How to Make a Magazine Bowl and Coasters




If you have old magazines piling up and taking up your precious space, get rid of them in an Eco-friendly way! With extra magazines and some time, you can turn them into various sized bowls (for fruit, mail, miscellaneous small items), or coasters for your home. These items make aesthetically pleasing and useful decor for your living space. I originally got this idea from another paper craft I found on the Internet; I then modified it to my own taste. I made myself a bowl (which I used for fresh fruit and vegetables) and a set of 4 coasters.

I mainly used advertisements from the magazines, they’re normally much more colorful than individual articles. If you want a theme throughout the bowl, you can look for similar colors, or similar product ads. In most advertisements the model(s) are centered, so if you fold the paper in the right way, you can get mainly bodies, faces, eyes, or clothing to show throughout the sides of the bowl and/or coasters.

Step 1: What You'll Need

To begin this project you will need:

- Magazines
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hard Surface to work on
- Mod Podge (or other water-based sealant)
- Paintbrush
- Newspapers or other surface to let the sealant dry on
- Water-Proof Sealer (I used a Clear Acrylic High Gloss Sealer for coasters)

The size bowl that I made used approximately 1 full magazine. Make sure you have plenty of magazines before you begin; you never know how big of a bowl you'll want to make! :)

Step 2: Starting the Bowl

Before you can start gluing, you'll need to carefully tear the pages you want to use out of the magazine(s). On a hard surface fold each page lengthwise 3-4 times, putting pressure on the creases to make them stay tighter (I used the handle of scissors). Once you've folded a decent amount of pages, you can begin the bottom of the bowl, or the entire coaster.

To begin, take one folded page and using the hot glue gun, place glue along part of one side, rolling the paper on top of itself; it should be a circle (not necessarily a perfect one, but that gives it more character!). Leave a small end free, so the next strip can be glued underneath it, to continue the circle. Keep adding more pages in the same fashion until the circle is as large as you want for a coaster, or for the bottom of a bowl. Remember, the bottom of the bowl will be the smallest part of the bowl, the side will widen as it gets taller. 

If you're making coasters, once they're the desired size, you're basically done and you can skip the next step and go onto the sealing process.

Step 3: Adding Depth to the Bowl

There should be a tail end of a magazine page waiting to be glued, and this is when you'll begin the wall to the bowl. Instead of gluing the strips directly on top of each other this time, you'll need to start gluing the strips 3/4 of the way up the previous strip to begin the wall. Continue this method for the wall until the bowl is as large as you want it.

You're getting so close to done! All that's left is sealing the products and letting them dry before using them!

Step 4: Sealing the Finished Product

Since this project is made of paper, sealant is needed to harden and strengthen the bowl and coasters. Using the water-based sealant (Mod Podge) and a paintbrush, generously cover the bowl and coasters to ensure that all parts of the paper are glued together and becoming sturdy. I used one coat on my coasters, and two on my bowl. I recommend covering the inside first so it can dry while sitting on its base, then when the inside has dried, flip it over and seal the outside. Mod Podge dries clear, so don't worry about being generous on the coating.

Once the coasters are dry, you can spray them with the water-proof sealer so they can be used for drinks. They may need to be re-sprayed from time to time, since they are made of paper and are being used for drinks.

Once the pieces of art are dry, they are ready to be used! If you decide to make more, you can experiment with different shapes. A friend of mine made a triangle shaped bowl and square coasters, the sky's the limit! Enjoy your new pieces, and be prepared for them to be a conversation starter!

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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 3

    At first it seems like the walls are going straight up, but when you're bringing the next piece of magazine around, make sure you're only going up half of the strip or less, so more is visible. The less you use of the 2nd strip, the faster the flare will show. Once the bowl is wider at the top, the flare shows more, I promise!
    Let me know how it's working out!


    7 years ago on Step 4

    I know it's been a very long time since anyone has commented on this, but I used both Mod Podge, and a spray sealant (both of which were found at Hobby Lobby) the spray sealant was found near the spray paint.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    I am having trouble with the depth. I followed the directions but he walls just go straight up not flared, what do you think I am doing wrong?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've been experimenting with paper craft techniques recently, and I really like the one here. I've previously used a similar technique, but using paper strips of 1 inch or 1/2 inch wide. I like the result of how ibland's version works better, as the paper is more visible.
    You can also use this but with even bigger paper strips. So even the whole page of the magazine at once. Bend it in two, apply a bit of glue (Elmer's or similar, water based white glue), bend it in two again, a bit of glue again etc until you will have about 1/4-1/3 inch wide, much rounder strip. That will work best when then glued together when it's still a bit wet, so the glue will also work for the structure. Then work the shape as in this i'ble, and finish with at least two layers of mod podge or other sealant. -- well, same technique in the base but again a bit different version and result. I'll get some pictures after I finish a bowl with my version of this technique.


    8 years ago on Step 4

    what type of spray did you use on the coasters? I've been looking for a good water sealant for my paper projects! :)

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    ajonas1, I think the best sealant for that type of craft would be mod podge.