Learn how to make Mod Podge paper mache bowls the easy way! You can paint them any colors you like to match your decor. So simple!
Skills Required: None. You can make paper mache with no previous crafting skills. It’s a perfect idea for beginners, and even children.
I don’t know about you, but paper mache played a large part in my childhood art classes. I don’t know if it’s an 80s thing or if kids are still doing it today, but there was a lot of paste making with flour and water. A lot of stirring a chunky liquid (because the flour never fully dissolved) and then slapping it onto newspaper. It was a simpler time.
Luckily, times have changed. Well it’s not that they’ve changed, but I’m here to show you how to make Mod Podge paper mache so that you don’t have to mix the ingredients and deal with the chunky water. But why would you want to do that?
Well, the nice thing about using Mod Podge to make paper mache is that you can use it directly from the bottle. There’s no mixing. The Podge can also be used to seal the paint on the newspaper (if you choose to paint). Plus you don’t have to worry about yellowing or crusting or falling apart like you do with the flour and water combo. I highly recommend it for adult projects especially, if not for all of your projects.
But what if your Mod Podge is thick?
If you want to make paper mache and your Mod Podge is really thick, I do a few things. First I shake the bottle, then I wet the brush and dip it into the Podge (rather than just dipping a dry brush in). If it’s super duper thick, you can pour some into a separate container and add a touch of water. You just want to thin it a bit, not dilute it completely.
Are you ready to try Mod Podge paper mache? It couldn’t be any easier. I’m going to show you how to make some bowls below.
Paper Mache with Mod Podge
Gather These Supplies
- Bowl (or balloon)
- Plastic wrap
- Mod Podge Satin (or Gloss or Matte)
- Mod Podge Hard Coat (optional)
- Acrylic paint – a few colors
The supplies are pretty basic for this project and you probably already have them on hand. One thing to note: you can use a bowl or a balloon as a base for your project. Some people like to blow up balloons and use them to create bowls like was done with this confetti bowl.
I personally like using another bowl for my template because it’s a stable working surface. But, it’s up to you!
Cover your bowl in plastic wrap. This is so you can release the paper mache when you’re done, and protect your bowl (and reuse it) at the same.
Tear or cut the newspaper into squares. I decided to use scissors so that the resulting look would be a bit more tidy.
Choose the Mod Podge formula of your dreams to make Mod Podge paper mache. I recommend Gloss, Matte, or Satin . . . but it really doesn’t matter because you’ll be painting over it.
Apply Mod Podge to the outside of the plastic wrap with your paint brush, using a medium layer.
Start applying the newspaper to the bowl by pressing the paper down into the Mod Podge, and then brushing right over the top. You’ll be smoothing the newspaper down as you go.
Continue until the entire bowl is covered. Dip your brush in Mod Podge, brush onto the paper mache surface, and apply more newspaper. Then smooth over the top. Wrinkles will form, but don’t worry about those. It’s part of the character.
Cover the entire bowl, let dry for 15 – 20 minutes, and then apply a second layer. Yes, you can leave the overhang for now. You will trim that layer. Let dry completely (even overnight if you’re in a humid area).
Once dry, remove your paper mache bowl from the bowl you used as a mold. You’ll do this by releasing the plastic wrap.
You can bend it a bit if you have to – it should come right out.
Then, remove the plastic wrap from the inside of the newly formed paper mache bowl. Here’s where I learned a lesson. More expensive plastic wrap releases easier than cheaper plastic wrap (because it’s thinner).
Next you’ll trim the edges. This is where you can use the original bowl to help you! Place it inside your Mod Podge paper mache bowl and use as a template to cut the edge off.
Continue trimming all the way around the edge. It doesn’t have to be exact.
Soon enough, you’ll have a finished bowl in your hand!
You can keep the bowl as-is, or you can paint it. Paint inside. Give it a coat and let dry. See if you need two coats (I used two).
Once you’re done, flip the bowl over and do the outside as well. I used a different color on the outside.
Once painted, you can leave as-is (again), or you can use Mod Podge to seal. You can use the same Mod Podge from the first steps – or you can use a tougher version, like Mod Podge Hard Coat. I wouldn’t go buy anything special, but I happened to have some on hand.
Give your Mod Podge paper mache two coats of medium, letting dry between coats. Then let dry overnight before using.
Time to enjoy your finished Mod Podge paper mache bowl. What do you think? What else are you going to try with this newspaper mache method?
- Bowl (or balloon)
- Plastic wrap
- Mod Podge
- Acrylic paint
- Tape (optional)
- Cover a clean, dry bowl in plastic wrap. Tape to the insides if necessary.
- Tear or cut several pages of newspaper into squares.
- Place a layer of Mod Podge on the outside of the plastic wrap.
- Lay down pieces of newspaper down on the surface of the bowl and smooth with a paintbrush covered in Mod Podge.
- Continue overlapping newspaper pieces and applying with Mod Podge until the entire bowl is covered. Apply a second layer.
- Let the entire bowl dry on your work surface.
- Once dry, remove the layer of plastic wrap from the bowl mold, releasing the paper mache bowl. Remove the plastic wrap from the paper mache.
- Use the bowl mold as a template to trim the edges of your newspaper bowl.
- Paint the inside and outside of the bowl with acrylic paint if desired.
- Paint a layer of Mod Podge on both the inside and outside of the bowl; let dry and apply a second coat. Let dry completely before using.
If you enjoyed these Mod Podge paper mache bowls, let me know in the comments! I’d also love for you to check out the following projects: