Paper Mache Bowls – One of a Kind Gift for Kids to Make and Give

A paper mache bowl a really creative and inexpensive gift for kids to make and give.  The process does require a bit of time, because of the drying time, but the results are gorgeous!

When I was pondering some ideas for homemade Mother’s Day gifts that we could make here in my home daycare, Paper Mache Bowls came to mind.   I envisioned a small colourful bowl that could hold house-keys, loose change, paper clips… you get the idea.

Now, I’d never done a paper mache project with toddlers and pre-schoolers before.  In fact, I hadn’t done any paper mache since high school (several decades ago), so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m happy to say, I was beyond thrilled with our homemade bowls turned out!

Paper Mache Bowls for Kids to Make for Mother's Day

Aren’t they gorgeous?

bowl collage

Gather your supplies:

supplies for paper mache bowls

affiliate links have been added for your convenience


Prepare your bowls:

I dug a few plastic bowls out of our camping gear, and covered them with plastic wrap (tape your plastic wrap in place to secure).  I’ve also heard you can cover your bowls with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.  Personally, I thought the plastic wrap sounded like the easier method.  This step is necessary so that you can release your paper mache bowl from your plastic one once it’s dry.

How to make paper mache paste:

ingredients for paper mache paste

I mixed up a “paper mache paste” using about a cup of flour and some water.  Just add enough water, and whisk smooth until you have something that resembles thin pancake batter or wallpaper paste.  I added a couple of tsps of salt to prevent mold from growing.

You can use cut up strips of construction paper or newspaper or paper bags.  We used paper bags.

Dip your strips into the paste, run the strip through your fingers to remove excess paste, and mould the strip to the bowl.  Continue until your bowl is covered.

I set the bowls upside down over some jars, and set them by the fire for 24 hours.  They were fairly fragile when they were dry so we added another 2 layers of strips of the paper pieces, and let them dry for another day or two.  When I was certain that they were completely dry, we popped them off the plastic bowls, and I cleaned up the edges with some scissors where necessary.

Decorating your bowls:

Today the colourful, creativie fun began  Each Hooligan chose a colour for the outside of their bowl and a different colour for the inside, and they set to work painting them up.   I left their colour choices completely up to them wanting each of them to have the opportunity to use whatever colour scheme they desired.   We used acrylic craft paint and a blast with the hairdryer had them dry in no time.

Toddler painting paper mache bowl

Then they decorated them with their choices of accent colours.  Another blast with the hairdryer and they were ready for a coat of sealant.  I brushed a coat of clear craft sealant over the inside and the outside of the bowls, and they dried quickly.

What a beautiful gift for a child to make and give!


Happy Mother’s Day to all of you amazing moms out there!  Have a wonderful day!

paper mache bowls


Follow the Hooligans on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!





52 comments to Paper Mache Bowls – One of a Kind Gift for Kids to Make and Give

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Happy Hooligans for kids crafts and activities from toddlers to preschoolers

SUBSCRIBE to receive my posts by email!


Get My E-books!

playful preschool playful science and math

Follow Me!

Meet Our Sponsors