A great use for shredded paper, is to turn it into a shredded paper pulp or papier mache clay. This is a fun medium to work with and can be quickly and easily turned into bowls.
You can then paint to you heart’s desire. We decided to make ours into Summer Fruit Bowls – a melon, orange, lemon and kiwi fruit bowl. Together they look gorgeous.
These would look so LOVELY with our Summer Pencil Holders too!! Summer room decor for tweens sorted.
Some background to our paper mache bowls (sorry… you can skip it!! Hahaha)
Over the Easter holidays, the kids and I shredded two bin bags worth of paper. Left with the two bags of shredded paper, we were looking at different shredded paper things to make! We are a big fan of “papier mache” in the “newspaper strips” sense and have made all sorts in the past (from Dino Piggy Banks, to Easter Baskets), but we have never work with paper pulp before. So this was interesting and exciting and new for us. We made a number of shredded paper diys… but today we want to share our Papier Mache Fruit Bowls.
With summer fruit designs – melon bowls, orange bowls and lemon bowls – we think these make great summer holiday projects. Also, as papier pulp is quite wet.. the summer is a great time to make these, as they will dry much quicker in the sunshine. Having said that, we made these at Easter… it just took 2-3 days longer to dry. So you can make them at any time of the year really! What I REALLY love about these papier mache bowls however, is that they are so so so thrifty and eco friendly.
We used our papier mache paste, that is made from flour and water and yields great results! (Find 19 more great uses for shredded paper here). We also have MORE Summer Fruits fun, with this adorable and quick to make Summer Fruits Bookmark Set! Or have a look at our Melon Paper Fans. Gorgeous – and yes, these are all part of our collection of DIY Watermelon Craft Ideas!
Papier Mache Bowls – materials
for the paper pulp:
- shredded paper
- a large bowl for soaking
- hand held blender
for the papier mache paste:
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 cups of water
- a microwave
to make 3 bowls, we used only one very small cup of flour… you really won’t need much!
for making the bowls:
- other bowls as moulds (different sizes is great)
- cling film
- acrylic paints (we LOVE these – US/ UK (affiliate links))
How To Papier Mache Bowls DIY
Or take a look at our step by step photos – Papier Mache Bowls!
1) Soak your shredded paper overnight (or for a couple of hours)
2) Use your hand blender to pulp it as smoothly as you can.
3) Make your papier mache paste – mix 1 part flour with 2 parts water. Pop it in the microwave at full heat for 10-20 second intervals. Keep stirring. Ours took about 50sec. It is ready when you have a thick paste. Try and squish out any lumps.
4) Mix 1 part papier mache paste with 3 parts of the papier mache pulp – BUT SQUEEZE OUT AS MUCH WATER AS POSSIBLE FIRST.
Time to FORM you bowls
5) Line your bowls with cling film. You can use the OUTSIDE of the bowls too – BUT – these bowls tend to shrink as they dry, so if you use the oustide of a bowl, be sure to remove your bowl, when it is still a little damp, else it will be quite tricky to get it off the bowl. The inside is easier, as the bowl shrinks and actually pushes away from the sides.
Carefully layer up the bowl approx 1/3 of a cm. Not too thick. Not too thin.
LET DRY – this can take UP TO A WEEK!
If you remove when still ever so slightly damp, you can use scissors to trim the top of the bowl a little (if you wish!)
6) Once dry, peel of the plastic carefully. If you need to pop them into the oven at low heat for an extra blast of drying.. I tend to pop it into the oven (without plastic!!) AFTER I have cooked something – ie using the energy used to heat the oven already – no “extra energy used”!
Time to PAINT your Papier Mache Bowls
7) Start painting. Paint them any way you wish – we turned ours into summer fruit – a watermelon bowl, an orange bowl and a lemon bowl. But you can paint them anyway you want – they can be dotty, splogy, stripey, monochrome, primary colours.. anything you want. Maybe make an earth day one?!
Check out the this lovely little video showing how to paint a watermelon bowl:
We did it in this order:
- Paint the inside first (right up the rim)
- Let dry
- Turn around and paint the outside!
And finished. Aren’t these papier mache bowls simply beautiful? I love love love them. They would make a great Mother’s Day gift or Christmas gift for kids to make too!
Check out these other 19 fabulous uses for shredded paper:
More great DIY Watermelon Craft Ideas:
Looking for more Gifts That Kids Can Make? Take a look a these: