Paper mache bowl

Paper mache bowl

Kid will be excited to hold onto something they have managed to create. They can craft this bowl of any size for trinkets in their rooms, as gifts or for a fruit bowl for the house. The possibilities are endless.

What you need:

  • plenty of recycled paper (choose a mixture of one selection): lolly wrappers, coloured paper, coloured foil, envelopes, comics, newspaper, magazines, wrapping paper)
  • paint and paintbrushes
  • newspaper, shredded and ripped into small pieces/ strips (4-5cms wide and at least 15cms in length).  
  • a balloon
  • a wide cup/ small bowl
  • Vaseline
  • scissors
  • paste/ glue. Homemade glue: Mix 2 tbsp PVA, 10 tbsp flour, and 1 cup water together until it is a soup-like consistency. 
  • paintbrush
  • strip of card
  • stapler
  • masking tape

Number of players:


To make bowl

Lay newspaper out on the table and create a work area.

Blow up the balloon and fasten with a knot.

Spread plenty of Vaseline all over it.

Sit the balloon in the cup with the knot facing into the cup.

Brush over some paste with the paintbrush on the top half of the balloon.

Cover the top half of the balloon (that is covered in paste) with strips of newspaper.

Make sure the newspaper is wet entirely with glue – add more if required.

Paste the strips horizontally and vertically as this will strengthen the bowl.

If you end up with an air bubble or glue lump, tear a smaller bit of newspaper and press it firmly over it, to smooth it out.

Cover the ends that haven't been glued down properly with glue.

Add at least six layers of newspaper and glue to the top half of the balloon.

Leave it to dry in a warm, sunny place for the day.

When dry remove the newspaper mould from the balloon.

Trim off the rough edges, using scissors.

To make a base for the bowl

Turn the bowl upside down.

Make a loop / circle with the strip of card, and staple in place.

Attach the loop to the base of the bowl with masking tape.

Paste on some glue and cover it with newspaper pieces / strips.

Once the bowl and base are completely dry it is ready to be decorated.

Essentially you are decoupaging (paper collaging) the bowl.

Cover it entirely with your selected paper and glue.

Paint if you desire.

Decorate until all of the newspaper is covered with colour and patterns.


  • Wallpaper paste will work well for this activity. You can buy this from hardware shops. Put about a tablespoon in a bowl. Add water and mix until it binds together. It should be thick enough to brush onto a surface.
  • Alternatively to using a balloon, mould your bowl around a plastic bowl from your kitchen.

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