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Making Paper Mache Birds

paper-mache-art-1Artisitic expression is something that everyone can do and paper mache is an art form that can be perfect for those who are just beginning with their own art. You may be wondering why I am starting my how to on making paper mache birds in this manner but it is to remind you that you are an artist. Everyone can be an artist and all you need is help along the way.

One place that you can start with art is with paper mache birds. The actual form on these birds is very simple to create and after that point, painting can be done however you want. What is even better with these birds is that you can use them in a wide range of artistic expression from garden planters to room decorating. Paper mache is an art that can be found in just about any where and it is a versatile art form that I think everyone should become familiar with.

But enough about paper mache, which you can read all about in The Ultimate Paper Mache Guide. For now, let’s look at how to make your very own paper mache birds.

What you need:paper-mache-art-2

  • Newspaper
  • Paper Mache Paste
  • Masking Tape
  • Medium Gauge Wire
  • Yarn
  • Paint
  • Thin Cardboard

Directions:

  • Take the newspaper and cut it into quarters or smaller. The size of the paper will decide on how big your bird will be so if you want a larger bird, use a larger piece of paper and vice versa.
  • Crumple one piece of newspaper up into a pear shape.
  • Tape the paper into place. Make a little beak with the tape.
  • Make your paper mache paste, I recommend reading The Step by Step Guide for Making Amazing Paper Mache Creations for the best recipes and set aside.
  • Cut the newspaper into 1 inch strips.
  • Dip the newspaper into the paper mache paste and remove. Wipe away the excess so you have damp paper without lumps of paste on them.
  • Wrap the pear shaped newspaper with a thin layer of paper mache.
  • Set it aside to dry completely. It is important that you turn it over several times during the drying process or you will have one side that is wet.
  • paper-mache-art-3On the thin cardboard, draw to teardrop shapes for the wings and a tail shape.
  • Cut them out.
  • Cover the wings and tail with several layers of paper mache until you have the thickness that you want.
  • Attach the wings and tail to your dry bird with wet paper mache paste.
  • Curl the wings and tail if you want while they are still wet. You do not have to do this if you want the wings and tail straight.
  • Allow the bird to dry completely again.
  • Once it is dry, drill two small holes where the feet will go. This is optional depending on how you are going to display your bird. If it is sitting in a nest, you don’t need to put feet on it.
  • Take 16 inches of wire. With wire cutters or pliers, form a foot with the wire, near the middle of the wire. Twist both ends of the wire together to create a thicker leg.
  • Trim away any excess wire.
  • Repeat with the second leg.
  • Wrap yarn around the leg to give the leg color. Set aside.
  • Paint the bird as you want it painted. Don’t forget to add detailing for the feathers. Set aside until the bird is completely dry.
  • Place a drop of glue over the holes.
  • Insert the legs and leave to dry completely.

And that is all you need to do to make paper mache art. For more art ideas with paper mache, read The Step by Step Guide for Making Amazing Paper Mache Creations


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