How to… make a Fabric Mâché Bowl!

We all know (and, erm, love?) paper mâché – all that lovely gooey newspaper  creating weird and wonderful new things! A few weeks ago, I came across fabric mâché at Dear Fii’s blog. Using fabric to make a bowl instead of newspaper! What an ingenious way of using up old bits of fabric!

So, I quickly gave it a go and made a little bowl out of some old jeans (scroll down). I am happy with the result, but it doesn’t have quite the same oooh factor as when you use “softer” fabric. So I had another go.

Remember, my no sew bunting? Out came, literally, the scraps from that project. They were only really enough for one layer of the bowl. So what do I do? Use some “new fabric” and cut it up? Kind of defeats the purpose! I then remembered that in my scrap bag, I have an old pillow case. So I decided to make the inside of my bowl white and the outside “colourful”. I decided that look a bit plain, compared to the outside, so decorated the inside too. So.

How to… make a Fabric Mâché Bowl!

1) Materials: Strips of fabric, PVC glue (use cheap children’s glue), scissors, clingflim and a bowl, an old plate to work on

2) Cover bowl in clingfilm (else you work will stick to it). Cover clingfilm with watered down glue (not too watered down)

3) Layer with “soggy” fabric – as I chose white fabric, it doesn’t matter which way up you do it. However if you have patterned fabric, make sure the patter is face down. Make sure you cover the whole bowl at least once.

4) Add outside layer. This time make sure the pattern looks up. A total of 3 layers (of facing down and up fabric) should be enough!

5) Let it dry (may take overnight)

6) Ease out off bowl (the cling film should help, ease the clingfilm off the bowl and then remove it from the fabric bowl) and trim edges if you wish (they can look quite pretty if you leave it “rough”)

7) As my “white” was very “white” I decided to decorate the inside and cut out some patterns from my fabric remains. On the denim bowl, I decided to add a ribbon, I had to use clothe pegs to help keep it in place (keep re-adjusting clothe pegs, so that they don’t stick to the final bowl!!!)

8 ) Use some more PVC glue to glue the shapes in – cover both sides of the shapes to get a nice smooth and flat finished. Let dry and finished!

I am pretty certain that you can make ANYTHING out of fabric the way you can with paper mâché. Let your imagination be the limit!

With the denim one, I am sure, I used a little more glue and the finish is a little more “rough and ready”. But still a great way to recycle and old pair of jeans!!

More “How to…”s:

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)


11 responses to this post.

  1. This is a fantastic idea. I really love it


  2. oh wicked i love this one too – lots of old jeans that need cutting up not to mention the odd bits of fabric in the cupboard that i dont throw out just in case! now this is a just incase project!


  3. Love, love, love this idea! My weekend project me thinks! Thanks again Maggy for the ideas, you are fab 😀


  4. That is great! I love it – I assume you can’t wash these though!?


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 8, 2010 at 8:17 am

      I think it is “wipe clean” only 😉 Haven’t tried washing. But guess you could find a lacker of sorts – give it a nice sheen a better surface for cleaning? x


  5. Most excellent! I will be trying this one!


  6. Liking the denim suggestion in the comments – I now also want to try this out on a balloon to use as a permanent decoration.

    I love your blog 🙂


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      😉 Awe! Thank you! Love having readers like you… keep me going!! Let me know how the ballon fabric mache goes!!!!


  7. Posted by greenmum2 on May 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    hellooo, we’ve just put a post on our blog inspired by your paper mache, check it out!
    thanks for all your support with our craft ideas, the boys love you


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      DEFINITELY one for Natur Get Crafty! Hurray! It is FABULOUS! What craftiness indeed! x


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