Project: Paper Mache

Here’s an art project that’s easy and such fun! You make one too, Mom. A lot of the fun for your kids is working side-by-side and watching Mommy create!


Paper Mache Bowl

This lightweight bowl can hold napkins, hair scrunchies, paper clips, candies for a gift, dinner rolls, and more. It can’t get wet, and it can’t carry a very heavy load.

Petroleum jelly
Acrylic paint (tubes in the craft section of Walmart, craft stores, etc. are about $1)

(This project is a bit messy, but very fun! Do it outside or cover the table with newspapers first. The flour/water paste washes out of clothes and off surfaces.)

1. In very large bowl, mix 2 parts water with 1 part flour (any type) and whisk until smooth and thick. This is your paper mache paste mixture.

2. Blow up balloon to desired size and set down into a cup (with the tied part of the balloon down) to hold it in place. Very lightly coat the top half of the balloon with petroleum jelly so the balloon will not stick to your bowl. (Do a lighter coat than the photo!)


3. Rip newspaper into 1″ strips. (Do not cut, you want ragged edges to smooth down more easily). Immerse strips into the bowl of paste mixture to moisten thoroughly. They can remain there while you work.

4. Pull a strip of wet newspaper through two fingers to smooth off excess paste mixture. Lay this strip onto your balloon and smooth with fingers to get out bubbles, wrinkles, excess glue. Continue laying strips of newspapers in every direction to form a thick coating, at least 4 layers thick.

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Emily (17, on the right) and her friend Lizzie can't resist joining in the younger kids' fun!

Emily (17, on the right) and her friend Lizzie can’t resist joining in the younger kids’ fun!

5. Create a base for the bowl to sit on, and other features, such as little knobs (or a princess crown design, or a handle, etc.) by squishing up the wet newspaper and sticking it on the paper mache coating you have layered onto the balloon. You can cut a paper ring for the bowl to sit in and paper mache it onto the bowl or cut a circle out of cardboard and paper mache it onto the top of the balloon (so it will serve as a base).


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6. Let dry for 24-48 hours in a sunny window if possible. When your paper mache bowl is completely dry, pop the balloon (and listen to the interesting sounds it makes as it pulls away from the dried paper mache!)

7. Put a big rubber band around your dried paper mache as a guideline to cut a straight edge for the top of your bowl. Cut with scissors.

8. Paint using acrylic paints. Two coats is needed to cover the newspaper print. Top with an acrylic glossy finish coat if you want it to look shiny.


Louisa’s pink princess bowl (with lots of glitter inside and out!)



Emily’s daisy bowl



Mommy’s green and lavender bowl on a base. (that’s me!) 

mache11You can create fun sculptures of animals or people using a foundation form of boxes, toilet paper rolls, empty dishwashing soap bottles, or whatever you can find around your house. Masking tape them together and paper mache over the top of it all. If you have a sturdy form, your creation can carry a heavy load, like the pencil holder below. Paper mache the outside of an empty tin can to make a pencil holder for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gifts!

Have a good time together!


May I recommend:

Project: Harvest Wreath

Feed Creativity!

Scribble Art

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