Paper Mache Bowls

finish This was a messy project, but amazingly enough, we had a crazy amount of fun working on it. Sometimes messy is good, especially when you're prepared. And the best part was that the bowls took three "rounds" to complete – thus allowing us to extend one project over a multi-day period. I think the kids also enjoyed having a longer-running project as they keep saying they worked on these bowls "really hard." And they're actually kind of pretty.

Here's the scoop:


1. Use an existing bowl as a "mold" and coat it with a thick layer of petroleum jelly.

2. Mix together 1 cup flour, 2 cups water, and 1 tablespoon salt to form a liquid with the consistency of a thick paste.

3. Tear pieces of newspaper, dip them in the paste and assemble in layers over the "mold."

4. Let dry for a few days.


5. Remove the hardened paper mache bowl from the "mold." (I had to use a knife in areas to pry it away.) Cut the rim of the paper mache bowl to make it even and smooth. Remove the petroleum jelly from the paper mache bowl with a damp, soapy cloth.

6. Paint the outside of the paper mache bowl (we used Crayola Washable Kids Paint set of 10 Bottles (2 fl oz/59mL)). Let dry for at least a day.


6. Paint the inside.

7. Use the bowls to store jewelry, keys, American Girl accessories, chapstick, etc. Or wear as a hat, just because. round1 Round 1 – The girls did really well, but I had to assemble T's bowl for him. He kept saying "but why so messy? why?" round2 Round 2 – F's become really interested in outer space and the planets (more on this next week), so she painted her bowl to look like the night sky. Both the girls have shown an interest in color mixing, so we used the newspaper to experiment. round3 Round 3 – T overcame his aversion to messes and painted for a good thirty minutes. Painting is the one craft where T can outlast the girls, by a lot. hats  We planned on using them as bowls, but then F decided the kids NEEDED hats. So they're sort of multipurposeful right now.


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