How to Make a Paper Bowl

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Shallow container (such as a plastic plate or aluminum pie dish)
  • Balloon
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Wide plastic lid (such as a yogurt or sour cream lid)
  • Tape
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paintbrushes

Making bowls out of paper is a fun, simple papier-mache project to do with children. The building process is hands-on and tactile, and the final result is a product the children can use to store or display small toys. These personalized crafts can also furnish a playhouse or a child's make-believe kitchen.

Tear the newspaper into many strips one inch wide.

Mix equal parts flour and water in a shallow container with a spoon until smooth to form the papier-mache paste. It should have the consistency of a creamy soup.

Blow up a balloon and knot the end. Draw a horizontal line around the middle of the balloon. This will be the guideline for applying the papier-mache. Apply the papier-mache to the top half of the balloon, on the side of the line that does not contain the tied end.

Dip the newspaper strips into the paste, being sure to coat both sides. Wipe off excess paste by pinching with thumb and forefinger down the length of the strip, letting the extra paste drip back into the container.

Apply the newspaper strip to the top half of the balloon, smoothing the newspaper against the balloon’s contours to create a smooth surface.

Repeat steps four and five, applying several strips of newspaper, overlapping in several layers for a stronger bowl.

Allow the papier-mache to dry completely.

Pop the balloon with scissors. Remove the balloon from the hardened papier-mache and discard.

Tape the plastic lid to the bottom of the bowl with the top of the lid facing down. This will provide a flat base so the bowl can be placed on a flat surface without tipping over.

Apply more layers of papier-mache on the lid and bowl, covering the lid completely and laying strips from the lid to the base of the bowl to hold the lid in place.

Allow the papier-mache to dry completely.

Decorate the bowl with acrylic craft paint.


  • These papier-mache bowls are made for display only and are not appropriate for serving food.