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How to Make a Paper Bowl

Updated on July 30, 2014

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)
  • Blender
  • Water
  • Colander
  • 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.)


  1. Tear the construction paper and one or two pages from the newspaper or magazine into one-inch squares.
  2. Blend the paper with half a blender-full of water until it is the consistency of a smoothy. This mixture is called slurry.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Enjoy your bowl!
  8. 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.
Cast your vote for How to Make a Paper Bowl

Tearing Paper To Make a Bowl

Tearing Paper To Make a Bowl
Tearing Paper To Make a Bowl

Blending Paper and Water into Slurry

Blending Paper and Water into Slurry
Blending Paper and Water into Slurry

Draining Excess Water from the Slurry

Draining Excess Water from the Slurry
Draining Excess Water from the Slurry

Molding Slurry into the Shape of a Bowl

Molding Slurry into the Shape of a Bowl
Molding Slurry into the Shape of a Bowl

Three Homemade Paper Bowls

Three Homemade Paper Bowls
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

Thank you for visiting my page about how to make a paper bowl. Your comments are welcome.

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Splendid . Beautiful paper bowls .

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really creative! Now I have a reason that I have kept so many old magazines in the basement :P I will just use some of them for this.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      I like these paper bowls and will definitely try your recipe. Happy Easter with Easter Blessings.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love to make handmade paper, and add flower petals and leaves. I am always collecting something for my paper.

    • profile image

      Mim Art 

      8 years ago

      Great lens! Congrats on being Showcased in the Spring and Easter Crafts. Happy Easter!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      How delightful! I love your paper bowls and was so glad to discover them and you featured on the 2012 Spring and Easter Showcase...I'm going to have to give this project a try with my granddaughter...she'll love it..and so will I!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      8 years ago from Land of Aloha

      The paper bowls project is a nice one to share. Thanks for the idea and the tips to do this.

    • lilymom24 profile image


      8 years ago

      This looks like a lot of fun, easy to do and I have most of the supplies right here at home.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      8 years ago from UK

      I would love to try maing paper by this technique, as an artist and crafter I really tink I could use something like this

    • wolfie10 profile image


      8 years ago

      very clever idea. plenty of possibilities

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love your instructions. Visual is the best! Thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Fabulous idea for kids! It sounds well worth the cleanup, too. :) I'm so glad you shared this. I'll find a way to work it into one of my kids' crafts lenses. Thank you!

    • smithlights profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome lens. I may do that this weekend!

    • LakeMom profile image


      8 years ago

      Great idea! Love your notes! Have tried making paper with not much success. Will have to try the bowl sometime!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      A beautifully done tutorial. I've made hand-made paper before for my artwork but haven't tried shaping a bown. May give this a try next time I do. Blessed.

    • iWriteaLot profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh, how fun! I HAVE to try this! Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Nicely done. I really like the photos you took. *Blessed*

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what a neat idea! Great lens!

    • profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      8 years ago

      very neat craft idea to do with kids or just to make them for fun, great lens, blessed

    • traveller27 profile image


      8 years ago

      Very creative - great activity!

    • Mistl profile image


      8 years ago

      I used to make paper with my mom when I was a child and it was a blast. Thanks for reminding me of good times! :)


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