How to... make a Fabric Mâché Bowl! - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

How to… make a Fabric Mâché Bowl!

| May 7, 2010 | 28 Comments

We all know (and, erm, love?) paper mâché – all that lovely gooey newspaper  creating weird and wonderful new things! A few weeks ago, I came across fabric mâché at Dear Fii’s blog. Using fabric to make a bowl instead of newspaper! What an ingenious way of using up old bits of fabric!

Red ted art

So, I quickly gave it a go and made a little bowl out of some old jeans (scroll down). I am happy with the result, but it doesn’t have quite the same oooh factor as when you use “softer” fabric. So I had another go.

Remember, my no sew bunting? Out came, literally, the scraps from that project. They were only really enough for one layer of the bowl. So what do I do? Use some “new fabric” and cut it up? Kind of defeats the purpose! I then remembered that in my scrap bag, I have an old pillow case. So I decided to make the inside of my bowl white and the outside “colourful”. I decided that look a bit plain, compared to the outside, so decorated the inside too. So.

How to… make a Fabric Mâché Bowl!


1) Materials: Strips of fabric, PVA glue (use children’s glue), scissors, clingflim and a bowl, an old plate to work on

2) Cover bowl in clingfilm (else you work will stick to it). Cover clingfilm with watered down glue (not too watered down)

3) Layer with “soggy” fabric – as I chose white fabric, it doesn’t matter which way up you do it. However if you have patterned fabric, make sure the patter is face down. Make sure you cover the whole bowl at least once.

4) Add outside layer. This time make sure the pattern looks up. A total of 3 layers (of facing down and up fabric) should be enough!

5) Let it dry (may take overnight)

6) Ease out off bowl (the cling film should help, ease the clingfilm off the bowl and then remove it from the fabric bowl) and trim edges if you wish (they can look quite pretty if you leave it “rough”)

7) As my “white” was very “white” I decided to decorate the inside and cut out some patterns from my fabric remains. On the denim bowl, I decided to add a ribbon, I had to use clothe pegs to help keep it in place (keep re-adjusting clothe pegs, so that they don’t stick to the final bowl!!!)

8 ) Use some more PVC glue to glue the shapes in – cover both sides of the shapes to get a nice smooth and flat finished. Let dry and finished!

I am pretty certain that you can make ANYTHING out of fabric the way you can with paper mâché. Let your imagination be the limit!

With the denim one, I am sure, I used a little more glue and the finish is a little more “rough and ready”. But still a great way to recycle and old pair of jeans!!

More “How to…”s:

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)

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Comments (28)

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  1. TheMadHouse says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I really love it

  2. Jane says:

    oh wicked i love this one too – lots of old jeans that need cutting up not to mention the odd bits of fabric in the cupboard that i dont throw out just in case! now this is a just incase project!

  3. Ellie says:

    Love, love, love this idea! My weekend project me thinks! Thanks again Maggy for the ideas, you are fab 😀

  4. Luschka says:

    That is great! I love it – I assume you can’t wash these though!?

    • Red Ted Art says:

      I think it is “wipe clean” only 😉 Haven’t tried washing. But guess you could find a lacker of sorts – give it a nice sheen a better surface for cleaning? x

  5. Aly says:

    Most excellent! I will be trying this one!

  6. Liking the denim suggestion in the comments – I now also want to try this out on a balloon to use as a permanent decoration.

    I love your blog :)

    • Red Ted Art says:

      😉 Awe! Thank you! Love having readers like you… keep me going!! Let me know how the ballon fabric mache goes!!!!

  7. greenmum2 says:

    hellooo, we’ve just put a post on our blog inspired by your paper mache, check it out!
    thanks for all your support with our craft ideas, the boys love you

  8. Liz Burton says:

    I would never have thought of doing this with fabric – what a clever idea. I love your denim bowl x

  9. mummiafelice says:

    oooh you’ve given me a fab idea for my Easter baskets!! Thank you!!This is just brilliant!

  10. Kelly says:

    How cute is this! I can;t wait to give it a try!

  11. Beautiful and clever bowl!

  12. ohhhhhh, love this one too! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  13. Rachel says:

    This is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing it at For the Kids Friday! I will be featuring you this week! Hope to have you back to link up again this week!


  14. riccreaties says:

    I did something like this, thanks to your tutorial.
    I was so glad to be able to use my favorite holidaytrousers
    made of African-printings……..instead of having to throw it
    Next it will be a bowl of my favorite jeans, don’t fit anymore.
    Thanks for this great idea!

  15. Maggie says:

    I love this project, I think it’s a really cool Idea, and I think giving kids interesting containers to put their stiff in helps them clean up.

    I do have one question, do you mean PVC glue or PVA? I’m 90% sure you mean PVA, but I wanted to check. Thanks.

  16. Josa says:

    do you have a video of it ?

  17. Lindy says:

    Thinking of doing this with the children in my class as Christmas gifts. Does each basket need 6 layers of fabric? 3 facing up and 3 facing down? Can any fabric be used? I have a lot of metallic and lace fabrics that I think would be nice especially for a holiday bowl. Any advice would be great! Thanks.

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