I made mine using mostly recycled crayon wrappers, but any paper will work, junk mail, magazines, etc.
All you need is:
plastic wrap or plastic grocery bag
plastic or glass bowl
a towel, or felt squares
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Soak Paper
Everyone is making recycled crayons to use those leftover nubs. To recycle even further, I found something to do with those bits of paper the nubs come in. Of course once you start making crayons, it's hard to stop. I bought ... a few packs of crayons to do this with, so I had a lot of wrappers. If you don't have any, that's fine, just use what ever scrap paper you have lying around.
I divided the wrappers by color. If you don't want to separate by colors, that's fine, it comes out a little grayish, but looks awesome with some glitter thrown in.
Rip the paper into bits, squares around 1 inch work good, but they can be a little bigger or smaller. Soak the paper overnight. I used empty jars, so I could put one color in each.
Step 2: Cover Bowl
Use the plastic wrap or grocery bag to cover the outside of the bowl. You are going to use it as a mold for your new bowl. You need to make sure the sides over lap to the inside of the bowl. Use the tape to attach the plastic.
Step 3: Blend Paper
Pour the paper that has been soaking, and the water, into an old blender. Using pulse, blend the mixture until you get a big pulpy mess. The more you blend it, the more it looks like pulp. The less you blend it, the more pieces you get where you can tell what they useed to be.
Step 4: Mold Your Bowl
As a safety precaution, I suggest pouring the mixture into another bowl, so you are not reaching into the blender. The blades at the bottom are sharp.
Put your bowl on top of your towels or felt squares. I used felt, because the soak up water really well. I remember using them when I used a similar method to this to make homemade paper in art class.
Get a handful of the pulp and squeeze out some of the water. It's kind of trail and error. If you leave too much water in it, the pulp won't stick to the bowl, and just slides down the side. If you don't leave enough water in it, it just kind of falls off the bowl. Either way, too much or too little, you can throw it back in the water and start again.
Put the pulp on the bowl. You can make patterns, a solid color, or random sections of colors. Just remember, this first layer is going to be the inside of the bowl.
Step 5: Repeat
The bowl really needs 2 layers, 1 layer isn't thick enough and breaks apart easily.
I let the first layer dry for about an hour and then put on the second layer. My second layer was all the paper I had left over mixed together, so it is kind of grey. I mixed in some embossing glitter to the pulp. I also sprinkled it with more glitter after the pulp was on the bowl.
Step 6: Let Dry
Put the bowl somewhere out of the way so it can dry. It usually takes about 2 days for the outside to dry. You'll be able to touch it to fell if it is dry.
Step 7: Remove the Bowl
Flip the bowl over and un-tape the bag from the bowl. Slip the plastic bowl out. Slowly peel the plastic bag away from the paper bowl. The inside of the new bowl will still be wet.
Step 8: Let Dry (again)
The inside of the bowl still needs to dry, and does so much faster after the plastic bowl is taken out. Be careful not to be too rough with the bowl until it is all the way dry, after that, they are pretty durable.
This should go without saying, but don't get the new bowl wet. You can use it as a catch all for change in the bed room, or to put your keys in, by the front door. The one thing you can not use it for, is to eat out of.
I filled my bowl with hairbows for my niece. Now she has new hairbows, and a place to keep them.