Sunday, October 17, 2010

DIY Halloween Candy Bowl

I am preparing for Halloween this year by creating several decorations out of repurposed materials found around the house.  This is the first year we will have trick-or-treaters and I do not want to be the boring house on the block! 

First of all we needed a candy bowl.  The largest bowl I have is a stainless steel mixing bowl and it just does not seem right to stand at the door handing candy out of it.  Since I like the size of it I decided to use it as a mold to make a papier mache bowl from recycled paper.  Here is how I did it:

First, cover the bowl with plastic wrap so that it is easy to remove the finished bowl and prepare paper strips to papier mache with.  I used the strips from the Birthday Week Giveaway drawing (repurposed twice!) and a few ads that came in the newspaper.  Cut the paper into strips about 1" wide and 3-8" long and set aside.

Next, mix the papier mache paste.  There are many different kinds of pastes as well as recipes to make them.  I have used wallpaper paste in the past but the cheapest, easiest paste is made from all purpose flour and water.  I heated a few cups of water in the microwave and then slowly added flour to create the consistency of thin pancake batter.  Using heated water and constantly stirring while adding the flour will help prevent lumps in the paste.  Warm paste feels much better on your hands than cold!

Now start dipping strips of paper into the paste and applying them to the plastic covered bowl being used as a mold.  I covered the bowl twice with overlapping strips in several directions then set it aside to dry completely.  The paste can be covered and stored in the fridge until it is time for another layer of paper.  Just remove the cover, stir (it will separate slightly as it sits) and microwave a little so it is not cold when working with it.

After 2 or 3 more layers of paper and allowing it to dry between each layer I added a tissue paper lip around the top of the bowl.  I rolled a used sheet of tissue paper, dipped it into the paste and applied it to the rim.

Once the tissue paper lip was dry I very carefully removed the stainless steel bowl from the papier mache bowl.  To create a smooth and sturdy rim I then covered the tissue paper with strips of paper and let it dry.
Once dried, it's time to paint!  I used black acrylic craft paint cover the entire bowl and 3 dimensional scribbles paint to draw the spider webs.  I still need to seal the entire bowl so that I can use it for years to come! 

Spooky & free!

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