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.