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.

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

  1. I really enjoyed making the lion mask with my daughter. We now have to make a Day of the Dead mask for school and was wondering if we could make a face template and if you had any tips to make one or any for purchase? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Emma. I don’t have a pattern for a face mask yet, but I’m working on one now. I don’t know when it will be done, though. Does her mask need to fit her face, or is it a decorative item that would go on the wall? If it doesn’t have to fit, the easy way is to use crumpled foil and hot glue, or crumpled paper and masking tape, and create the basic shapes of a face. Then add details and a layer of paper mache. Although it isn’t a human face, the baby orangutan post would show you the basic process. If the mask needs to be worn, you can put a film of plastic wrap over the shapes before adding the paper mache, and remove the form after the paper mache is dry.

      I hope this helps. And I hope she has fun with her next mask. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for your helpful reply! The orang-utan page has really useful suggestions. The mask is essentially going to be decorative tho I think she would like it to be wearable. We are going to start tomorrow, will see how we get on!

        Reply
  2. Paper Mache
    Hi Jonni, Beautiful paper mache pieces….thank you for sharing!! I have a beautiful paper mache dirigible I purchased 25 yrs ago that is holding up beautifully! We have just cleaned the surface to remove some dust and I notice the finish is dull. Can you tell me what the best thing to apply would be? I’m looking to get many more years and maybe a little sheen to protect it as well. Thank you, Ann Marie

    Reply
    • Hi Ann Marie. Any good artists’ varnish should give you a good result. Try it on a hidden spot first, though, to make sure it will give you the level of shine you want. It sounds like you’re looking for a satin sheen, rather than gloss, although either one will work. I happen to like the DecoArt Americana brand of varnish, but everyone has their favorites and all big brands should work just fine.

      Reply
      • Jonni, Thank you so much for your swift reply and your dedication to the art!!
        Greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Ann Marie

        Reply
  3. Some of your Youtube videos say you have the pattern for free (gnome, hummingbird ornament?) But I cant find them. Please help.

    Reply
  4. Hola Jonni
    Quisiera conseguir el patron y las instrucciones para hacer un buho de papel marche
    Muchas Gracias
    Saludos
    Elena

    Reply
  5. Hi jonnie, love your amazing work I bought your book, I have just finished decorating a home bar during lockdown, and I decided it needs either a sitting cheetah or sitting leopard, any suggestions on how i can achieve this? Thank you for your time.Bev

    Reply
    • Hi Beverley. If you haven’t done much sculpting in the past, that’s a pretty challenging project. But it can be done! I would create a pattern first to set the outline of the body, legs and head, and then start adding crumpled paper and masking tape to fill out the forms. You might want to watch my series on making a paper mache cat for more info. Have fun with it!

      Reply
    • Right after you order the patterns you’ll receive a download link. And an email will be sent with a download link, too, to make sure you are able to access your pattern. I hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Joni, I love your website and recipe for paper mache. I make Santa faces with paper mache but have a hard time getting the right look. Do you have forms that I might use for this purpose?

    Reply
  7. Hi Jonni, I have bought your “Fan Favourites” set and have had so much fun making these during our ‘Lock down’.
    So far I have finished the Giraffe (will post photos soon} , have made the armature for the Elephant and have made the Wolf & Lion up as far as the paper mache stage. I am waiting for more supplies to finish them. Could you please let me know if I can just buy the Tiger pattern or is it only available in the Animal Masks Set as I don’t see it in the single patterns ?
    Thank you so much for all the tutorials and inspiration you give freely.

    Reply
    • Hi Helen. I’m glad you’re having fun with your sculptures. I can’t wait to see them!

      I think you mean the cat pattern that I painted with tiger stripes, and that is available by itself here. One of these days I hope to make a pattern for a real tiger, too, but for now it’s just the tiger-striped kitty. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Jonni, I am going to try and make the basset hound. I printed the pattern and I noticed his hind legs were a different shape from yours on the video. Have you posted new pattern or do I need to try and adjust my pattern? Thank you. I love your animals. I hope mine turns out as good. (or nearly as good).

    Reply
    • Hi Jimmie. I played around with the pattern a lot. The pattern that you downloaded is the second version – the one I used when I started over. I think you’ll see how that looks in the third video in the series. You might need to play around with it, too. I was kind of making things up as I went along. Have fun with it – and I do hope you’ll come back and show your basset hound off when he’s finished. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thank you Jonni for getting back to me as quickly as you did. I think mine is going to be a lot different from yours. I think mine will be old and fat and lazy. I will try to post a picture when I am finished. It goes thru a lot of stages and right now it doesn’t look too good. I hope by the time I finish it – it will look better. I make fabric dolls but this is just a little different. Thanks again. Jimmie

        Reply
        • All of my projects go through the “not so good” stage, so I’m sure yours will look great when it’s done. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. 🙂

          Reply
          • I sure hope so. I have ordered your book “How to make paper mache dogs” I know that will help when I get it. Thanks again. Jimmie

            Reply
  9. Hello. Hope all is well with you! Any way you could do a german Shepard pattern? I would love to try one. I have just started on a gnome and if it turn out good I will be getting some of your other patterns. Thanks so much. You are very inspiring!

    Reply
    • Hi Amy. I don’t know when I’ll be able to make a German Shepherd pattern, but you can easily make one by following the instructions in this video. I used a computer program for the video because it was easier to film than it would be if I did it on paper, but I made my patterns with a pencil for years. Give it a try – and be sure to let us see your gnome (and your GSD) when they’re done! 🙂

      Reply
    • Hi Teresa. I don’t have a book of patterns, except for my book about making tiny paper mache dogs. If you’d like to look at that one, you can see it here. All of the patterns for the sculptures and masks on this page are sold as downloadable patterns, so you can print them out on your own printer.
      Thanks for asking!

      Reply

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