How To Make A Fun Decoupage Paper Mache Bowl

6 Materials
2 Days

I love those gorgeous plates in Anthropologie with the animals and flowers on them. I have quite a collection as I buy one every time I visit thier London store. I thought it would be fun to make my own large decorative "nature table" themed bowl for my dining table to match the plates.

I can't make one out of clay as I don't have a kiln. However, after the success of using paper mache to make my Marimekko Planters I decided to use the same method as the base for these bowls.

You will need a big bowl to use as a mold for this craft. Cover the bowl in clingfilm/plastic wrap.

Then cut newspaper into strips and stick it to the upturned bowl. I used a 50/50 mixutre of white craft glue and water as my adhesive.

Cover the whole bowl and let the layers dry before adding another one. The more layers of newspaper the stronger and thicker your bowl. I used six layers of paper.

When finished with the paper mache, remove the bowl from the mold. Then using scissors cut the edge to even it up.

Then add one final layer of paper mache over the edges to smooth them out.

Paint both the inside and outside of the bowl with gesso paint.

I used images printed on paper napkins for the decoupage on my bowl. If you go to the blog post there is a tutorial on how to print onto paper napkins at home. Plus I have a lot of free gorgeous vintage images that you can use for this project too.

Using Mod Podge decoupage the paper napkin images onto the bowl. I used paper napkins as they are so thin it looks like the images are printed onto the bowl.

I loved this bowl so much I ended up making 2 of them. You can see the other one on the blog.

Paper napkin decoupage is a great way to decorate objects for the home. One of my most popular post on the blog is another paper napkin decoupage my map mason jars.

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Claire at Pillarboxblue

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


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Debby Weisman
    on Jul 30, 2020

    I have made these bowl and used a cylinder base than covered with paper Mache or once a large balloon to make a very big pumpkin which lasted for years. I have taken Styrofoam balls and even old golf balls all from Goodwill wrapped with paper tape and than painted or covered with matching napkins as the bowls. Than also used over the paper tape once glue gun designs all over the balls to give dimension and than painted multiple colors and when dry gold or silver craft paint accents where the glue gone was. came out gorgeous and also produced finials for all my lamps with your idea ! Endless possibilities !! What did you use as a sealer that wouldn't yellow ?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Jul 30, 2020

      Thank you, love all your ideas. Make sure you use a crystal clear varnish and not just a clear varnish. i also find most spray acrylic varnishes don't yellow.

  • Debbie
    on Aug 20, 2020

    I know this will sound horribly beginner of me....(which I am lol) but how do you remove the bowl? 🤔

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Aug 20, 2020

      You should just be able to lift it off the mold. That is what the cling film/plastic wrap is for, to stop the paper sticking to the original bowl.

Join the conversation

4 of 14 comments
  • Candace
    on Aug 15, 2020

    Ho, I love your share. I would like to do it on a metal bowl - al , I think. What adjustments of matera d processing would I havr to in

  • Melinda Record
    on Aug 17, 2020

    Great instructions which encourage me to finally give these paper mache bowls a try. As many people have commented, this is inspiring!!!

    Thank you for sharing this project!

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