Make sure to do the paper mache outside or somewhere where it won't matter if it drips because it WILL and it's very messy no matter how careful you try to be.
Wait about a day after you paper mache..you can add a fan to help speed the drying if needed. If you need to make it smoother, add more layers of paper mache after it dries and I think you can then sand it down. I didn't need it super smooth because it would be from stage and no one would have to see it up close. So, I began to paint it. I started with a yellow as the base to cover the newspaper and also give it a warm undertone....and then built up layers of brown, adding lines and texture as I went...darkening the color with each layer.
I then took some white fabric and starched it to death and painted it different shades of green to be lettuce. After you starch it, mine was still a little wet, so I crumpled it and it dried in the shape of the crumples which looked great as the lettuce!
Gorilla glue the turkey and lettuce down (you could hot glue it too, but gorilla glue is super strong!) ..onto a platter and you're done! :)
You can also add other decorations like stuffing and veggies if you'd like, just to add more of a detail to it. I'd use cut up sponge or foam for both so it stays nice and light. :)