I've been meaning to try papier mache for a little while now with Harry, and I thought that making some simple little bowls would be a good way to start. Filled with treats, they would be a lovely gift for Easter or Mother's Day.
The bowls are made using papier mache which is really easy to do, and you can make them into any shape that you like, as long as you are careful to make sure that you'll be able to remove them from the mould when they are dry!
To make the paper mache bowls, first you need to choose a couple of bowls that are a suitable size. I'd recommend starting small as it can take longer than you think to cover them completely, especially if young children are involved! I used two small plastic bowls from Ikea. You also need some cling film, lots of small pieces of torn up paper and lots of glue. I used watered down PVA (white) glue.
Cover the bowls in cling film, and smooth it down as much as you can. Then all you have to do is cover the bowl with glue and paste on pieces of paper in layers. You can use newspaper, but if you make the first and last layers using white paper it will be easier to paint afterwards. Be aware that if you are making this with young children you will end up doing most of the paper yourself! Allow it to dry a little in between layers, ideally by placing on a radiator. You will need at least eight layers to make it sturdy enough, but you can do as many more as you like depending on how thick you want your bowl to be.
When you have finished gluing the paper, allow to dry thoroughly before releasing the papier mache bowl from the mould - it should slide off easily. You may want to do a last layer of paper to overlap the rim of the bowl and give it a neater finish.
Then you are ready to decorate. We used poster paints - first we painted the bowl yellow then when it was dry we decorated with a sponge 'leaf' print and used cotton buds to make coloured dots.
There are so many different ways that you could decorate the bowls - you could add a layer of coloured tissue paper or napkins, add glitter and sequins, use dried flowers or leaves, glue on pictures from magazines or just paint designs using a fine brush. When it's finished you might want to add a layer of clear glue or varnish to seal it.
Perfect for displaying Spring treasures, or for gifting Easter treats.