How to Make Papier Mache Birds

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Brighten up your day with some whimsical papier mache birds. They can be as colorful and silly, or as fancy and exotic as you like. Be prepared to put some time into this project and don't be afraid to get your hands messy.

Things You'll Need

  • Flour
  • Boiling water
  • Sugar
  • Papier mache paste
  • Medium-sized balloons
  • Aluminum pie plates
  • Newspapers and 3-inch squares of brown paper towels
  • Small scraps of cardboard
  • Masking tape
  • Cardboard tubes from paper towels or gift wrap
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter paint
  • Glitter markers
  • Glitter glue
  • Beads, feathers, sequins, buttons
  • Chop sticks or bamboo skewers
  • Fishing line
  • Small wooden block
  • Polyurethane varnish

Papier Mache Paste

  • Mix the flour and water until it forms a smooth paste.

  • Add the flour mixture to the boiling water and bring it back to a boil.

  • Remove the paste from the heat and stir in the sugar.

  • Allow the paste to cool.

Papier Mache Birds

  • Tear newspapers into strips and cut brown paper towels into 3-inch squares. This project will require a lot of paper.

  • Make the bird's head by forming a small ball of wadded-up newspapers wrapped in aluminum foil. Tape a toilet paper tube to the ball to create a neck. Cover the head and the neck with two to three layers of newspaper dipped in papier mache, letting it dry between layers.

  • Make the bird's body with a medium-sized balloon covered with newspaper strips and papier mache paste, working fast so the balloon doesn't have time to deflate. Apply at least one more layer of newspaper after the first layer dries. Create wings and tail feathers from cardboard and attach them to the bird's body with glue or tape.

  • Attach the head, wings and tail feathers to the body with glue or tape, and cover the join with newspaper dipped in papier mache.

  • Allow the bird to dry completely and insert chopsticks or bamboo skewers into the lower part of the body for legs, and make feet from small pieces of cardboard. Add a layer of newspaper and papier mache paste to the top of the legs, and attach the legs to the body with glue or tape.

  • Finish the entire bird with a very smooth layer of brown paper towels squares dipped in papier mache.

  • Allow the bird to dry thoroughly and paint it as desired. Let the paint dry and add several layers of polyurethane over the top. Add sequins, feathers, beads or other decorative items. Connect fishing line to the top of the bird's head if you want to hang your bird from the ceiling.

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