How to Make a Papier Mache Bowl With Leaves

Cover the back of a bowl with newspaper strips and spackle, and use paint and leaves to create a decorative piece.

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Materials and Tools:

bowl (for a mold)
petroleum jelly
mixing bowl
wire whisk
tack cloth
acrylic paint
oil pastels
metallic paints: gold and copper
palette knife
spray sealant
glue gun and hot glue


1. Tear newspaper into 1 1/2- to 2-inch strips.

2. Mix equal parts flour and water to make a paste using a mixing bowl and wire whisk.

3. Smear the back of the mold bowl with petroleum jelly.

4. Dip a newspaper strip into the paste. Run the strip through your fingers to remove some of the paste. Place the strip across the back of the bowl near one edge.

5. Dip another strip of newspaper in the paste, remove the excess paste and place the strip next to the first in the same direction and slightly overlapping. Continue this process until the entire bowl is covered with the paper strips. Let dry.

6. For the next layer, repeat the process placing the paper strips in the opposite direction. Let dry.

7. Repeat the process until a total of six layers are formed, alternating the direction of each layer.

8. Let the papier mache form dry completely.

9. Remove the papier mache form from the mold. If necessary, insert a screwdriver between the bowl and the papier mache to pry the two apart.

10. Trim the excess paper off the edges of the papier mache bowl using scissors.

11. Sand the inside of the papier mache bowl and make any repairs.

12. Spread a layer of Spackle with a palette knife on the outside of the bowl to add texture and strength. Let dry.

13. Paint the inside of the bowl with acrylic paints. Dot the inside with various colors and spread them on the inside of the bowl with a paintbrush. Let dry.

14. Apply color over the acrylic paint by rubbing on different colors of oil pastels.

15. Brush on gold and copper metallic paints over the raised areas of the inside of the bowl. Let dry.

16. Paint the outside of the bowl in the same method as the bowl's inside. Let dry.

17. Seal the papier mache bowl by spraying with a sealer. Allow it to dry.

18. Paint and seal four leaves.

19. Hot glue the leaves to the inside of the papier mache bowl to embellish.

Maxine Burton, Nebraska

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