Papier-mache projects are great for kids--they enable them to be creative--and for the parents, they are very cost-effective. Most of the materials you need you can find around your house. The papier-mache paste has several different recipes, but the no-cook one is easy to make, requires very few ingredients and it is safe for children. You can create these lively birds for decoration or a school project. Have fun and don't be afraid to get your hands messy!
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups water
- Aluminium foil
- 1 toilet paper roll
- 1 small balloon
- Shredded newspaper
- 2 straws
- Craft glue
- Smooth napkin or brown paper towels
- Acrylic paint
- Feathers, markers, glitter seed beads (optional)
- Fishing line or string
Combine 1 cup flour with 2 cups water in a bowl.
Mix flour and water until it forms a paste.
Stir using a whisk until the mixture is smooth with a gluelike consistency. You can add more flour or water to achieve desired texture.
No-Cook Paper Mache Paste
Construct the head with aluminium foil rolled into a ball and leave an end visible to be shaped into a beak. Make a point out of the end of the aluminium foil.
Cut a toilet paper roll in half widthways to use as a neck.
Inflate a small balloon to use as a body for the bird.
Tape together the head, neck and body of the bird.
Cover the base with a layer of shredded newspaper dipped in papier-mache mixture. Insert straws for legs. Glue straws in place. Use the shredded newspaper to mould around the legs.
Allow the first layer to dry. Add two more layers of newspaper dipped in papier-mache to create a rigid structure.
Create wings and tail feathers by using cardboard. For a more delicate look, tape feathers together for wings and tail feathers and attach a piece of cardboard for an anchor on the papier-mache structure. Glue pieces to structure.
Use pieces of smooth paper napkin or brown paper towels dipped in papier-mache paste to create a smooth surface for painting. Leave to dry. It should take about an hour.
Making a Papier-Mache Bird
Paint the bird whatever colour you choose. Use two layers of paint to hide the colour of the napkin or paper towel.
Decorate the bird using markers, glitter, seed beads or whatever else you desire.
Affix fishing line to the head with tape or around the neck to hang the papier-mache bird from the ceiling.
Decorating the Bird
Tips and warnings
- If you don't like the smell of the papier-mache you can add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to the mixture.