Upcycled Art

Sometimes as we get older, we get caught up in our work and the day-to-day grind of being a responsible adult, and we forget how to be imaginative creative thinkers.  In Home Goods several months ago I saw a bowl that, on inspection, I knew I could make myself.  As in most crafts, what looks easy proves to be far more difficult and time-consuming than initially planned for.  Even though this took hours longer than anticipated, I am very pleased with the results.

Pretty Up-cycled Bowl

To make this bowl you will need direct mail ads, old magazines and old newspapers.  I tried to use nothing I paid for as much as possible.  I used the local free independent newspaper, an IKEA catalog, direct mail ads, and supplemented with a few pages from magazines that I already had.  You will also need several glue sticks, a glue gun, a knitting needle, and scissors.  To finish it off, you will need Mod Podge or some other sealer of your choice.

Implements of mass construction

Step 1: Cut your paper into strips as seen above.  You will need more than you think.  I wish I had counted, but I think I had about 200.

Step 2: Using the knitting needle roll a paper strip into a straw, and glue the edge to hold it together.

Rolling the straw to make the first coil.

Step 3: Flatten the straw by pressing it with the edge of the knitting needle.

Step 4: Begin to roll the first coil by wrapping it tightly around the needle.  You will need to glue parts of the straw and hold as you wrap or the coil will come undone.

Rolled Paper Coil

For the base, you will keep adding flattened straws to the coil until you have the size base that you want.  I like to make all different sizes of these little coils to give the bowl interest.  If you look at the bowl you can see where some of these are larger than the others.  Some of these bowls I have seen online are not wrapped as tightly.  It is much harder to get these coils to wrap neatly and tightly than letting them loosen up.  Several of my coils loosened up on me and those are the ones that have the larger holes in the middle.  Overall, I like the look, but my next one will be better executed.

Note the large coil at the base.

What I learned:

  • I used newspaper at the base because it is easier to make a tight coil with thinner straws.  The thicker the paper, the harder it is to coil tightly.
  • If the paper has a white border around a colorful image, trim the white off if you are looking for the color.  When you roll the paper into a straw, the white will be all that you can see.

Here are a couple more pictures of the finished bowl.

Dimensions are 6' in diameter

Upcycled paper bowl 4" high

A great place for keys

I am debating making a couple of these and selling them on Etsy.com.  I think the coils would make great beads and necklaces as well.  By changing the shape of the base, I can make different shapes and styles.  What do you think?


About Sarah

My family is making a new start, beginning with a move from Jacksonville to St. Petersburg, Fl. We are starting over in a new house, new job, and a new philosophy on life. Its time to transplant the family tree and grow new roots!
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