Upcycled Paper Bowls Craft

June 2024 - Natural Home

Imagine being able to turn your junk mail, newspapers and flyers into something super cute and functional without needing much in the way of extra materials or tools? Well, you totally can. Turn your junk mail into beautiful bowls of any shape, size and colour with just a little bit of time and effort! This project is excellent for doing with kids and really doesn’t have to be done perfectly, which means the pressure is low.


  • flyers, newspapers and/or junk mail
  • water
  • all-purpose flour
  • high-power blender
  • fine mesh strainer
  • soft plastic food wrappers or compostable produce bags
  • bowls to use as moulds
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint
  • clear sealant of choice (optional)

Make It

  • Tear and Soak
    Tear paper into small pieces or strips. Add 2 packed cups of paper into a bowl. Cover the paper completely in hot water and let soak for an hour or more, adding more hot water as needed to keep the top wet.
  • Prep Moulds
    Rescue some soft plastic from your recycling bin or reusable bag collection and line the inside of your bowls.
  • Blend
    Working in batches, add about a cup of the soaked paper to a high-power blender. Add a cup of water. Blend until as smooth as possible. Work with less paper at a time if the blender is getting overworked.
  • Strain and Squeeze
    Place a fine-mesh strainer in the sink. Pour the blended paper pulp through the strainer. Press and squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can.
  • Knead
    Measure two packed cups of strained and squeezed paper pulp into a bowl or onto a cutting board. Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Knead well.
  • Mould and Dry
    Take small handfuls of pulp and press onto the inside of a plastic-lined bowl to form an even layer about 1 cm thick. Repeat with the other bowl moulds.
  • Let the paper bowls dry overnight in a warm place. When they feel completely dry to the touch, gently remove the paper bowls from their moulds, peel off the plastic, flip them upside down and let them dry overnight again.
  • Trim and Paint
    When the paper bowls are completely dry, you can use scissors to trim the top edge. This is optional, but gives them a more polished appearance. Next, paint each paper bowl with a couple of coats of acrylic paint and seal with a clear coat of your choice.

Open The Good Life to see all the steps.

Jen Kossowan is a kindergarten and grade one teacher and a mom to two gorgeous kids. She’s passionate about education, loves a good DIY project, and can often be found in the kitchen whipping up something delicious. She started Mama.Papa.Bubba. on a whim while living in the Middle East and has been sharing recipes, activities and travels online ever since.
Learn more: mamapapabubba.com | IG: @mamapapabubba

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