Downloadable Patterns for Paper Mache Sculptures and Masks

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

The 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.

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

  1. Hi Jonni I only recently started an art class and my lovely teacher put me onto your website, as we’re working with paper clay. Oh my goodness what an eye opener looking at your videos and projects you’ve made, I’m very inspired. I wanted to make your Grey Stripe Angel Cat on Pinterest but I can’t seem to find any information on it. Thanks so much for your help
    Vanessa West

    Reply
    • Hi Vanessa. I made the Angel Cats as part of a series for a show, and I was in a hurry to get them all done so I didn’t make a tutorial and I didn’t turn on the video camera. I wasn’t using patterns on the inside of my sculptures yet, so they were sculpted with crumpled paper and masking tape, using the paper much like you would use clay – adding paper where needed to create all the shapes.

      I do have a series showing how to make a cat using a pattern. The cat I made for the series doesn’t have wings, but you could add some. You can find the series here.

      Have fun!

      Reply
  2. Hi,
    Thanks for your amazing blog!

    I would like to make a mask, from papermache. What recipe is the would dry op hardest? And how hard is it? I know its hard to explain. But will it break, and how thick/thin do I have to make it?
    You might already have explained this somewhere, I just cant find it.
    Thanks
    Denise (all the way from Denmark)

    Reply
    • Hi Denise. The strongest way to make paper mache if you’re using paper strips and paste is to use brown paper (like the kind used to make paper bags) and use a good PVA or wood glue instead of paste. Paper mache isn’t indestructible, though – it can tear or crease or break, if it isn’t handled with care. The more layers you use, the stiffer and stronger it will get.

      If you need something that’s really strong, you might want to use a few layers of paper strips and paste on the inside, and then use a thin layer of the paper mache clay. The PM Clay dries very hard, but it is very hard to get it smooth enough to be comfortable next to the skin. If you put the paper strips on first, and then add the paper mache clay over it, you’ll have a stronger, more comfortable mask. But even paper mache clay can break, if you drop it on concrete or step on it.

      Reply
  3. Hi, your work is amazing! I’m just wondering if you also have the patterns to make the headdresses for a meerkat and a warthog? We were hoping to be consistent with the type of headdresses worn by the students in our play! Thanks for any help!

    Reply
    • Hi Joanne. I don’t have a meerkat or warthog yet, but just as soon as my Zazu pattern is finished I intend to start on them. It will take me about a month, maybe more – so I’m afraid they might not be done in time for your play.

      Reply
      • Hi Jonni, our play is in May – so I will start on the lions and hyenas (with the high school students) and keep my eyes open for Zazu and the rest! Thank you! Joanne

        Reply
  4. Hi Joni,

    First of all, can I just say what an inspiration you’ve been!

    I’m intending to build a life sized pony, with a metal skeleton, so it can be sat on; I might even make it into some kind of rocking horse, if my metal worker can manage it. It’s a mad project, I know, but I’ve been thinking about it for years, and seeing your work has really given me the push to get started!

    If you or anyone else has any tips or ideas, I’d love to hear them x

    Reply
    • My goodness – that is an exciting project! I have no experience at all in metalworking, but one of the readers who come to the Daily Sculptors page might have some ideas for you. I’d suggest copying your message to a comment on that page. There’s always a chance that the right person will see it. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thank you, I will do that x

        I don’t know anything about metalwork either, but I think using your cardboard method will make it easier for him to make the skeleton the right shape (especially in the legs, oh my, the legs, I dream about the legs… I want him galloping!) than the chicken wire method I was intending to use.

        Reply
  5. Good morning or good evening, Mrs. Jonni Good, I have been following your videos for several years, the birth of your creatures. I saw: the elephant, the crow, the giraffe, the piglet, the dragon and other nice animals. In your next video, I would like to see the creation of a full-size French bulldog. It would be a beautiful gesture. Thanks anyway. Greetings from Italy, Sicily.

    Reply
  6. Hi.
    I love the masks you have on your website. My school is doing lion king production and wanting to make all
    Of the animal masks. Are they suitable to wear in a performance by 12 year olds?

    Reply
    • Yes, the cap portion can be resized easily. You just cut open the center back seam, have the actor try on the mask, and then adjust the open seam so the cap is comfortably snug. You’ll also want to use a strip of felt around the inside of the cap. The felt makes it more comfortable to wear and helps to keep it in place.

