We are definitely paper lovers and we know we're not alone. We talk about it in our book, how us crafters each have our own stories about hoarding pretty papers. When we were at CHA and went out to dinner with the Paper Tales girls, every single one of us admitted to holding onto our favorite sheets of paper from companies that are now long gone...our "stash" of untainted sheets that we'll probably never ever cut up. And why not? Some papers are a work of art and should be collected. We know first hand what goes into designing a paper collection.
But alas, paper is meant for cutting, crafting, and making cool and pretty things. It's not just for scrapbooking. And we think that this project is great for those of you who are "paper curious". Those of you who visit the paper aisle in Michaels just to look at the patterns. Maybe you never buy any, simply because you don't know what you'd use it for. Well these bowls are a fairly simple way to get your feet wet with paper.
We came across this tutorial on pinterest and thought it would make a fun springtime weekend project. Making the paper mache paste for this project brought back so many childhood crafting memories. I remember making pinatas, bowls, and masks in school. It was so much fun! And so simple! I remember being amazed that those strips of newspaper dipped in homemade glue soon turned into a hard sculpture with a shiny finish. Anyone who uses mod podge in paper crafting is only a smidge away from doing paper mache art.
And this one is definitely kid friendly. Perfect for Spring (imagine filling the bowls with Easter eggs!), or for Birthdays, Christmas...We will be making Christmas bowls for sure...using a mix of patterned paper and vintage cards. You can do the same with Valentine cards, or maybe even a vintage baby shower bowl. For our bowl we wanted to use papers that worked well with our color palette, and we made it a keepsake by incorporating copies of vintage family photos.
Here is what you will need:
bowls (clear makes it very easy to plan your design)
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 cups water total
gloss mod podge or varnish
First mix a half cup of flour into 2 cups of cold water. While you do this bring two cups of water to a boil.
Once your water is boiling add your flour mixture to it and bring the pot to a boil again.
Remove it from the heat and then whisk in 3 tablespoons of sugar. The paste will thicken as it cools.
Now for your bowls. Again, you can use any bowl, but we used glass so that we could flip it over periodically to see how our design looked from the inside. Just cover your bowls with plastic wrap to keep your paper and paste from sticking to the bowls. Wrap the plastic at least an inch around the inside rim. Having this extra slack will make it easier for removal.
Next, just punch your papers. You can plan your bowls or you can let them happen naturally, like tossing confetti. We liked the idea of going mostly random but with some vintage photos placed throughout the bowl.
The inside bottom of the bowl will be your focal point, so if you have any special images or photos place them here. We used our fingers mostly, just smeared the paste onto the paper, pressed it to the bowl, and then smeared more paste onto the back of the paper. Using two sided papers makes it easier of course. But they don't have to be two sided. You can just paste the exact same paper to the blank side of the paper that you just glued down.
Once the entire bowl is covered just give it a once over to see how you like it. Since there aren't any rules, if you see a spot that needs more of a certain color, just glue down another circle.
This is the advantage of using a clear bowl. You can peek inside to make sure your positioning things exactly where you want them.
Be patient and let your bowl dry overnight. The next day, pop your new paper bowl off of the real bowl. It should pop off easily, but if it doesn't you can carefully slide a toothpick between the the paper bowl and the real bowl and gently pry it all the way around. That should do the trick.
Then brush on a coat of gloss mod podge or varnish. We did two coats, making sure to let dry between coats.
Once they're fully dry they're ready for display. We love how these came out. The larger one has the vintage family photos inside and the smaller is just pretty patterned papers.
We made our's fairly small, but if you're more ambitious you can make them really big...whatever you want. These are really just a tribute to true confetti bowls. You can also make a bowls from actual confetti and the process isn't much different. Check out a tutorial for that here.
Again, these were easy and fun. Kinda a carefree creative project for any skill level whatsoever. Definitely worth a try with the kiddos.
Ok, hope you have fun with paper mache!
xo, Jenny...and Aaron