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DIY Paper-mâché bowl

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

I’ve been eye paper-mâché bowls for decor for awhile now.

I’ve even seen other DIY bloggers create their own versions but, I ran into a problem…. patience or shall I say, the lack of patience. Most recipes I looked up had you waiting several hours, or even overnight to break down your paper.

I knew there had to be another way! I started by putting on Hallmark Christmas movie, probably one of the most important steps here.

Then I got to work shredding my paper. I knew I had to make my paper small. I tore up small piece, then I stuck my scissors into the bowl and basically started chopping until my paper resembled confetti.

I didn’t measure the amount of paper I had, it was roughly twice to three times the size of the bowl I was going to use as a mold in volume. Once I had a whole bowl packed full of confetti I put a pot of water on to boil. Hot water is going to break down your paper faster. I poured the water over the paper and let it sit for 5-10 mins.

Next I got out my hand potato masher.

I would mash, stir, take a break and mash some more for about 30 mins.

By doing this my paper broke down perfectly and quickly skipping that overnight waiting part.

I then added in roughly 45 squares of toilet paper.

Once the toilet paper was broken down, It was time to grab handfuls of my paper mush, and squeeze out the water.

This ended up forming little paper balls, I also left about 10% to 20% water in these paper balls. That starchy water is going to help with the paste and holding it all together.

For my paste I used two small school glue bottles, three Tbsp of flour and 1 Tbsp of salt (to prevent molding) and then I mixed it all together. I then added in my paper balls and mixed that all together with the paste.

To form your paper-mâché bowl, I grab a plastic mixing bowl, cover it with saran wrap and then start pressing the mixture onto the saran wrap prepped bowl.

Once I was happy with how my bowl looked pressed onto my form I carefully removed it from the form, as well the saran wrap, then I carefully placed it on to a foil lined baking sheet that I use for crafts only and baked it in my oven at 180°.

The time it takes to bake your Paper-mâché is going to vary on your oven and how thick your paper is .

I just kept checking on my bowl frequently as well as turning it, and flipping it often and carefully to make sure it was evenly drying out. Once my bowl was fully dry and cooled down I was able to spray paint it and then use it for decor.

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