How to Make a Paper Bowl
Make a Decorative Bowl Out Of Paper
Here is a super easy papermaking craft that you can do right now with materials you already have. It would even work great as a last minute Easter craft. Just add some grass and chocolate eggs! The Chinese were the first to make paper over 4000 years ago. I wanted to make paper with my students to bring to life our unit study on ancient China. This paper bowl craft is easy and teaches the fundamentals of making paper. This craft is based on an article called "How to Craft a Paper Bowl" from the September 2006 issue of Family Fun magazine (article available online here). We changed the procedure a bit and made enough discoveries along the way that I want to share with you here. Grab your materials and you'll be ready to get started.
All photos were taken by the author of this page. All rights reserved.
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- Three sheets of construction paper (same color)
- Old newspaper or magazine (colorful ones are fun)
- Large pan or bowl
- Vegetable oil
- Kitchen sieve (This is the mold for your bowl so make sure it's the size you want your bowl to be.)
- Tear the construction paper and one or two pages from the newspaper or magazine into one-inch squares.
- Blend the paper with half a blender-full of water until it is the consistency of a smoothy. This mixture is called slurry.
- Pour the slurry into the colander over your large pan or bowl, and let the excess water drain out. Do not squeeze the water out of the slurry or it will be lumpy. That's the voice of experience.
- Apply a coating of vegetable oil to the sieve, so the finished bowl doesn't stick. (This is important. We forgot the oil on one of our bowls and it was hard to take out.)
- Scoop the slurry into the sieve and press it into a uniformly thick layer all around the inside of the sieve. Press the excess water out with your fingers.
- Let the bowl dry. It will take from one to three days. Most construction paper fades quickly in the sun; consider that when you decide where to leave your bowl to dry.
- Enjoy your bowl!
- The original instructions for this craft suggested decorating with wet strips of paper to the inside and outside of the bowl before drying it. We tried that and the strips of paper did not stick. If you want to decorate your bowl, I recommend dipping the strips of paper in diluted glue before applying them to the bowl.
Tearing Paper To Make a Bowl
Blending Paper and Water into Slurry
Draining Excess Water from the Slurry
Molding Slurry into the Shape of a Bowl
Three Homemade Paper Bowls
The Papermaker's Companion - The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper
Take your papermaking to the next level with this highly acclaimed book.
Paper Making Video Tutorial - Step by step guide to making paper
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