Introduction: Recycled Magazine Pages Bowl

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One rainy Saturday, my kids were getting sick of watching TV and my 6-year old son asked me if we could make a craft.

I had recently gone through a few of my craft magazines and stumbled on a very brief set of instructions on how to make an “earth day magazine bowl.”  The original design for this was on page 129 in the April 2011 Crafts ‘n Things magazine, and the design is by Linda Valentino.

My son asked if we could eat out of the bowl and I told him no, that I didn’t think it would be a good idea….  But it could be used to keep those smaller loose toys in as well as knick-knacks and randomly found small things that my kids seem to leave everywhere on the floor, the table, the counter, etc.

The instructions were very brief, and made the bowl seem quite easy to make.  It took me and my antsy children a good 3 to 4 hours over the course of an entire Saturday (that includes the glue-drying time) to complete this bowl.  Still, it was fun getting glue on their hands (pretty much everywhere else too) and some on the bowl, and it kept them busy off and on throughout the day!

Step 1: What You Will Need

• Recycled magazine(s), total of 25 (colorful) pages
• Aleene’s tacky glue or Elmer’s glue (and glue sticks-I didn’t have any the day we did the project, but I wish I did….)
• Mod Podge and one small sponge brush
• Something to put the glue and mod podge into (I used the cardboard containers from laughing cow cheese wedges)
• Scissors or paper cutter
• Newspaper or other covering to protect your workspace (This is VERY important, especially if you are going to do this with kids)

Step 2: Prepare the Strips

Tear out at least twenty-five (25) magazine pages.  To make this bowl, we used 25 colorful pages.  The final product was about 4-1/2” across the base by about 6” high.  Should you want to make a bigger bowl, just cut out more pages and follow the same steps.  (I wouldn’t make it too much bigger though as you will see that the bowl is not as sturdy as you would think.)

Fold the pages in half lengthwise to create a crease in the paper.

Cut the pages along the crease-line, creating 50-separate pieces.  We used a paper cutter, but it could also have been cut with scissors.

Step 3: Folding and Gluing

Each half-piece of paper will now be folded lengthwise into a strip.

We folded the torn edge first, beginning the strip a little over ¼ of an inch.  Children are not that precise, so I started the first fold for many of the pieces, and the kids continued to fold the piece after that.

After the first 15 or so were folded, we began to glue the edges down.  If I had glue sticks, I would have used those.  But, the tacky glue worked just as well (possibly even better,) it was just a lot messier.  We used tooth picks to spread it across the entire edge of the strip.

There is a picture how at one point we had the three different phases of the strips for this process just sitting around on my kitchen table!

In the end, you should have 50-strips glued and complete to begin crafting the bowl.

Step 4: Coiling the Strips for the Base

Count out 25 strips.

Begin by pushing the strips into one another.  To do this, V-fold one end of one strip, and slip it into a second strips end.  You could glue each end of the strip before placing them together, but my kids and I did that at random to save time.

We started with a chain of three strips to begin the coiling.  Just rolling up the strip, you will start in the center of the base of the bowl and work outward.

We added tacky glue at random while the base coiling progressed.  The Mod Podge will help to keep it all together at the end of the project.

Once the 25-strips have been coiled as the base, I measured it (for this instructable) and I got 4.5-inches across.

Step 5: Work Up the Sides of the Bowl

Begin by placing glue on the bottom half of the next added strip.

Continuing around the last coiled strip on the base, begin wrapping the NEXT strip around, half way up the previous row.

Continue inserting strips together, gluing the bottom portion of the strip to the previous row, (we did this to every single strip) and wrapping the strips up to make the sides of the bowl.
The tacky glue worked very well for this, I think because it’s strong and dries fairly quickly – but again, it was very messy.

Repeat this process until all 25 strips are used.

Glue the end of the last strip to the edge of the bowl.

Step 6: Seal the Bowl

Pouring some of the mod podge into a container, we spread the glue/sealant around the outside of the bowl first.

After completely covering the outside of bowl, we let it dry (upside down) before we began the coating the inside.

Again using the Mod Podge, we completed the coating of the inside and let the bowl dry.

Have fun and I don’t know about you, but we’ve found plenty of things to fill the bowl up with!