How to Paper mache with glue and water

It is super easy (but messy and sticky) to learn how to Paper Mache with glue and water. I’ll share how in today’s tutorial!

As a kid, Paper Mache was my absolute favorite craft! I loved that I got to craft with paper and get my fingers all sticky. I thought it was time to introduce my daughter to this easy recycled craft and we spent an afternoon making some paper mache bowls today

paper mache with glue and water

Supplies you will need:

  • A Plastic bowl- this will determine the shape and size of your paper mache bowl
  • Newspaper or old magazines: newspapers torn into pieces work best as they absorb the glue well.
  • Pretty patterned papers
  • A paper punch – a small-sized one so the kids can easily use it
  • Paint- for the interior of the bowl
  • White glue
  • Washi tape

Paper Mache with Glue and Water

  1. Tear your newspaper or old magazine pages into pieces or strips.
  2. Tearing your paper is always better than cutting it with scissors or a paper trimmer!
  3. Dip one piece of torn paper into a bowl of water, then place to cover a flexible plastic bowl.
  4. Repeat placing these wet with torn strips paper till you have covered the entire bowl with one layer of paper.
  5. For the next layer, instead of dipping the torn paper in water, dip in a mixture of equal parts water and white glue. Cover the entire bowl with at least 4 or 5 layers of paper. Let dry.
how to make paper mache bowls

Using the Seal of approval Medium Squeeze punch, punch shapes from various patterned papers. This punch is smaller in size and kids can easily do the punching.

pretty punched paper shapes paper mache

Moisten punched paper pieces with the water and white glue mixture and adhere to form the top and final layer on our bowl. Cover the entire bowl. Let dry thoroughly. Once dried, slide the paper bowl off of the plastic bowl.

easy paper mache tutorial

For a quicker finish, cover the outside of the bowl with various colors of washi tape instead. My daughter did this to her bowl and loved the way it looked.

Paint a layer of glue/water mixture on top of the washi layer and let dry.

washi tape bowl

To finish off the bowls, apply a thin layer of the water glue mixture to the inside of the bowl and then paint the inside of the bowl a nice bright color!

paper mache

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paper mache bowl with punched paper shapes

If you are feeling a little extra crafty you can also try to Make your Paper Mache Paste at home using all purpose flour like I did in my DIY Marker Organizer tutorial.

paper mache on cardboard

Instead of using a flexible plastic bowl- you can easily Paper Mache on Cardboard to create a sturdier structure.

  • Cut pieces of cardboard from used boxes. Trim 4 pieces to form the sides of the box and one for the base.
  • Adhere these pieces of cardboard together temporarily using some sticky tape to form a box-like shape.
  • Tear strips of newspaper or old magazine sheets. Dip these pieces in water quickly and then adhere them onto the box using some basic white glue.
  • Cover the outside, inside and underside of the box with Paper Mache completely.
  • Repeat until the box has about 4 to 5 layers of paper on it. Let it dry thoroughly.


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Tag me @smithakatti #smithakatti on social media! For yarn projects, find me at @smittenbyyarn #smithaknits #smithacrochets

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