Birds come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Papier-mache allows an individual to make a bird in the shape and size desired. Small birds, such as finches, chickadees or sparrows, are the simplest to make. Blue birds, blue jays, cardinals and robins are other favourites of school-age children. Create the smoothest surface for a paper bird by blending strips of paper in a blender with water and white glue.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Colour printer
- 1/2-inch masking or painter's tape
- Waxed paper
- Thin cardboard
- Measuring spoons
- Craft glue
- Glass bowl
- Wire cutter
- 18- to 20-gauge floral wire
- Wooden kebab skewer
- Tempera or acrylic paint
- Paper plate
Find a picture of a standing bird on the Internet to use as your guide. Print it off in colour.
Crumple up a ball of newspaper to form the head and body. Place the head in the proper location and tape it to the body with 1/2-inch masking or painter's tape.
Draw the wing shapes and tail shape on a piece of thin cardboard. Cut out the shapes from the cardboard. Tape the wings and tall onto the body shape with 1/2-inch masking or painter's tape. Place the taped body on a piece of waxed paper. Set aside.
Tear one full sheet of newspaper into 3/4-inch to 1-inch pieces. Fill a blender half full with the newspaper pieces. Do not press them down. Add enough water to cover the newspaper. Add 2 tbsp of white craft glue. Start the blender and beat the newspaper, water and glue to a pulp. Pour the mixture into a glass bowl.
Take approximately 1 tbsp of paper pulp from the bowl. Squeeze the excess water from the pulp along the top edge of the bowl. Place the pulp mixture on the surface of the taped paper bird. Press into place. Repeat the process until the bird is entirely covered. Pay special attention when you are going around the wings so they stand out from the bird. Make sure to put the pulp mixture on the bottom side of the tail feathers. Use the paper pulp to make the beak. Set aside and let dry.
Use 18 to 20-gauge floral wire and bend it into the shape of the bird's feet. Leave 1 to 2 inches above the feet to use as the legs. Use wire cutters to cut the floral wire. Remember, most birds have three toes forward and one toe back.
Use the wooden kebab skewer and poke two holes in the bottom of the bird to insert the legs. Place a drop of glue at the end of the leg wire and insert it into the hole at the bottom of the bird. Repeat with the second leg. Set aside and let dry.
Paint the bird the desired colour. Use a paper plate to hold the paint. Remember to wash out the paintbrush between colours and after painting completion.
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