Celia, my almost-daughter-in-law, saw some very cute birds that she wanted to use to decorate serving tables at the up-coming wedding. They stand about 10" tall and are not inexpensive. It's been a while but I figured I could make paper mache birds that would work just fine almost for free. First I made the feet from a heavy gauge wire.
I made the bird bodies from crumpled paper taped with painters tape. Don't forget to get the feet firmly attached to the bodies at this point.
I tried a variety of paper mache paste mixes with strips of newspaper. I used a thin water and flour paste on the first layer. It's been really wet here in north TX lately so that layer took more than 24 hours to dry and it seemed a bit weak.
I made a paste with water and plaster of paris powder thinking that that would give me a harder surface. That didn't work as well as I hoped it would. I used thinned Mod Podge with the newspaper strips for the last 2 layers and that worked the best.
I finished with a coat of primer and two coats of glossy yellow spray paint. I made four birds, each in a different pose. The surface is not completely smooth (you can see the edges of the strips) but I think I may be the only one bothered by that. Note to Celia - if these birds are too yellow we can paint them a different color.