Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Make a Paper Mache Pumpkin Bowl

This post is long overdue…but I thought I would share the project anyway. 

Several years ago my daughter and I made a paper mache bowl using a glass bowl for a mold.  We painted it a lovely blue and stamped her hand…using her hand…all over it and gave it as a gift to her grandparents.  It is a constant decoration at their house!

It was a lot of fun and gave me the idea to make a pumpkin bowl using the same process.  The goal was to increase our seasonal decorations!  The result was many days of messy fun and a delightful finished product.  Everyone is happy!

How to Make a Paper Mache Pumpkin Bowl

1.   Choose a pumpkin with a base shape that you like.  Scrub it clean and dry it thoroughly

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2.   Cover the bottom half of the pumpkin with saran wrap.

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3.  Prepare newspapers by ripping strips ~1” wide.  Newspaper rips very easily one way and not so easily the other way.  Rip from fold down!

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4.   Prepare the paper mache mix by finding a happy ratio of water and flour.  I like the consistancy of egg nog.  Too thin isn’t effective…and too thick is lumpy and disgusting and really doesn’t look nice!! Fall 249 

5.  One by one coat the strips with paper mache and layer onto the pumpkin.  This is deliciously messy…you’ll want lots of newspaper or oilcloth underneath and aprons!!

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6.  Layer the strips until you have the bowl shape that you’d like.  Keep the layer quite thin as you need some flexibility to get the bowl off the pumpkin.  ~2-3 layers of strips.  Thinner layers also dry much more quickly.

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7.   Let the bowl dry and pull it off the pumpkin carefully.  Trim the top edge with scissors. Apply more layers until the bowl is stiff.

8.   Paint!

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9.  Decorate or embellish as desired.  My little artist chose to use a carrot as a stamp and made some designs that way.

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10.  Let the paint dry thoroughly and apply 1-2 coats of non-toxic varnish.  Find some delightful bits of nature, some yummy treats, or anything you like…fill your bowl and show it off!!!