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How to Make a Paper Bowl

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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.

Have you ever made paper?


  • 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.

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.

Leave a Comment

Jugal on March 11, 2018:

Splendid . Beautiful paper bowls .

SakuraH on February 28, 2013:

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.

AJ from Australia on April 07, 2012:

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

TheDeeperWell on April 04, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

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

Mim Art on April 04, 2012:

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

anonymous on April 04, 2012:

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 from Land of Aloha on April 04, 2012:

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

lilymom24 on December 01, 2011:

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

John Dyhouse from UK on December 01, 2011:

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 on November 28, 2011:

very clever idea. plenty of possibilities

naugleb on November 26, 2011:

Love your instructions. Visual is the best! Thanks.

seedplanter on November 26, 2011:

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 on November 25, 2011:

Awesome lens. I may do that this weekend!

LakeMom on November 24, 2011:

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

Mona from Iowa on November 24, 2011:

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 on November 24, 2011:

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

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on November 23, 2011:

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

SiochainGraSonas on November 22, 2011:

what a neat idea! Great lens!

Close2Art LM on November 22, 2011:

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

traveller27 on November 22, 2011:

Very creative - great activity!

Tjoedhilde on November 22, 2011:

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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