{Handmade} Paper Mache Bowls

A few weeks ago I was working with my students on a project that we do with our Iroquois unit. They learn all about the False Face Society and the students make their own masks using paper mache. While helping out the kiddos I had an idea to make some bowls using this technique.  I’ve seen an image or two online of small bowls that are too cute not to try! The first thing I had to do was find a form to create my shape around.  In my classroom I had the students use balloons but I wanted more of a rounded shape rather than oval. While at Michael’s I found a plastic ball in the toy section and I also found a half circle foam form. In order to accomplish this you will need the following:

1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of flour
mod podge or any liquid glue newspaper cut into strips
(I used the Penny Saver, the paper is a bit thicker)
round form
saran wrap
(in whatever colors you prefer)

1. I started out with my foam half circle and sliced a piece off the top so that the bowl would sit flat.

DSC_0033DSC_00372. Next I wrapped it in saran wrap.
I do this so that when the newspaper is all dry it can peel right off of the form.


3. Then I made the glue solution.
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. flour
About 2 tablespoons of glue…I just eyeballed it

DSC_00404. Once my strips were cut (1 1/2″ x 5″) I dipped them into the mixture, took off excess mixture, and began laying it all around the form.
I made sure to overlap and create about 3-4 layers of paper. Make sure to smooth out the paper as much as possible.


DSC_00495. Once it is all dried (I waited 24 hrs.) just release from the form and cut the top all around so it is even.


6. Now you can paint your bowls in any color that you would like and follow it up with a sealer!

I decided to prime my bowls in white so that the print wouldn’t show (not sure if this is necessary) and then I spray painted the insides of both the bowls gold. Once it was dry I flipped them over and spray painted the outsides. Black, for one, and white, for the other.


I am happy with the way they turned out but if I do it again (which I plan on) here’s what I might do differently:

1. I might try using smaller strips of paper to help eliminate the “bumpiness”.
2. I will use acrylic paint instead of spray paint (only to see how the finish is…I kinda wish the bottom black one was more matte) Also the foam shaped bowl lost it’s shape and became a bit more oval after spraying but the ball bowl stayed true to form. Not sure if the wetness from the paint was the cause.
3. I would love to try to do the inside of the bowls with gold leaf!
4. I used a water-based polyacrylic spray to seal the bowls but it left this bubble look inside which I don’t care for so next time I will brush the sealer on.

I still am pretty happy with how they turned out and how cute to just hold your jewelry or keys or any type of knick knacks!



Wouldn’t you love to received this as a gift?

Linked up to Two Twenty-One, Decor and the Dog, Newly Woodwards, and Maybe Matilda



14 thoughts on “{Handmade} Paper Mache Bowls

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