeavors. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring sculptures and techniques.

    • Hi Cecily. Did you measure the paper before mixing? If you get too much, it can be difficult for the mixer to pull the fibers apart. If you think that might be part of the problem, try using a kitchen scale like I do in this video. I’m really interested in how your swan turns out with the addition of knitting and crochet. I hope you’ll post a photo on the Daily Sculptors page when it’s done so we can all see it.

  7. I came across your page and I’m hoping you can help. For my daughters 2nd birthday I’m attempting to make party animals, which in translation I am making 3ft 3d life like animals. I’m in need of patterns. That would cut my work in half. Would you be able to custom make a hippo, a giraffe, and a tiger outline for me? Thank you!

  8. Hope this helps. Translation for Dilcinea
    Hi, I love your videos and I’m starting to try to make some sculptures, but I’m having difficulty in the videos because they are all in English and I can not put subtitles in Portuguese, YouTube your videos only allows English subtitles. Would you like to see if you get them to put the caption in Portuguese too? I can not know the name of the product that you put in your eyes to get that perfect, eye-shine. Thanks

    • Hi Margarita. Thanks for your help – but I did know that was what Dilcinea meant. I can’t afford to pay translators for my videos. However, it might be possible to see auto-translated subtitles by following these instructions:
      Below the video click on Subtitles/CC to turn on the subtitles
      Click on the gear icon
      Click on Subtitles English auto generated drop-down box
      Click on auto translate
      Choose your language.
      Portuguese is listed as a language, but I have no idea how well it works.

  9. Oi, adoro seus vídeos e estou começando a tentar fazer algumas esculturas, mas estou tendo dificuldade nos vídeos porque estão todos em inglês e não consigo colocar legendas em português , no YouTube seus vídeos só permite legendas em inglês . Teria como vc ver se consegue que eles coloquem a legenda em português também? Não consigo saber o nome do produto que vc coloca nos olhos para ficar com aquele brilho , perfeito dos olhos. Obrigada

  10. Hi, Are there small projects (small size heads or busts) that I can do with my high school students? My students love the idea. I showed them one of your videos.

  11. Purchased a lion mask yesterday. Am wondering if I need to cover the aluminum foil with masking tape before I apply paper mache or will the paper mache adhere to the aluminum foil?

    • Hi Kathleen. When I’m using paper strips and paste I always cover the foil with tape. When I use the paper mache clay recipe, the masking tape is optional.

      I hope you’re having fun with your lion. 🙂

  12. Hi Jonni,

    I’ve been enjoying both your tutorials and your website content. You are an amazing artist. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.
    I am working on a school project for my daughter’s school. Her class si going to dress up as turtles. I am in charge of the turtle shells. Since the kids, are supossed to help, I thought of making the shells out of large ballons using your paper mache clay recipe. We are talking about 7year old kids, and we need the shells to be quite light. Do you think only using clay would be OK? or would it be too delicate?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Maria. Will the kids be using the paper mache clay themselves? Or will you create the shells and let them paint them? Kids that young would have a hard time using the clay without getting it all over the place, so I don’t recommend it for the younger grades. That’s especially true if you’re putting the material over balloons, which are really hard to work with. But if you’re making the shells yourself, I’d recommend using a few layers of plaster cloth first, for the reinforcing effect of the fabric, and then use a thin layer of paper mache clay (or regular paper strips and paste) over the plaster cloth to give a nice smooth surface for painting. Then the shells should be strong enough to hold up to lots of handling, and the kids will have fun painting them. Good luck with the project!

      • Thank you much Jonni. You are amazing.
        I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your advice. We worked today at school with the kids and the plaster cloth. They were fascinated. We had so much fun, though we all ended up covered in plater stains. I will prepare your clay on the weekend so we can apply that layer by Monday Tuesday and once it’s dry, the kids will definitely have so much fun painting. They all have plans already as to the way they want their shells to be.
        On behalf of all the Moms and myself, we all want to say a big loud thank you for pointing us in the right direction and thank you very much for sharing your expertise. (I have shared your youtube channel and website with them all, so they can subscribe and continue learning from you)
        You are an amazing artist.
        Thank you!!!!

  13. Hi Jonni, you’re the best! I love your website. I’m always looking to it for good advice. I’m trying to make a tissue paper lampshade but my balloons pop overnight or deflate. I saw you recommended cloth plaster wrap. Can I remove the plaster wrap after I finish with the tissue mache?

    • Hi Peggy. Paper mache will stick to plaster cloth, and you’d never be able to separate them. Would it be possible to find a big plastic bowl that’s the right size for you lampshades? The paper mache should come loose from plastic after it dries.

  14. I would really like to make some animal skulls for my lizards. A basic horse or deer skull would be perfect. I think with this pattern I could also make unicorns and dragons with just a little bit of modification. Could anyone help me make this pattern? Thanks in advance.

  15. Hi Jonni,

    Been working on some paper mache masks with some fifth graders. They’ve basically just put a couple layers of paper mache over a custom plaster base and will be painting with acrylics. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for adhesives to attach elastic strips to the insides of the masks so that they can wear them. I’ve used super glue before but was thinking that hot glue might be the way to go this time around. Ever tried it? How well does it stick? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Tara. I usually drill or cut two holes in the mask so I can run the elastic strip to it and tie off the end so it doesn’t slip out. You need to reinforce the edges of the hole, but an small piece of cardboard will work. I’ve noticed that hot glue will come loose on flexible material, and the edges of the mask will flex when it’s handled.


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