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How to Make a Paper Mache Bowl DIY

I’ve seen rustic paper mache bowls popping up all over Pinterest and Instagram, and they look o cool. I used to love working with clay and mache products, so I thought I would give it a try to make a paper mache bowl of my own and share it with you with another Episode of Let’s Make Something.

Make a DIY paper mache bowl

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The bowl was fun and easy to make using a pre-mixed product I found, and even though it took several days of dry time, my DIY paper mache bowl turned out to be really cool. Even though it’s not for food use or wet applications, It’s such a fun decorative piece… we actually keep our TV remotes in ours!


Handmade Paper mache bowl on MCM coffee tableI have the instructions below and a few tips that make the process much easier! You can also watch the video for the full instructions and the bonus video to see how the foot of the bowl is created up-close.

To make your paper mache bowl. you’ll need: Paper mache pre-mix, a tub to mix it in and water, small bowl or jar with water , clay tools, a large bowl wrapped in plastic wrap as a “mold”, a dust mask and possibly eye- protection, paper towels. Find supplies here. I grabbed a few in progress still shots from the video so you could see a few more steps.

Applying paper mache to top of handmade bowl

Start making your bowl, wrap your large “mold” bowl in plastic wrap. This will make it easier to remove your paper mache piece later. Set aside until your paper mache mixture is ready. Mix your mache compound according to the instructions. The mixture seems to kick up a lot of dust so wearing a dust mask is advised. Once your mixture is thoroughly mixed, start taking clumps, flattening them slightly, and molding it around your bowl. the mixture should be moixed thicke enough to grab the bowl. If ti’s sliding off it’s has too much water and needs more paper mixture.

Smooth edge of the paper mache bowl with a putty knife or clay tool

I found by placing paper towel or parchment paper  under the DIY paper mache  bowl before working made it easier to form the rim of  when making your rounded shape.

Roll put paper mache with a dowel rod

After the bowl is formed around the mold and smoothed out (This is where a small bowl of water comes in handy. Keeping your fingers wet help it to smooth and glide over the paper mache mixture.), make two “snakes” with the mixture and press them flat to form a rim at the top and at the bottom foot using your clay tools to help adhere them (check out the video on how to add the foot for a closer look.).

Use a tool to attach the foot of the bowl to the surface

Once this step is completed, place in a flat place and let it dry over a few days. I placed a monitored fan on mine during the day to help it dry faster.

Making a handmde bowl attaching the rim

Once the outside is hard, carefully flip it over and remove the bowl from the inside (This is where that plastic wrap really helps!). Place paper towels in the inside of the bowl form and carefully set your paper mache bowl inside, using paper towels (or plastic bags) to help support the sides and underneath so the inside of the bowl can dry without warping.

Flip bowl over to let the inside dry supporting the outer edges

Once the bowl is dry, it can be painted with acrylic paint, sealed with clear sealer or left in its natural state. Use to display decorative items. We put our TV remotes in ours!

Handmade Paper mache bowl on MCM coffee table

And it’s been surprisingly durable and it was fun to make a paper mache bowl to really use. I really thought the family would have it smashed to bits in a few days, but it’s held up really well!

Midcentury decor with handamde paper mache bowl


If you liked this post, you might also like how to make a leather wrapped bottle vase.



Make a rustic DIY Paper mache bowl