How to Make a Quilled Paper Bowl




Introduction: How to Make a Quilled Paper Bowl

About: snowboarder, web designer, hiker, wife, mud runner, paper craft enthusiast and nerd :)

This decorative paper bowl is the perfect color accent for any living room! I use mine as a candy dish and it always gets lots of compliments.

The entire bowl is made from 1/8" quilling paper strips including the base. The project definitely requires a little patience, but the payoff is well worth the effort! After the bowl is complete, we did seal the bowl with acrylic sealant to make it extremely durable.

You'll Need the Following Materials:

  • Multiple Colors of 1/8" Quilling Paper Strips
  • Clear Glue
  • Quilling Tool
  • Curling Coach (optional)
  • Bowl to use as template shape
  • Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish (or equivalent sealant)

Let's get started!

Step 1: Make Quilled Circles

The first step is to make a large pile of small circles made from quilling paper. I usually start by gluing together quilling paper scraps (leftover from other projects) and full size quilling paper strips. You don't need to worry about the sizes being consistent, in fact, a little randomness during this step is helpful. It will result in each circle being unique and a slightly different size. For this project, I probably made somewhere between 200-300 circles.

If you don't know how to create a quilled circle, start with this instructable (refer to steps 2-6): How To Make Quilled Circles.

Step 2: Pick a Bowl As Your Template

It is helpful to have a shape guide to build your bowl on. For this example, I used a ceramic bowl I made in pottery class. It can be helpful for your bowl to have a defined foot it sits on. Feel free to be creative and use your favorite bowl as your template.

You will get some glue on your bowl, so it could be helpful to cover your bowl in parchment or wax paper if you are concerned about getting glue on it. My bowl was ceramic so the glue flakes off easily.

Step 3: Make the Paper Quilled Base

The base of the bowl is made from a very large paper quilled circle. This is created by gluing quilling paper strips end to end until you have a very long length. Start rolling the circle base and glue the end to secure. It can be very helpful to have a "Curling Coach". It allows you to curl a large coil without it coming uncoiled.

Once the paper roll becomes larger than your Curling Coach, I recommend laying the base down on a table. Then, add additional paper strips by gluing and spinning the circle with your hands. This keeps the base from becoming uncoiled.

Continue this process until the paper base is the same size (or slightly larger) than your Template Bowl base.

Once your base is complete, I recommend applying a thin coat of clear glue to one side of the base. This will lock the paper strips in place and keep it from uncoiling.

Step 4: Glue Circles to Base

Place the bowl template top down on a hard surface. Place the paper quilled base you've made on the base of the bowl template. Start by gluing the first row of small paper quilled circles to the outer rim of your paper base. You'll have to hold the small paper circles in place for a moment for the glue to bond.

Continue this process, shaping your bowl by laying circle by circle on your template vase. It is helpful to spin the bowl throughout the glue drying process to keep it from sticking to your template bowl. Don't worry too much about circle placement, it will fill in nicely if you alternate your circle sizes as you go. Allow each row to dry before you add the next row to keep the bowl from coming apart.

Step 5: Spray With Sealant for Durability

Once your bowl is assembled and dry, take it outdoors and apply many coats of Low Odor Clear Finish. This will harden the bowl and make it very durable.

Congratulations on your beautiful work of art!

3 People Made This Project!


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11 months ago

I made a bowl out of a roll of move tickets.How do I seal it so I can put m&ms popcorn and such in it and wash it out when done?


Reply 11 months ago

I've never personally made a paper piece that is food safe. However, I have heard of other makers using something like ArtResin Epoxy which is technically food safe. I've never used resin or epoxy though, so I don't have any recommendations. I hope you find something that works great!

Tura Street
Tura Street

3 years ago

I love the look of quilling. I have never quilled before, but I'm about to start because of how awesome this looks.


Reply 3 years ago

It takes some patience in the beginning, but stick with it and it will become your new favorite hobby! Good luck, can't wait to see your future creations.


Tip 3 years ago

maybe we can print rainbow lines on a big size paper, and then tape ribbon shapes out of it.


Tip 3 years ago

my brother made one about 40 years ago. ( mom still uses it )

To last ; Seal inside of clear plastic polymer.

He wrapped the form with card board and cellophane to add spacer.
Once glued, add another card board spacer on the outside.

Next make the outer mold with Plaster of Paris.

Remove card board position and cast in polymer.
Lightly sand and polish to finish.


Tip 3 years ago

An alternative to step 5 would be to use casting resin if you could enclose the quilled bowl between two moulds/bowls, this would then make a solid bowl.

Could make for some great unique birthday/christmas presents for people. Beautiful creation :-)