How to Upcycle a Takeaway Container Into a Decorative Trinket Bowl

4 Materials
40 Minutes

I upcycled two Japenese Noddle Takeaway Containers into trinket bowls for my jewellery and keys. I experimented with a couple of different decoupage methods. This one was my favourite.

These are the containers I started with. Basically black plastic bowls from my favourite Japanese Takeaway. I did two versions. This tutorial is for the one where I used Mod Podge, old Mexican Newspaper (that I had used to wrap souvenirs) and faux gold leaf.

Spread your mod podge around the inside of your container first. As you can probably tell from the photo I used my fingers for this. That makes this much messier than if you used a craft brush – so do that instead! (I am terrible for using my fingers for things that I really should use the appropriate tools for!).  

To start decorating your bowl, tear off strips of your chosen paper and place them on the inside. They can overlap here and there and there can be gaps too. This is because if you use the method I did you’ll finish it off with some faux gold leaf to fill those gaps. If you are leaving that step out then make sure to fully cover all the visible parts of the bowl with your scraps of paper. 

I used old Mexican newspaper and I tried to tear it so I had some different sized text and not very much of the white borders at the bottom and edge of the pages.  

Repeat the process with your Mod Podge and scrap paper on the outside of your bowl. I used the lid of a plastic storage container as my work surface for this. You can make the scraps small or large, but if they are two big you will end up with bulges and folds you don’t want when the scraps go over an edge or a bend in your bowl, so keep this in mind.  

There is a proper way to apply gold leaf, either faux or real. This is more of a makeshift method. 

First, I didn’t bother using proper gold leaf size, I used more mod podge in the spaces where I wanted the gold leaf to stick.

Two, faux gold leaf is cheap and I couldn’t totally remember where I had applied all my sections of mod podge for it to adhere to, so I basically placed gold leaf sheets over pretty much the whole bowl, pressed it down and waited a bit for it to dry. This won’t end up with the whole bowl covered in gold unless you have applied the size or mod podge everywhere. 

Once you think your glue will have dried you brush off the excess with a foam brush like the one pictured above. You should then find you have streaks and sections of gold leaf interspersed with your newspaper print (or whatever other type of paper you’ve used).

This is the finished trinket bowl. I also did a version with William Morris wrapping paper and spray adhesive. You can find more process photos for this version and the William Morris version on my blog at:

Two decoupage methods for decorative trinket bowls from Takeaway Containers.

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Kristen Hubert

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kim
    on Oct 23, 2019

    Thanks for a great idea! Have you ever decoupaged the kids? I did a couple. They turned out okay. Of course there isn’t a good seal, but they’re stationary. One makes a good “Mom only” secret candy dish.

    • Swenhig
      on Nov 16, 2019

      Funniest thing I've heard in a long time! Hahahaha! I want to see the decoupaged kids!

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