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.

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

  1. HI
    Beautiful things you all are making. I have been making bowls since I was a little girl. Not so little anymore, and have been trying so hard to sell them for years, been on Etsy, and a few other art sites and no sales at all. I thought maybe the price was too high, so I have come way down to where I’m almost giving them away, not such a good feeling. Especially when you see so much crap out there that sells at such ridiculous high prices. Makes me wonder. Any advice on where to sell such items. I’ll try and submit one bowl here to view so you get an idea. Thanks for your help! Sue

    Reply
    • Hi Sue. There are tons of books out about selling crafts on etsy, but there’s so much competition, you’d really need to get every thing right – the keywords, the colors, everything.

      Have you tried approaching local stores? Maybe the bowls would be easier to sell when people could see them in person?

      Reply
      • Hello Jonni,
        Thanks for responding!
        No I have not tried stores, I’m not one for dealing with the public. I’m the one that is in the background. Very hard for me to do that. Hence, selling online is more my style. Thanks though for your feedback, much appreciated!
        Sue

        Reply
  2. Hello Jonni,
    Just a few of the items I have created thanks to your paper recipe. I love paper mache.
    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Hello Jonni,
    I have been doing paper mache, which I have learned from you and wanted to show you one of my paper mache Items.

    Reply
  4. Hey just two quick comments. I use a capful of bleach in my “recipe” to prevent mold, and for eyes, I order them from a taxidermist site (more expensive, but if you really want real looking eyes….) Hope someone can use one of my tips!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jeff. Is there a particular taxidermy site you like to order your eyes from? And do you have any photos of your work that you’d be willing to share with us?

      Reply
  5. Hi Jonni my name is Nancy I’ve been playing around with paper mache now for a few years . This is basically what I’ve come up with .My eagles are a bit different and wanted your opinion on them .I know it doesn’t look like it but those feathers are all paper. I was thinking of selling these guys and your website has given me some ideas so thank you for that . I am also very interested in trying out your clay ,this stuff will cut down on my time a lot making the feet on my eagles and the beak .

    Reply
  6. Hi I’be been trying to dog related bathroom accessories for several years now. I need a new toilet brush, so I had a thought of making a “topper” for a bought brush. Do you do any commissions? The more it could look like my boy, the better. Anyway, I’m sending you a picture of him with the thought that you could suggest someone if you don’t do it. Failing this, I suppose I could attempt to do it myself with your great instructions.

    Reply
    • Hi Sealani. Your photo didn’t come through – maybe you need to edit the image to make it smaller. This sounds like a really interesting challenge! Dodie, does that sound like something you’d like to do?

      Reply
  7. I use wet newspapers and then grind it in the mixer grinder, & i directly use that paste for making my miniatures/sculptures , because my mother doesn’t give me the flour. I want to ask you do u use your facebook ?

    Reply
    • You make very nice things with the paper. I’ve never seen anyone do that before, and it’s very interesting.

      But no, I don’t do much on Facebook. I have a page, because I think I’m supposed to, but I don’t “friend” anyone except family. I am so busy with my blog and making videos, that I really don’t have time to check Facebook very often.

      Reply
  8. hey jonnin !! Here it is my baby crocodile , i want to ask u that how could i color these miniatures and which color will be best suited for them that they look awesome !!

    Reply
    • You’re making some very interesting sculptures, Jitendra. When you say that you use wet paper, do you mean there’s no glue or paste, but only sculpted paper? You are getting some wonderful detail, especially in the baby crocodile.

      You could color them with anything that will work with paper. Colored ink, acrylic paint, and if the paper is really porous, food coloring might even work. Or leave them white, which looks very nice.

      Reply
  9. hey jonni !! I have become a big fan of yours by seeing ur amazing creations made from paper mache , even i have send u a frnd rqst on facebook. I was surprised by first seeing all ur creations , i have also made some sort of miniatures which i made it from the small pieces of wet newspapers, i hope u will like it !!

