Papier Macher Project Making Pretty Bowls!

Remember creating a papier macher project at school when you were a kid?!  

The strips of newspaper, sticking your hand in a container of glue and just going for it!  

I remember making a mask.  It was very tribal, and very heavy.  I used an excessive amount of coats of paper and glue.  What's better than a... 

papier macher project making pretty bowls!!

I saw this really beautiful and perfect papier macher bowl over here and thought "What a great project!"

Here is my attempt at papier mache bowls {trust me - it's a lot harder than it looks!!!!}  I'll share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly with this project! You'll understand what I mean soon!!

Anyway, Let's get started.

Here's what you'll need:

Glue of some sort (I used Mod Podge)

scissors and newspaper

sponge brushes and an assortment of balloons

We also used acrylic craft paint and gold leaf.  Use what you like and have handy.  

My first tip is to rip or cut smaller pieces of newspaper than what I have shown here as it is easier to shape your balloon and you'll avoid bubbles and bumps on the outer part of your bowl.

We used plastic cups to place the balloon in so that we could use both hands to smooth on the newspaper.

Tip number two! The more layers of paper, the more sturdy your final bowl will be, so remember to layer as much as possible and be generous with your glue.  You can always cut the top, or the depth of the bowl, once they are dry and you have removed them from the balloons themselves.  These bowls dried over night and easily peeled off of the balloon forms.

Here is the good, the bad and the ugly.  Our strips were too long so we found lots of folds and creases were even more visible when we painted the bowls.  SOooo not as pretty and smooth as our friend Sara's bowls.  Also, another tip for you, the bowls that didn't have as many layers applied, were easily bending and denting, again, making them look - well, less perfect.

But they are still fun and pretty nonetheless.

Now for the tricky part...

I've never, ever, worked with gold leaf.  It is extremely delicate.  So I applied a very thin layer of podge and used a brush to smooth on a layer of the leaf.  Yes, it looks nothing like Sara's but I'm ok with that.  The end product looks weathered, and worn.  Nothing is perfect right?!

Then...  I spotted my Anthropology catalogue that just happened to come in the mail minutes before my gold leaf catastrophe, I mean, happy accident, and we decided a little Anthro-embelishment was in order, and look at these unexpected beauties!!

Aren't they fun!!?  Who cares if the bowls are a little - uneven, bent, dented and ... well....

we love them!!!  

They are vibrant, interesting to look at, and they hold all kinds of trinkets & earrings!  We enjoyed getting messy and creative, spending time together and definitely have the courage to try another round of papier macher!

What do you think?!