Easy Paper Mache Bowl Project

Looking for great ideas for your next paper mache project or a gift idea? Check out my patterns and videos for masks, animal sculptures and faux trophy mounts.

This video shows how I made an easy paper mache bowl with paper mache clay that’s been tinted with colored tissue paper. The project didn’t take much time, and it turned out rather nice. I didn’t work very hard on getting a pretty pattern with the colors, but if you have more patience than I do, you could make a very nice decorative bowl with this method. If your kids are home for winter vacation, this would be a fun and easy project.

The original paper mache clay recipe needs to be altered a little. Use just 3/4 cup of wet toilet paper instead of the 1 1/4 cup the original recipe calls for. Also, if you intend to do this project with a child, leave out the linseed oil (it contains chemicals) or use mineral oil instead. The oil really isn’t needed.

If I did this again, I’d probably mix in the colored tissue paper before adding any flour. Then I’d add less flour than the recipe called for. With a wetter mixture, I think you could then use a small plastic bag with a corner cut off like a pastry bag, the way you would to frost a fancy cake. That way, you could get smaller details more easily. It might be worth a try, anyway.

I’ve been wanting to try tinted paper mache clay for a long time. Marika made a nice wasp nest with colored paper mache clay, and a number of people have asked me if they could used colored clay for their own projects. The tissue paper didn’t affect the strength of the clay at all, so it dried really hard and strong.

11 thoughts on “Easy Paper Mache Bowl Project

  1. Thanks for all. Am looking for ideas for grand children to do, for activities and these have given me great simple ideas!

  2. Seems like you could run the tissue paper through a paper shredder before you soak it in water. You’d start out with small pieces and it may mix more easily.

  3. Do you have any examples on your site on how to attach a base to a papier mache bowl ? Thank you – I looked around a bit already but maybe it’s somewhere and I just didn’t find it.

    • I don’t think we have an example of that. I’d probably make a round base out of cardboard, tape it on to the bottom of the bowl, and then cover with paper mache. I’m not a bowl expert though.

  4. To make hollow balls of paper mache clay, blow up balloons of different sizes, cover them with the clay, leaving the balloon’s neck exposed. When the clay is hard, deflate (pop) the balloon and pull it out. If it will be used as an ornament or other hanging object, a loop of wire or knotted loop of fishing leader can be inserted into the hole and molded in place with clay.
    P.S. For rings around a planet, why not paint them with glow-in-the-dark paint?

  5. I think the bowl is so coo and the way the colors turned out is really interesting. It reminds me of a similar technique in clay called puzzling. I can’t wait to try it. You could make one of those eggs you look into at Easter with this method.

  6. Cool! That was fun to watch. Thank you. I wish I had some tissue paper laying around.

    Any suggestions on how to make something round, like a planet? (My sister called me today and said her grandson (4) is in love with the solar system and wants the planets hanging from his ceiling. It sounds like a fun project, but I’m a little intimidated about the roundness of it all! (I know, no fear!)

    • I would get a $2 rubber ball from Walmart and cover it with paper mache for a planet. You could add a cardboard ring for Saturn, that would be fun. It sounds like your nephew (great nephew?) is going to be a scientist when he grows up.

    • Rex, while I did not do a solar system, I have had great success with styrofoam balls that you can get at any craft store. Then you can vary the sizes for the sizes of the planets. My projects were Christmas ornaments and a mobile. I used Jonni’s smooth clay on it and it adhered nicely. Make sure you add a wire loop on the top with masking tape if you plan to hang them. They are nice and light and catch the breeze well when finished.

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