    Reply
  10. hi..there ! jonni what the awesome things you are making..!!!! I have become a fan of yours…I have to tell you that i also started making paper miniatures..I HOPE you will like it. I have made a snail with newspapers not with the tissuepaper

    Reply
    • H Jitendra. I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. Did you try to upload an image? If you did, it didn’t come through, and I would love to see your snail. You might need to make it smaller so the program will accept it.

      Reply
  11. Here she is! My Mermaid.
    I was given the message that I am attempting to upload an invalid image.
    Can I just send it to you from my documents file by attachment to an email?

    Reply
    • Aven, what type of file is it? The usual reason for the plugin to not work is a file that’s too big. And sometimes it doesn’t work if you let the camera give it a file name, and someone else has already uploaded an image with the same name. I try to avoid getting big images in my inbox because my computer is running out of room. Is your image is one of the following: GIF, PNG, JPG, JPEG, and is it less than 250K?

      Reply
  12. I love your website and look forward to all the wonderful news.

    I made a 7 foot tall mermaid using info from your site. Would you like a picture and copy of a newspaper article that I wrote about her? She is comprised of both basic paper mache’ and your recipe for home made clay from toilet paper. Not to mention assorted trash items as her basic frame.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you as I can provide the picture via an attachment.

    Aven of NC

    Reply
    • Hi Aven. Yes, I would love to see your mermaid, and the newspaper report. I’m sure all my readers would like to see them, too. You can upload the image on a comment, so we can all see it. If the newspaper report is on the newspaper’s website, you can add a link to it. Did you happen to also take a photo of the armature you used before you added the paper mache?

      Reply
  13. Hi there! Wanted to share my first experiments with using your paper mache clay recipe – had my eye on your recipe for quite a while, but inly recently got around to trying it. I am very pleased with how strong this bowl actually is. As a doll maker I am always looking for new materials to use in sculpting……and I actually devised my own recipe for a kind of clay using sawdust. There were shrinkage problems, but it was very strong.
    My next plan is to make an animal of some kind.

    Thanks!
    Susie

    Reply
  14. I have been looking forward to your posts from the first time I saw one. You are a very talented person. I have been saving everything that you post, hoping that one day I will be able to concentrate on each article. I am very interested in this art, and no it isn’t what we did in grade school. I want very much to sculpt or whatever in order to make a mold from it so that a cast can be created from the sculpture. I have tried to buy unusual molds to make casts from them, so as not to have something ordinary. I don’t feel I can do what you do with the wire and other materials you use. I would be so happy to accomplish. Should I buy your books to get started? I plan to also watch your videos. Keep up the wonderful thing you are doing. If one can do this what other entertainment could be needed?!?!

    Reply
    • Hi Martha. I don’t have any books about using paper mache in molds. In fact, I don’t know of any books that show how to do that, other than making bowls. You might like to try one of the projects here on the site that use cardboard patterns inside – the patterns make them quite easy. The panda would be fun, I’ll bet. If you make one, be sure to let us know how they turn out. And by the way, the dogs at the top of the page aren’t mine, they were made by Dodie, who wrote our guest post. They turned out really nice, didn’t they?

      Reply
  15. Thank you Dodie for the advice. Your dogs are very pretty. Do you think that people buy for what breed of dog they have? I think I would.
    We all need encouragement.
    Thanks again

    Reply
  16. Thank you, Dodie. Good advice. When I subscribed to the local newspaper, they told me about the library. I wasn’t impressed with the lady in charge, but you made me think maybe I should change my attitude and give it another try. We have a fair coming up in August and September, so that is another great idea. Now if only I had kept something to show! I tip my hat to you as well.

    Reply
  17. Nicely written, Dodie. It is good incentive and reminds us to keep our work in the Public eye. This keeps what we love to do as educational, as well as for fun or profit. Thanks for sharing the info and showing your cute sculpture.

    Reply
  18. Thank you Dodie for your wonderful advice. I’ve done art for years and it’s a difficult business to be in. Keeping it affordable is the best advice you can give. Good luck with your new enterprise! I tip my hat to you.

    Reply

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