How to Make a Paper Mache Swan Bird

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Make a swan prop using craft supplies.
Make a swan prop using craft supplies. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

When you are putting together a class play or theatrical event, it can be challenging to find all of the set props that you need from a costume store. For example, if you are organizing a theatrical version of Swan Lake, you will need swan props for some of the scenes. Instead of wasting time trying to track down swan props, make your own paper mache swan birds using a few basic materials that can be found at any craft supply store.

Things You'll Need

  • Large balloon
  • Craft wire, medium-gauge
  • Wire cutters
  • Wrapping paper tube
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Masking tape
  • Saucepan
  • Paper mache pulp
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush

Inflate a large balloon and knot the end.

Cut a medium-gauge craft wire with wire cutters to measure 36 inches long, and insert the wire into a wrapping paper tube.

Bend the ends of the wire over the ends of the paper tube with needle-nosed pliers. Bend the entire tube into an "S" shape, then tape one end of the bent tube onto the balloon. This will become the neck and head of the swan bird.

Combine three cups of paper mache pulp, one cup of flour, one-half cup of salt and four cups of water in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat while stirring it with a spoon. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer it for 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.

Cut strips of newspaper with scissors to measure 2 inches wide and 6 inches long each. Dip each strip into the paper mache mixture, and lay the dipped strips onto the balloon form. Cover the entire form with four layers of paper mache strips. Allow the balloon to dry for six hours.

Paint the outside of the paper mache swan bird using acrylic paint. The body and neck of the swan should be white, while the eyes of the swan should be black. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes before displaying the paper mache swan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep hot paper mache out of the reach of children until it cools completely.
  • Hot paper mache can cause burns on skin.

References

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