Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paper Bowls

Maddie has a box full of scrap paper… a perfect box, actually, for digging into for finding lots of pretty paper scraps.

Since I had plans for these bowls even before we made them (autumn’s nature table, holding sticks and stones and acorns), I already knew what colors I wanted!

We tore and cut long strips of paper, we tried to keep them 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. (tip: Tear with the grain of the paper – if you go against the grain, the paper will tear sideways. If you go with the grain, you’ll get long strips. Just tear a little bit to see which is which.)
When we had our strips, we tore them into little bits.

When all of your paper bits are small (we cut a few strips, maybe about half of them)

soak them in hot water for at least three hours.

When they’re soft, strain and then squeeze the water out of the paper – tearing into smaller bits as you go.

For the paste, mix one cup of flour and one cup of water in a pan, and stir until smooth.
Add two more cups of water, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Allow the paste to cool.

Mix some paste with your paper bits.

Rub some petroleum jelly (we don’t have such a thing in our house, so we used mineral oil – the closest thing we have) into a plastic bowl,

and then spread your paper mulch around inside the bowl, doing a small area at a time.

Press the paper and paste firmly against the inside of the bowl.

Don’t worry about holes – they add to the attractiveness!

Leave the bowl to dry overnight, until it is hard.

Mine took a couple of days – eventually I pried the still-soft bowl off the sides of the bowl with a knife, and then reshaped the bowl where needed.

A few hours later it had dried beautifully!

Perfect for holding some of autumn’s little treasures.


  1. I just love these bowls. They are so pretty.

    Yesterday, we made a wigwam for Ben's playmobil Indians using kraft paper strips & white glue. It turned out really cute!

    I imagine we could do something along the same lines as these pretty bowls--and make wigwams the same way!

  2. This is really fantastic! We have little scraps of paper stored up that I haven't known what to do with... thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Your bowl looks lovely. Just perfect to put your nature finds in. I think we'll have to have a go at making some.

  4. These are absolutely beautiful!

  5. very lovely!!! nice work, indeed!

  6. guess what we're making today to combat the rainy grays?

  7. Oh, the colour is simply divine! A wonderful spot for little treasures :-)

  8. So very pretty, I just received a book on paper crafts - I'm soon to enjoy some.

  9. This is so adorable. Going to try this. Thanks for sharing this idea.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!