A Decorative Bowl – Perhaps you have an old wooden or china bowl about the house that you can use as a basis for your papier mache design. Lay a piece of cardboard flat on to the table to be used as a working surface and put the bowl, face downwards, on this. Cover the whole of the outside surface with a thin layer of vaseline to prevent the papier mache from sticking to it.
Now make some household paste by mixing flour and cold water, stirring it well so that there are no lumps. Then add a little hot water until it is the consistency of cream and when it cools, it will be ready for use. Should the paste be too thick, dilute it with cold water. A few drops of oil of wintergreen will prevent the paste from turning sour.
For this bowl it is better to use the strip type of papier mache. Tear some newspapers into I in. strips about 4 in. long. Do not cut these strips, but tear them so that the edges are uneven and are ragged and thin. The paper will sit better. Dip each piece of paper into the paste and lay each on the bow, in a criss -cross fashion, one on top of the other, covering the entire surface of the bowl right down to the cardboard on which the bowl is resting. Smooth each piece of paper separately with your fingers, to make sure that no air bubbles or creases are to be seen. The second layer can be applied whilst the first is still wet. Put on five layers in all, all smoothed out flat and even.
Allow the paper mache to dry thoroughly and then cut round the rim of the bowl, freeing it from the cardboard base. Ease the papier mache cast from the bowl. This will be made simple with the vaseline surface. Yow will now have a circular bowl, almost exactly similar to the model bowl. Criss-cross a layer of paper over the rim of the papier machier bowl to strengthen, and allow this to dry. Now sand paper the entire surface of the bowl and it is ready for painting in any colours of your choice. Decide on your design and pencil this lightly on the surface. Paint with poster colours and when these are dry give a coating of varnish all over the surface and your newly made bowl is ready for use.