DIY: Fun Magazine Bowls

You’ve most likely seen magazine bowls before in craft or fair trade shops. When this post popped up in my inbox the other day, I knew I had to make these immediately! There are many different techniques for making magazine bowls, but I used this one from The Art Sandwich — one of my new favorite blogs. It’s packed with fun DIY projects (this mural is next on my list) and design inspiration … be sure to check it out!

I pretty much followed her instructions, although I added and changed some minor details, so I’m reproducing hers (with my changes) below.

For this project, you will need:

  • Magazines (I used one issue of Marie Claire)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mod Podge (you can also use a glue stick, but I find that Mod Podge holds better, plus it has several different functions)

I was very unwilling at first to cut up my magazines (I really, really dislike destroying anything unless I have a second copy), but then I realized I had a bunch of old copies of Seventeen that I hated and an issue of Marie Claire (which I don’t read). Long story short, I didn’t have to sacrifice any precious issues of Teen Vogue or Elle. And in the end, I really only needed one magazine.

STEP ONE: Go through your magazines and pull out pages to use for your bowl … t.a.s. from The Art Sandwich recommends using colorful pages (from ads and fashion spreads) and staying away from the thicker paper in perfume ads. I would also try and stay away from pages that could be potentially awkward — you don’t want someone’s cleavage (!!), Tim Gunn’s “Make It Work” face, or a “Mother Nature’s Monthly Gift” ad poking out from your bowl, do you? (If you do, that’s fine.)

I came across this strange ad (no, I didn’t use it), which for some reason has always creeped me out:

Anyway, that’s irrelevant. Moving on…

STEP TWO: You’ll need to cut each page into thirds. What I did was fold one page into thirds (like one would do with a letter to fit it into an envelope). Then I unfolded it and placed it over a stack of pages and cut them into strips all at once. I had a pretty decent pile in under 5 minutes.

STEP THREE: Fold each cut strip into smaller strips (as shown above) and secure with glue. I made about 100 … let me just say that you definitely won’t need that many unless you’re planning on making a pretty large bowl. I used 72 total for my bowl, which was almost exactly 6 inches across at the end.

Click to enlarge.

You can fold and glue them however you like, but above is the specific method I used. It looks a little complicated, but it’s really not and you always have a clean line.  This part takes a while … hang in there; the more you make the faster you get!

STEP FOUR: Create a base for your bowl — mine ended up being 2.7 inches across (which was actually fairly large and could have definitely been used for a bigger bowl, as mine had fairly steep sides). Start with one strip and roll it into a coil, securing with hot glue and leaving the very end of the strip unglued so you can tuck the next strip into the coil. Keep glueing it down with hot glue quite often, to keep the coil held tightly together. Also be sure to do this against a flat surface so the bottom of your bowl is flat (its okay if some of the thicker strips pop up on the top side of the coil).

STEP FIVE: Once you’re reading to start building your bowl up, continue with the method you used to create the base coil. Just incrementally start glueing the strips a little bit higher than the last — eventually it will start to flesh out into a bowl shape. For a steeper sided bowl, glue the strips higher; for a more shallow, dish-like bowl, use smaller height increases when adding strips. (My bowl ended up being steeper, mainly because I was impatient. The Art Sandwich’s one was much nicer-looking, in my opinion.)

STEP SIX: Once your bowl is the size and shape you want, glue the last strip down. I finished my bowl off by giving it a healthy coat of Mod Podge inside and out to help hold it together and give it a more durable finish.

… And you’re done! These bowls are small (unless you’re willing to invest days into creating a larger one), but as t.a.s. at The Art Sandwich points out, a magazine bowl “certainly packs a punch and is a great desk or vanity accessory.” They are well worth the effort! Mine is a little messy, but I look forward to making more in the future when I have some extra time. I’m planning on using it for displaying fun bracelets or holding some of my makeup:

What do you think of these fun bowls?

{ Source: Images by me. Feel free to use — just leave a credit/link! }

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13 thoughts on “DIY: Fun Magazine Bowls

  1. Die „Flüchtlingskrise, die nur durch die Zerstörung unseres Landes und unserer Freiheit zu „meistern sein soll, ist nicht schicksalhaft entstanden, sondern von den westlichen Eliten unter eifriger Mithilfe ihrer deutschen Statthalter gezielt herbeigeführt worden: Die Liste der Herkunfts- und Transitländer der sogenannten Flüchtlinge – Kosovo,
    Syrien, Irak, Libyen, Afghanistan – liest sich wie ein Who’s who der Opfer westlicher Militärinterventionen.

  2. Oh man, I love crafty stuff like this. I might do something like this with really pretty colored tissue paper…I need to find a way to store all my makeup products, anyways!

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