I am pretty sure that a lot of people have probably made a paper mache bowl when they were at school. I have very vivid memories of making one when I was in year 3 and it sat proudly on my window sill for years. With Christmas just around the corner these would make a sweet homemade present from a child to a grandparent, godparent etc.

You will need:

  • Paper – newspaper works wonderfully well.
  • Paper mache glue*
  • Balloon
  • Paints
  • Paintbrush

* If you don’t have special glue then PVA mixed with water makes a good substitute.

  • First make up your glue following the instructions on the pack; be warned sometimes it needs to sit for 20 minutes.
  • While waiting for the glue to sit tear up your paper into strips and blow up your balloon, then draw a line around it to show high up you would like the bowl to go. Remember you don’t want to blow the balloon up too much.
  • Coat your strips of newspapers in the glue and then stick them onto the balloon. To make a really sturdy bowl you will need lots of layers.


Leave it to dry over night.

When it is completely dry, slowly let the balloon down, it should just peel away from the bowl.

Give your bowl a base layer of white paint to help hide the writing on the newspaper. I have found that acrylic paints work the best at this.  When your base layer has dried decorate your bowl and leave to dry. We flicked paint onto our bowl to create a fireworks effect.


Finally cover it with a final layer of PVA glue to give it a nice shine.


For the Potpourri you will need:

  • Flowers
  • Scents


Choose your flowers and hang them in a warm dry place; the airing cupboard makes a great location to do this, you will need to leave them there until they are completely dried out, which can take a few weeks.

Once they are dry, take the petals off the stems and put them in a bowl.


When we did this we found that the smell of the roses was still quite strong, so we didn’t add any scent to the bowl. However, if you want to add your scents then add a few drops of some oil of essence.


We gave this to my charge’s mum for her birthday and she loved the gift.