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.

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

  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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,
    Maria

    • 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!!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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