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Paper Mache Layered Leaf Bowls

Activity Overview

Create your own decorative bowl out of out paper mache. In this activity you can use tissue paper strips and decorative leaves from the backyard to make a colorful and unique bowl to hold dry items or simply as a decorative piece or gift. This activity is great for school aged children and teens.

Using a paper mache technique over a glass bowl of your choosing, the gluey tissue paper and leaves are layered over a plastic wrapped encased bowl to prevent sticking and damage to the bowl. In the technique described, the decorative leaves will be encased and intriguingly visible through the tissue paper layers. With proper layering and dry time, the paper retains the shape of the bowl once it is lifted and peeled away from the plastic wrap.

Materials Needed

  • 2 Bowls
  • spoon
  • 1 cup of school glue
  • 1 cup of water
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Plastic wrap

How to Make It

  1. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over a glass bowl. Cover the inside and the edges.
  2. Tear tissue paper into strips.
  3. Mix one part glue to one part water and mix well in a bowl with a spoon.
  4. Dip the strips into the watery glue mixture and layer the strips on top of the plastic wrap while overlapping the edges of the strips as you go.
  5. Continue this dipping and layering process until you complete three layers of gluey paper.
  6. Next, add leaves by dipping them with the same method and smoothing them out with your fingers.
  7. Continue with one more layer of tissue paper and watery glue layering.
  8. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.
  9. After the paper in the bowl is dried completely, pull up on the edges of the plastic wrap that overhangs on the bowl to lift the paper mache out of the bowl.
  10. Carefully pull back the layer of plastic wrap from the paper bowl.

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