Selling Paper Mache Artwork – Guest Post

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We have a real treat today – Dodie Clark mentioned in a recent comment that she was having great luck selling her little paper mache dogs. I told her that we have many readers who would love to know how she goes about it, and she graciously agreed to write a guest post for us. Thanks, Dodie!

Sell Your Artwork

© 2014 Dodie Clark

Jonni wanted me to try and explain about selling paper mache art.    The first thing you need to do is get your work out there for the public to see.   I did this by doing 2 displays at our local library.

Showing Paper Mache Artwork at the Local Library
Paper Mache Artwork at the Library #2
Paper Mache Artwork at the Library #2
Paper Mache Artwork at the Library #2

This will not only let the public see your work but show what you can do with paper mache.  It is not the same paper mache you did as a kid.   You can really make art sculptures out of paper mache.  Complements are a great way to boost your ego.

You can also take your work to the Fair.  This will let the public tell you what they think of your work.   I know your work is great but that does not mean it will sell.  It is what the public thinks- they are the buyers.

Showing Paper Mache Sculptures at the Fair
Showing Paper Mache Sculptures at the Fair

I go to our local Farmers Market on Saturdays for 4 hours to sell my art. They have a set up fee of $5.00.  Some of the sites cost more and you may have to pay sales taxes.
You should check each piece of your work to make sure it as good as you can get it.    If you don’t check it the potential buyer will. You don’t want to lose a sell because something is wrong with it.  Word of mouth is a good selling tool if the customer is happy with their purchase.  Try to be the only vendor selling what you sell. You don’t want to complete with someone else selling paper mache art.

Have difference price work. Start with something very affordable to encourage them to stop at your table. Be aware of the market you are in.   If you price your art too high you will not sell. To have repeat customers you need to keep your work at a reasonable rate. When customers get to know your work it is more likely they will buy higher priced items.  If do not have what the customer wants – tell them you take orders.  If you can’t take all your work to show – than have pictures with you to show them your work at home.

Whether you’re at an Art show or Farmers Market you should always have some money for making change.  You don’t want to lose a sale because you do not have money to make change.  Make friends with the other vendors – they buy also.

48 thoughts on “Selling Paper Mache Artwork – Guest Post”

    • Dee, that would be a really easy project, so if you don’t want to do it yourself you could probably find someone at your local high school’s art department. One of the students might have fun helping you out with it. 🙂

  1. hello I am currently have a large paper mache show of my work at Pilates and Arts in Echo Park California. Ive sold one piece and there are a remaining 14 pieces. How can I get buyers to come. I hope I can submit some photos of my work on this text any help would be great I have less than 2 weeks before the show is over.

    • Hi Nick. The piece you attached to your comment is amazing. What do you call it?
      As for your questions, yes you are more than welcome to post your work here. Maybe not all 14 at a time, though – we need to give other people a chance to show up on the page, too. And be sure to post them on the Daily Sculptors page, where many more people will see them. The folks who visit this site are artists, so not many buyers of art – but we still like to look. 🙂
      How do you get more people to come to the show? I have no idea. Did the organizers do any advertising? Do you have a mailing list or a website? Maybe you could put up posters in the area where art buyers might hang out? Some shows just naturally get tons of traffic, and others don’t, in my experience. If you don’t sell everything this time, you can always search for another venue for your work.

    • Hi Heather. Did you try to post a photo of your ram’s head? If you did, the file size was too big. Can you edit the photo and try again?

      Pricing isn’t easy. Have you done some research to see what other artists are charging for a similar item? And have you sold any other work?

  2. Hi there, Thanks Jonni for the gesso recipe. The formula hardened my mache sculptures to be good enough for handmade trophies (colored in gold). Here is a sample of my work before the gesso and painting.

  3. Hi Jonnie. I am going to be attempting to make and sell paper mache creations on etsy. I like creating animals but I don’t know what would sell the best. What seems to sell best for you?

    P.S. Your creations are awesome and your advice is very helpful!

    • Hi Jasmine. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any experience selling artwork for at least 20 years. I hope to get back into the business, but I’m a novice, just like you. There are some paper mache animal sculptors who sell on etsy, and who also visit this site sometimes. I don’t know how well they sell, but if you do a search on the etsy site for your kind of art, you can see how many sales each artist has made since they opened their store. That might be a good way to do some research.

      Do you have any photos of your work that you’d like to share here, in a comment?

  4. Hi, Jonni, i have enjoyed watching your videos and have a tip for measuring ingredients for the paper mache clay..If you use the oil, coat your measuring cup with it before measuring the joint compound and glue, which will now slip right out 🙂 I also smoothed the clay with the back of a wet spoon, but will still make a gesso recipe for the final coat. Here is a picture of my horsehead armature before the clay application.

    • Thanks for the tips, Ginger. The picture of your horsehead armature didn’t come through, though. The file size is probably too big. Could you edit the image and try again? We’d really like to see it.


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