How to make a 3D model horse

Updated July 20, 2017

Making a 3-D model horse can be a fun and artistic project. Create a large horse bust for an elegant accessory in your home, or use the project as a teaching tool for art lessons, or even learn the anatomy of a horse by drawing or painting different labels on the model horse. A model horse can be created using materials such as paper, clay, paper mache, wire or other materials. Perhaps the most simple material to use would be paper mache, which allows ultimate control for the crafter in building out the 3-D form. It's also very durable, lasting longer than non-fired clay.

Trace out the body parts of the horse on cardboard: the head, shoulders and body are one part. The tail another, and the four legs. Make all pieces proportional to each other. Cut out the pieces.

Build out the body of the horse by crumpling balls of paper and taping them to the body of the horse.

Crumple small paper balls and attach them to the horse legs, tail and head, taping to the cardboard as you go. Tape the balls onto other balls to continue building out the body until satisfied with the breadth and bulk of the horse model's body parts.

Attach the four legs to the underside of the horse body using long strips of masking tape. Use small balls of crumpled paper and masking tape to build up ears and other details such as lines of hair for the horses mane, eyes, nostrils, knee joints, flank and hooves.

Tear strips of newspaper print until you have a pile large enough to cover the entire surface of the horse's body several times.

Dip the strips of newspaper in the paper mache paste and smooth the strip onto the horse, covering the balls of paper and masking tape to create a smoother surface. Repeat with all the strips until the body, head, legs and tail are completely covered. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

Paint the horse whichever colours you desire using acrylic paint.


Make your own paper mache paste by mixing 1 part flour with 5 parts water, bring to a boil in a pot and then allow to cool down before using.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Photographs
  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Scrap paper
  • Newspapers
  • Paper mache paste
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
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About the Author

Anne Wilson is a writer and editor covering business and finance news, politics, issues affecting women and minorities, health, gardening, fashion and the environment. Most recently an associate editor for a nationally acclaimed magazine, Wilson also worked for The Associated Press and as a daily news reporter for several years. She has lived in California her entire life.