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DIY Papier Mâché Bowls


So I have this thing for bowls. Mr. Lovely always makes fun of me because I’ve never met a bowl that I didn’t like. So I thought it was high time I try to make some. I haven’t done the old glue and paper routine since I was in 4-H, and I kind of forgot how cool it is. And this particular tutorial isn’t even really legit papier mâché. It’s kind of a 21st century fast-forward version. Which is okay by me. Want in? Let’s do it.


  • newspaper
  • ModPodge
  • balloons
  • empty cups
  • foam brush
  • scissors
  • craft paint
  • liquid gilding

Make Time: 2 Hours (plus drying time)

Full disclosure: This is one of those projects that I thought I made up in my head, and after some web searching, realized everyone else did too. So I followed a bit of this great tutorial over at Julie Ann Art, and adjusted some specifics as I went along. I’ll include my step by step here.

Start by cutting your newspaper into strips that are about 1″x3″. (Size can vary — no biggie.) Blow up a few of your balloons, and vary the size if you’d like to have nested bowls like I made.


Paint a layer of ModPodge around the end of the balloon. One by one, apply the strips of newspaper, ensuring that they soak up glue as you apply. Once you have a base layer of paper covering the glue, apply more ModPodge and paper. Keep going in this order (glue, paper, glue, paper) until you have about 5 or 6 layers of paper covering all areas of your bowl. (It’s important to be sure that it’s thick enough to hold its shape.)


Stand the balloons in the empty cups to dry, being sure that they’re stable and won’t tip over. Allow your balloons to dry thoroughly — I left mine for about 24 hours. After they’re completely dry, gently pop the balloons and pull away from the bowls.



Trim the uneven edges around the tops. Flip the bowls upside-down and cover with craft paint (it may take multiple coats). Allow to dry. Flip back over and paint the inside of the bowls with liquid gilding. Leave for a day or so to completely dry and cure.




Yeah! These are rad! I think they look pretty fancy if I do say so myself. Right now they’re holding some of my overflow accessories, but I think they’d make pretty cool desk organizers or spare change bowls too. Make some! xoxo





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22 thoughts on “DIY Papier Mâché Bowls

  1. SO freaking CUTE! I have been researching how to do paper mache because I wanted to make a deer head for my wall, but thought that would be way too hard. I think I might be able to handle this though? Maybe? 🙂 I need my inner 6 year old to come help me!
    Also- can I say I have a bowl thing too? My husband always makes fun of me and is like “what are you going to put in those things?!?” And I’m like….”the better question is what aren’t i going to put in them?!?!” 😛 I totally feel you!

  2. This project is a perfect rainy day activity. It’s been a little dreary in normally sunny SoCal and I’ve been craving a DIY project. I’m glad I stumbled across your blog:)

  3. Well, these are awesome! I’ve been meaning to give paper mache a go. Now, I feel obligated. 🙂 Love these bowls Chels.

  4. So I have been saving images/how-to’s of these bowls for my sister’s desk. This seems so easy!! Definitely doing this!

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    1. Hi Karine! I just usually use the standard Mod Podge, either gloss or matte, depending on the finish that I’d like the piece to have.