How to Make Papier-Mache Jaguar Heads

Updated April 17, 2017

Papier-mâché is a means of creating crafts using some form of paste and paper combination to create various shapes and objects. Traditionally, newspaper is dipped in white craft glue or you can use a boiled flour and water mixture to make papier-mâché. Papier-mâché clays can also be used. They are made of a paper pulp and paste and dry just like traditional papier-mâché. Since the papier-mâché itself is greyish and not attractive once dried, it is usually painted using acrylic paints.

Create an armature for the jaguar's head using the balloon, newspaper, masking tape and cardboard. Blow up the balloon until it is the desired size for the head of the jaguar. Tape on wadded up pieces of newspaper to create the nose and jaw of the jaguar. The nose section should be applied in the front centre of the balloon and the newspaper for the jaw should be placed also in the centre, underneath the nose. Tape sections of cardboard on top of the head structure to form the ears.

Completely cover the armature with the masking tape.

Tear strips of newspaper into various sizes, from 1/2 inch-by-6 inches to 2 inches-by-2 inches. Do not cut the paper strips or use finished edges. The jagged edges created from tearing allow the pieces to adhere to each other better.

Pour the glue into the long shallow container.

Dip the pieces of newspaper into the glue and apply them onto the armature as quickly as possible. Overlap the sections to create a bond. Once the area is covered, apply pieces of paper that are not dipped in the glue on top of the glue-soaked pieces. Carefully rub, smooth and overlap these pieces to blend them together.

Continue dipping pieces of newspaper into glue and applying them to the head until the entire head is covered, except for a small opening in the bottom, and it is shaped correctly. Allow the papier-mâché to dry completely.

Remove the armature by popping the balloon and removing the paper and tape. Cover the hole with more papier-mâché and allow it to dry.

Paint the head with the acrylic paint to resemble a jaguar.


If you prefer to use tempera paint, apply a layer of craft paper on top of the newspaper papier-mâché. Tempera paint is more translucent and the print from the newspaper might show through.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Balloon
  • Needle
  • Long shallow container
  • Cardboard
  • White craft glue
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
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About the Author

Reese Armstrong graduated from Kent State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. Armstrong has been writing professionally since 2010 and published articles on various websites. For several years she worked as a skin care consultant for a major cosmetic company.