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:

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

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?

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.

Downloading your files: To see exactly how the downloading process should work, click here.  If your pattern doesn’t download correctly and you can’t see the solution on that page, let me know right away so I can help. This is a one-person business, but I check my inbox regularly and will respond as fast as I can.

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

  1. Siento tanta emoción ver tus hermosas esculturas, que ganas de saber inglés, para poder aprender con más facilidad sueño con todas tus esculturas que las sigo por años.Dios te bedijo con darte muchos dones lo que haces con tus manos y lo más bello es que lo compartes a quién quiera aprender
    Muchas gracias ( soy chilena)

    Reply
  2. Hola estoy fascinada con sus trabajos ,como hago para conseguir los moldes del oso y como es el precio el envio bueno todo para intentarlo gracias Sonia Arcila

    Reply
  3. Hi Jonni. I love your work and tutorials, but always struggle with armatures and creating the initial shapes. I am currently creating a large scale paper mache human sculpture, but I’ve struggled with armatures on just about anything I’ve made. I would love to see a post or youtube video about different types of armatures you’ve made, specifically what types of boxes or materials work best for specific shapes and body parts. Thank you for sharing your work with us – it’s always great to see your next project!

    Reply
    • Hi Heather. I don’t use pre-made shapes for my armatures. I usually start with an inside pattern (works best with animals, though) and then fill in the shapes by ‘sculpting’ with crumpled paper or foil. It helps if you have some experience with sculpting with clay, which is much more intuitive to start with.

      However, two of our readers wrote guest posts about creating figure sculptures. Their two different methods are unique, and they result in very different sculptures, but you might find some ideas in their posts that you can use. See Fran’s life-sized figure sculpture here, and Debbie’s Regency-style figure here.

      Reply
  4. Hello! I have always found making clay molds out of Plasticine very therapeutic, but when using my paper mache recipe over the Plasticine to form a mask, the mask comes out bumpy and difficult to paint. If I use the paper mache clay recipe posted on this website, will the paper mache clay stick to the Plasticine after it hardens? Will I be unable to peel the clay from the paper mache clay?

    I ask because I have never used dry wall joint compound in my paper mache recipe.

    Reply
    • Hi Dalton. I’d recommend using a light film of petroleum jelly over the Plasticine before applying the paper mache clay. It will make it easier to pull the Plasticine out of the back of the mask after the paper mache clay dries. You might also want to test it with a small experimental piece, to make sure to works the way you want it to.

      Reply
  5. I love your work Im subscribed on Youtube and I watch videos off and on. tonight I made my first recipe of the newest air dry paper mache clay. It turned out awesome. Im anxious to start the chicken. I am an artist and I used to have my own business, I know how to free hand draw and paint and create things. In my business I created things out of wood and I did great. Now that I am older I’d like to give this a try, I think I can do it. Thank you for your inspiration.

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  6. 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!

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  7. 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
  8. Some of your Youtube videos say you have the pattern for free (gnome, hummingbird ornament?) But I cant find them. Please help.

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

    Reply
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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. 🙂

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          • 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
  14. 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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