Introduction: DIY Recycled Paper Colorful Bowls

Are you annoyed by all the spam magazines and newspapers that magically appear in your letter-box every week? Well, if so, this tutorial is for you. In this instructable, you'll learn how to make something out of paper, that only doesn't look cool, but also has a purpose.

Let's get started!

Step 1: What Do You Need

Picture of What Do You Need

Parts and Materials:

  • A bunch of Newspapers
  • A pencil
  • Some Cornstarch
  • A Hot glue gun (and hot glue sticks, you genius;)
  • Some sort of paper glue
  • Some paint
  • A Few glass pearls (optional)
  • Some Lacquer

Note: Depending on the paper you are going to use, your bowl may have a shiny look. It's not bad, just consider it if you are planning to paint your bowl later.

Step 2: Cutting and Rolling the Newspapers - the Annoying Part

Picture of Cutting and Rolling the Newspapers - the Annoying Part

Before cutting the newspapers, you have to decide, how 'fat' you want your layers to be. Thinner strips will give you a more 'precise' result, and wider strips will give you a jumbo style bowl. I decided to cut my newspapers into strips that are about 10 centimeters large, and it worked just fine.

To transform a paper strip into a paper stick, you just need to enroll the paper strip around a pencil at a slight angle. Also, don't forget to glue the end of the stick like shown on the photos.

Note: It's a good idea to make also some thinner strips for the small details on the sides, but it's optional

Step 3: Making the Bowl

Picture of Making the Bowl

To make the bowl you first need to enroll one paper stick as tight as possible. When all the lenght of the stick is used, you can add another one by inserting it into the old one and so on. Also, don't forget to add some paper glue between the layers once in a way. I suggest you to add glue every time a new paper stick is added.

I made my base the size of my palm, but of course you can go bigger or smaller if you want ;)

Note: When your circle has already a few centimeters in diameter (an inch), you don't need to add glue between all the layers because the paper glue won't be the only thing that is holding the bowl in one piece (we'll see that in step five)

Also, don't worry about the fact, that you bowl in more looking like a plate than a bowl. We'll change that later..

Step 4: Making the Small Circles

Picture of Making the Small Circles

I then made a bunch of small paper circles. Most of these were made by rolling paper tubes around a glue stick - that leaves a hole in the center of the circle, and adds so some airiness to the bowl. Smaller, tuffer circles can be used later to fill the gaps and add strenght to the bowl.

Step 5: Giving the Pieces Their Definitive Shape

Picture of Giving the Pieces Their Definitive Shape

Now the pieces can be 'petrified', to make them more durable and to give the bowl it's concave shape. To do so I used some homemade 'paper maché glue', that I made by mixing one cup of cornflour and one cup of water. I soaked all the pieces in the glue before giving them their final shape and letting them dry.

Note: don't forget to make the base of the bowl flat, so it can stand on a table. If you still left the pieces dry without modeling the base, you can resoften the bowl by spraying some water on it.

Step 6: Gluing the Details in Place

Picture of Gluing the Details in Place

To glue the small circles in place, the best method is to use the good old glue gun. Just make sure to not put too of it, or it will make the joints look shoddy.

The circles can be glued horizontally to make the bowl larger, or vertically, to make some handles.

The method that I used, was really simple: First glue the larger circles in place, then the smaller ones, and at the last, the smallest ones. Just try to fill all the space, but without saturating it with the material.

Step 7: Painting the Bowl

Picture of Painting the Bowl

It was then time to paint the bowl. I used yellow acrylic paint to make a thick base coat, and on the top of it, I applied some orange paint (in some parts) to make a 'dégradé' and add some punch. And last I added some spots with red acrylic, so that the orange looks more like a 'dégradé'. I also added a very light coat of orange on the bottom.

Note: It's really easy to over overdo the effect by adding too much red paint. So add first just a little bit, and then add more if you think it's necessary

If you like, you can also leave the bowl white, or paint it with spray paint (if you're planning to store food inside, please read the information on the back of the spray can, to confirm, if the paint is food contact safe or not).

Or you can just go crazy and do some Mondrian style art...

Step 8: Adding a Coat of Lacquer (optional)

Picture of Adding a Coat of Lacquer (optional)

If you want to get a very sturdy bowl, I suggest you to add a coat of lacquer on top of the paint. It doesn't only protect the paint from becoming dirty, but also add a shiny effect to it, that makes the paint job look more professional.

Note: if you want, you can drop a few glass pearls in some spots of lacquer, like shown on the photos.

Step 9: Other Designs

Picture of Other Designs

Of course, in the Paper Bowl World, there are no borders. You can make a bowl that is a foot large or a foot high, you can color your bowl with a glow in the dark paint, you can add as many small circles on the side as you want, or don't add them at all. The only limit is your imagination (and your patience).

On the picture on the top, you can see my first paper bowl that i made. The small circles are not perfectly balanced, so the bowl falls on its side when something is put into it. Also that part that touches the table is a bit too small, and that makes it also less stable. But because of that, the second bowl that I made is a lot more stable and doesn't fall on its side. That just goes to show that we all learn when trying to and failing, while trying to improve. And the most important thing to remember when making something is to never give up!

Comments

Cheers! :)

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