Paper Mache Bird Tutorial

Spring is in the air and the birds are chirping, but not this one sat next to my driftwood planter. He is made of paper mache (or is it papier mache?) so it would be a bit weird if he could chirp!

Want to make one too? A little flock would look great on spring themed mantle piece.

You will need

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Bird template
  • 2 Paper clips
  • Hot glue gun
  • White glue such as Elmers diluted with water – about a 1 parts glue to 3 parts water
  • Paper strips

Start by downloading our free printable bird template. You can print it out to scale or enlarge for a bigger bird. Cut out the shapes and use them to draw the bird form onto cardboard.

Using a bit of tape, stick the small rectangle of cardboard between the two bird shapes as shown below.

Take the paperclips and bend them into the following shapes

paperclip bird legs

Then fold together the bird shapes and use a little dab of hot glue in the beak and tail areas to hold the shape together. Also glue the legs in place. I found sliding the paperclips into the corrugated area of the cardboard the easiest way to get them to stay exactly where you want them.

paper mache bird tutorial

Cut up some strips of junk paper and mix up your glue. Cover your sweet cardboard bird with a couple of layers of paper mache and leave to dry. Bit scruffy but not to worry!

Then decorate. I used a fine tipped blue marker a drew a swirly pattern but you could go crazy here and do what ever make you feel happy that the days of polar vortex hell are behind us ( at least for this year!)

paper mache butd tutorial
paper mache bird tutorial


Love from

Creative in Chicago


P.s If you enjoyed this project here are some more sweet birds you can make

22 thoughts on “Paper Mache Bird Tutorial

  1. Hi there,
    I made me one.. I just left mine white!
    It was sooo fun and easy making one it!
    Wish I could show you the pic!
    It turned out just great

  2. Can I link to my Google Classroom for my 5th and 6th grade students? I’m an elementary art teacher working to put together online resources as a result of our schools being closed during this time. Thanks!

    1. Absolutely, I have lots of resources for kids and am going to be making some updates to the site this week which will enable kids find age appropriate projects a little easier!

    1. The small rectangle is taped between the bottom edges… it give dimension to what would otherwise be a flat bird!

  3. I just love to work with cardboard, scissors, glue and paper!!! I love this cute birds!!! Thanks for sharing it!!!!

  4. I love this! It’s so fun. I would love to make this with my 6-11 year olds in my library crafts session. How long does it take for the papier mache to dry?

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