Monday, May 11, 2015

Tissue Paper Bowl

How can you not love a project with only three supplies?

Even better: All three are either free or something you have on hand.

You need:
A plastic, disposable, clear take-out container
Tissue paper, the kind that comes with presents in gift bags

Paint (optional)
Nail file (maybe)
Sealant (optional)

(Okay, scissors and something plastic to cover the table might not come amiss either.  But basically—three items.)

Gather your supplies.

Optional: Paint some tissue paper to add variety or pull together your colors. Suggestion: Do a better job than I did!

TIP: pick colors that you like when they are layered.  Blue and green get all aqua and cool.  Red and green are just going to get icky.

If your bowl has a rim, experiment with shoving some dry tissue paper up underneath it.  You will quickly discover if said rim is going to be a pain in the tushy.  (The answer is probably yes.)  Before you glue on the tissue paper, cut the rim and file it down with a nail file.  (I did this afterward and in the process loosened some of the tissue paper that I had affixed. Trust me—cut the rim off first.)

I did a wavy rim because I can’t cut a straight line to save my life and this way it looked like the waviness was on purpose. 

Straight edges of tissue paper will leave a tiny “ridge” in the smooth surface of your bowl.  You can either put the pieces with straight edges on the bottom and layer another piece on top of them, or you can rip them off.  I ripped mine off.

Rip random shapes of tissue paper of various colors.  (If you like neat and tidy squares, this project is not for you!)

Now you can break out the glue.  Do it any sooner and you’ll regret it as you try to rip tissue paper with sticky fingers!

Glue layers of tissue paper on the bowl.  The first layer is the one that will be seen on the inside of the bowl.

Continue adding layers until you’ve covered the bowl. (Or not….)

I let the layers dry between applications.  I don’t want to seal in moisture that will cause problems later.

To finish, coat with PVA glue.  Then add another coat of glue.  Keep adding glue until the surface is as smooth as you’d like.  If you like, you can then add a coat of sealant.  It’s never going to be perfectly smooth, so embrace the little imperfections.

Good craft for kids?
  • It’s cheap.
  • Neatness doesn’t count.
  • It will look cool regardless.
  • Different ages can do these at the same time.  Older kids will make patterns, younger ones will make messes, and it will all work out.

  • If you’re going to add more than one layer, it can’t be completed in one session, plus you’ll need a place for the bowl to dry between sessions.
  • Tissue paper that is wet with glue rips.  You gotta go with the flow—it’s not going to come out exactly as planned. 
  • Fingers that are wet with glue may find it hard to work with the tissue paper.
  • If you don’t have the dexterity to carefully smooth on the tissue paper, your final bowl is going to have a bumpy surface on the outside. 

I hope this post inspires you to have some upcycling fun!