Downloadable Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

The easy way to create beautiful handcrafted works of art.

Giraffe, lion and wolf mask patterns for paper mache.

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Scroll down to find many more exciting patterns for paper mache sculptures and masks.

Lion King Jr. Headdress Patterns:

Jenny W.  said:

I built EIGHT headdresses for our community theater’s production of Lion King Jr. – What an experience! I enjoyed every step of the process and learned so much! The kids loved them.

I will be downloading more of your patterns for my own projects – they are amazing. The instructions and video tips are excellent, too! I can’t wait to attempt another creation!

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

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Save up to $20 with these sets of mask and sculpture patterns.

How to use the downloadable (PDF) patterns:

Print the pattern pieces, attach them to cardboard, and cut them out.
Print the pattern pieces, attach them to cardboard, and cut them out.
Taping the dragon mask together
Tape the pieces together.
Add paper strips and paste.
Add paper strips and paste.
Paint your dragon with your favorite colors
Add paint and your own imagination to bring your mask or sculpture to life

Sculpture Patterns:

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

 Mask Patterns:

Skye S. said:

I was commissioned to make a lion mask for a music video, and I’m so happy with how it turned out! It’s been a while since I used paper mache but this project was a blast. Thanks Jonni for such a great pattern!

About the mask and sculpture patterns…

These downloadable patterns are designed for adults (thirteen or older) to make. 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.

Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

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

  1. Hi! I’m a theatre teacher and we are trying to make Commedia masks for an upcoming show. We did this about 5 years ago using your recipes. I had trouble getting the blue shop sheets to release off of the clay. Do you have any tips? I ended up using a dremel to shave down the clay in places to make it comortable for the students to wear. It took FOREVER! I’d like to skip that this time around! Hahaha! I appreciate your site and all of your help. (and so do my 43 students!)

    • Hi Sarah. The best way to make sure the paper mache doesn’t stick to the clay model is to cover the clay with some kitchen plastic wrap. I have a video showing how to do that. I’m not using the shop towels in that video because the ones sold in my town aren’t stretchy like they used to be. I think they changed their formula or something. And the paste in that video isn’t sold now, either (lots of changes in just a year!). You might want to do an experiment at home using newspaper and the cooked flour and water paste (or wood glue if you don’t mind the expense) and two or three layers of paper mache.

      • Thank you for your quick response. I had planned on making clay from toilet paper, glue, drywall joint compound, flour and mineral oil. Then layer on blue shop towels with glue and joint compound. So I’d put a layer of plastic wrap between the clay and the blue towels? I should be able to paint the blue shop towels with acrylic paint when they are dry, right? I’m sorry for all of the questions, but we are about to get to it and I don’t want to stear them in the wrong direction.

        • Hi Sarah. I thought when you mentioned clay in your previous comment that you were talking about a sculpture built with actual pottery-type clay, and that you were creating the final project with the shop towels. But it sounds like you’re using the paper mache clay as the first layer in a mask, is that right? The paper mache clay dries as hard as a rock, as you know, so it’s really uncomfortable to use as the layer in a mask that’s next to the face. I’d use newspaper and paste for the first layer, and then use the paper mache clay only for details that you’d like to add. You can put the shop towels over the paper mache clay, if you want to. Or paint the paper mache clay itself – however you want to do it. How are you making the form that goes under the paper mache?

          • We used a plastic mask like these – https://a.co/d/8Lc7GS5
            Then they built out the shapes, noses, eyebrows, forehead wrinkles and things that made Commedia, Commedia. So- plastic mask, “clay”, the PLASTIC WRAP, then blue towels, then paint? I think I must be missing something. Last time we never did get the blue towels off of the clay! We tried and tried….I ended up sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding just to make them thin enough to wear.

            • If you want your final mask to be just the blue shop towels, then put the plastic on before the blue towels. They will stick to the paper mache clay, as you found out. The paper mache clay is normally used as part of the mask, not as a mask form, the way you’re using it, but it will work for that as long as you don’t put the final layer of paper mache directly over it. If you use the plastic, you should be able to just pull off the dried paper strips and paste, as long as there aren’t any undercuts holding it on.

    • Hi Rosy. I already have so many projects on my list that I don’t think I’ll have time to make a Moai sculpture, although it would be a lot of fun. If you’d like to make one yourself from scratch, you could use some cardboard for the basic face shape, and then add the nose and lips and neck with crumpled foil. Then cover it with paper mache. It would be a great project – and if you make one, be sure to come back to the Daily Sculptors page and show it off. 🙂

  2. Dear Jonni,
    It’s me again. I will need that horse pattern again. Will you send me the link?
    Thank you.
    PS. Will you be making a gargoyle pattern soon?

    • Hi Patricia. I just sent you an email with the download link. If you don’t see it right away, check your promotions folder. And about that gargoyle, I think it would be really fun to make the sculpture, but I don’t know when I’ll have time. As I mentioned in my email, you might want to go ahead and sculpt one with crumpled foil, and then cover it with paper mache. I think you’d have fun with it. 🙂

  3. I’ve been studying your methods and have a basic armature done for the paper mache chicken I’m building. It’s about a foot long and about a foot tall without legs. I’m having difficulty finding a pattern to create the size of legs I’ll need for this project. Is there anywhere you could point me that would have the information I’m seeking? Do you think it would come down to the strength of the wire I use for the legs?

  4. Hi Jonni
    Im Sujanith saw your video on gelatin mold making. Excellent…but want to know how to prevent mould( fungus) on the stored gelatin? Please HELP

    • Hi Sujanith,
      Hello from rainy Norway!
      I’ve done some bath and body product formulating and I might be able to help here. When we grow samples of bacteria or molds in the lab, we use ‘agar’ plates in petri dishes. We’ll swab down surfaces we suspect are contaminated with a q-tip and rub them on the agar plate and put it in an incubator at about 40C. Agar plates are similar to glycerine and gelatine in that they are a lovely medium to grow mold and bacteria on and the process is accelerated in damp, hot conditions. Glycerin attracts moisture and gelatine feeds microbes. Firstly, make sure everything you are using to make your solution is sterilised best you can. Depending on how long you are wanting to keep your solution of glycerin and gelatine, you can either try changing the pH a bit, maybe with a tablespoon or so of vinegar for each liter of solution. If that doesn’t work or it changes the solution so you can use it for sculpting anymore (not sure how or why that would be the case, but you never know) there are commercial products available specially formulated to stop microbials from growing in things like lotions. Products called Germaben II or Optiphen have been used by home crafters in their handmade lotions for years and gives a shelf-life of up to a year when added at recommended amounts. But, honestly, I’d try the vinegar or citric acid route first to change the pH if you’re just trying to get it to last a week.

    • Hi Sam. Thanks for your interest in my patterns. Unfortunately, I have seen this problem before. It sounds like your bank doesn’t want to process a purchase from overseas. I’ve even had it happen to me, when I tried to buy software from a British company, and my bank wouldn’t let it go through. I used PayPal, instead, and that worked just fine. Have you tried that?

  5. Jonni…..is there any chance of you creating a dog mask for us to buy? I am a dog lover and would love to make a dog…..thank you.

    • Hi Pam. I’m actually working on a pit bull mask now, and I’ll finish it right after I get the chimp mask done. The videos and instructions for the patterns take me a lot of time, so it will take a few more weeks before it’s online.

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I have two monkeys, but they may not be the kind of monkey you’re looking for – the “selfie monkey,” a Crested Macaque, and the Mandrill headdress mask that is part of my Lion King Jr. collection. And I have a pattern for a lamb, but no mask of an adult sheep. I’m currently working on a chimpanzee mask, which should be finished sometime this week.


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