      Reply
    • Hi Ray. The wolf’s muzzle is a little heavier than a fox, and I think the fox’s ears are a slightly different shape. If you put the pattern together, and then look at photos of foxes, it may be possible to cut and tape here and there, to get the mask to look foxy. Of course, the red fur will be the finishing touch. So they aren’t exactly the same, but if you don’t mind playing around with it, you could make a very nice fox with the wolf pattern.

      Reply
  7. Dear Ms. Good,

    I plan to do an alebrije (the brightly colorful Oaxacan animal statuettes) with my high school student. I think your recipe for paper mache is just right for this. Do you have any ideas about this? Any patterns that might fit this idea?

    Thank you and thank you for all of the great information you are giving us through youtube and your books!

    Sincerely,

    Katrina Bergen
    Home & Hospital Teacher for the Mt. Diablo Unified School Districty

    Reply
    • Hi Katrina. This sounds like a really fun project for your students. I love all those colors! We don’t have patterns for the Oaxacan animals, but I’d start with the videos about the little Egyptian hippo. The three videos will show you the process from start to finish. Then watch the video that shows how to make armature patterns from a drawing or photo. You’ll want to make a few at home before the class to see how many sessions it will take to finish the projects.

      Have fun!

      Reply
  8. you are wonderful… I love learning from you. I”m making a dog with hair all over what do you use to make hair I’ve used a mop and than come back with the clay to make it hard but didn’t know if there was an easier way. thank you for your help

    Reply
    • Hi Karla. I haven’t tried your method before. You might be able to dip the mop in wet plaster and then apply it to the sculpture, but it wouldn’t be easy – plus, you’d have to work really fast.

      I usually make sculpted fur with paper towels and glue or paste. You can see how that ends up looking by watching the Mandrill mask video, starting around the 7:10 mark.

      You might also want to post your question as a comment on the Daily Sculptors page. A lot of people see that page every day, and someone might have a better idea for you than I did. And we would love to see your dog when it’s finished. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Hi do you have any advice about making a large (30″diameter or so) hollow sphere? And what do you think of cooked cornstarch solution with wood glue added as mache paste? Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    Reply
    • Hi Meg. Most people who make large spheres use a big rubber ball as the form. You’d need to make the paper mache fairly thick so it will hold itself up even if you remove the ball.

      I have no experience with a cornstarch and glue mixture. The glue itself makes excellent paste. I have tried cornstarch for paste, and it took a long time to dry. It did work, but it just took longer. If you went to do some experiments, go ahead and make up a mixture of the two ingredients and see what happens.

      By the way, whenever I make something that has an air-filled balloon or ball as a temporary form, I put on a few layers of plaster cloth first. It hardens fast, so you don’t have the shrinking and wrinkling and cracking that is a big problem when using a balloon or ball. You can see how I do that in this video.

      Reply
    • No, I don’t sell my finished work. I have more fun showing other people how to make their own sculptures. But your might be able to find a local artist who would make them for you.

      Reply
  10. Do you have a pattern for either a dromedary or bactrian camel figure? I have a couple hundred in my collection and would like to make some myself with your help to get me started.

    Reply
    • I don’t have a camel yet. One of the projects on my very long list is a life-sized baby bactrian camel. I keep putting it off because my house isn’t’ really big enough for it. Did you see my video that shows you how to make an armature for any animal? It’s not the kind of pattern that makes all the shapes for you, but having the internal pattern to set the outline and proportions really helps. Give it a try – I’m sure you’ll get your camel done before I do. 🙂

      Reply
  11. I have recently found your videos and already i am experimenting with your “clay.” I have added, as an extra fiber source, the lint from my dryer. I was thinking “kill two birds with one stone” need fiber and find a use for that lint. It makes a good clay. Thanks by the by. This paper mache process is very enjoyable.

    Reply
  12. Hi Joni,

    Your youtube tutorials are amazing. I would like to make a life size unicorn wall-mount. Do you have a horse or unicorn template for purchase? Thanks in advance and I can’t wait to begin creating.

    Reply
    • Hi Jes. The only horse pattern I have is the whole horse, in my book on animal sculpting. I have a unicorn, too – but it is a small four-legged creature, and not one of the wall sculpture patterns. I do hope to make a horse or zebra soon, but I don’t know when it will get done.

      Reply

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