Craft Challenge Tutorial: Paper Bowl

How to make a paper mache bowl with Mod Podge and recycled magazine paperA couple months ago, my friend Teena, from Serendipitini, and I did a little recycled craft challenge using plastic. Today, we're back with another blog friend and a new material - paper, specifically catalog or magazine paper.

Let me introduce our upcycled challenge team and make sure to check out their incredible projects.

I decided to try a project that I have been envisioning for quite some time, a decorative (not for soup or cereal) paper mache type bowl. It's super easy to make, but rather time consuming and delightfully messy :)


  • catalogs or magazines
  • paper shredder
  • newspaper to protect your work surface
  • balloon
  • plastic bowl
  • Mod Podge
  • 1 inch wide flat paintbrush
  • pin or needle
  • scissors
  • yarn or string
  • tape
  • 1 inch wide foam brush


Start by shredding a few catalogs or magazines.
Cover your work surface with a couple pieces of newspaper.Blow up a balloon and place it tied side down in a bowl. The more you blow up your balloon, the bigger your paper bowl will be.
Use a flat brush to apply a generous amount of Mod Podge covering about a 4-inch square on the balloon.
Sprinkle on some paper shred.
Make sure the paper is flat against the balloon.
Paint a generous layer of Mod Podge over the paper shred.
Continue applying Mod Podge and paper until you have a nice layer of paper covering the balloon,

Let the Mod Podge dry over night.
After applying my first layer of paper, I held my balloon up to the light so I could see if I missed any spots. As you can see, I did. That's not a problem though.
Continue covering the balloon in Mod Podge and paper shred. I did five layers. Make sure to let the Mod Podge dry overnight before you add each layer.

Tip: I don't think you can really add too much paper or Mod Podge.
Once you have added 4-5 layers of paper and the Mod Podge is dry, you are ready to pop the balloon. If you want, place a couple pieces of tape on the balloon.
Poke a pin or needle into the tape and step back. Don't let go of the pin or needle because it could become a dangerous projectile when the balloon pops.

Pssssss.... Ka-Blam!
Peel the remaining balloon bits out of the bowl. It should be pretty easy.
Next you need to even out the jagged edges. Tie a string around the bowl. This is going to be your cutting guide, so make sure it is placed evenly. You can tape the string, so it doesn't slide around as you cut.
Use a sturdy pair of scissors to cut around the bowl 1/4 - 1/2 inch above the string.

Finally, use a foam brush to apply a coat of Mod Podge to the cut edge of the bowl and let it dry completely.
The inside of your bowl should be very smooth and the outside will be a bit bumpier. I just love this random, colorful bowl. It kind of reminds me of a bird's nest.

Tutorial: Decorative paper bird nest bowl

Now, hop on over to Serendipitini and About Family Crafts to learn more about the incredible projects my blog buddies created. You'll never look at your junk catalogs and magazines the same way again!

Serendipitini - Leather, Wire and Paper Necklace

About Family Crafts - Fall Apple Bunting

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The Chilly Dog: Craft Challenge Tutorial: Paper Bowl
Craft Challenge Tutorial: Paper Bowl
I decided to try a project that I have been envisioning for quite some time, a decorative (not for soup or cereal) paper mache type bowl. It's super easy to make, but rather time consuming and delightfully messy :)
The Chilly Dog
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