Paper Mache Bowls | Stay at Home Kids Craft Ideas

Crafting with kids – Paper mache bowls

by Katrina Gogel

Paper mache bowls make for a great, stay-at-home family craft project. They are super easy to create and lots of fun for little fingers. Best of all, you’ll more than likely discover that you have most (if not all) of the supplies already at home!

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Plain flour
– Water
– Mixing bowls and cups
– Newspaper, cut into strips
– Balloons
– Paintbrushes
– Paint

How to make the paste:

– Mix 1-part water with 1-part plain flour.

Yep, it’s that simple!

We made our mixture with 1 cup water, and 1 cup flour and mixed it together with a whisk, rather than a spoon. This was the easiest way to break up any lumps.

How to make the bowls:

– Cut a newspaper into strips.
– Blow up a balloon and sit it in a cup or bowl, with the knot facing down.

– Dip a paintbrush into your paper mache glue and coat half of your balloon.
– Get sticking! Place one layer of newspaper onto the balloon, then glue over the top of that. Repeat this process a couple more times.

– Once you’ve completed a few layers take the balloon/s outside and place in the sunshine to dry (this will take a couple of hours).
– When dry, bring them back in and add a few more, final layers.
– Allow to dry again (we left ours overnight).

– When the paper mache is completely dry, it’s time to get creative and paint. We recommend leaving the balloon/s sitting in their bowl and painting the outside first.

– Once your paint is dry, take the balloon out of its bowl/cup and pop it! The balloon will unstick from the paper mache and shrivel up.

– Trim the edges of your bowl with scissors, then add the finishing touches by painting the inside.


– Your masterpiece is complete!

Some more info:

  • We did approximately six layers in total and found our bowls to be sturdy enough.
  • This isn’t a quick project as you need to allow for drying time.
  • We tore up some thin white paper (from a scrapbook) and used for the final layer on a couple of our balloons. By doing this the newspaper clippings didn’t show through when painting.
  • Use some coloured paper on your final layer if you don’t wish to paint your bowl.
  • This project can get messy! Place newspaper down on your table and put kids in old clothes (or an art smock).
  • Paper mache bowls are for decorative use only. They are great for storing jewellery, lego or trinkets in, and make wonderful homemade gifts for relatives and friends.

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At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: All photos by Katrina Gogel

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