How to Make a Recycled Rolled Up/Glued Paper Magazine Balloon Bowl - FeltMagnet - Crafts
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How to Make a Recycled Rolled Up/Glued Paper Magazine Balloon Bowl


How to Recycle Magazines

Pictures of interesting bowls and bins made from recycled magazines are popping up all over the Internet, but very few have useful accompanying instructions. After some experimentation, and lots of glue, I discovered a process for making uniform paper coils and an attractive bowl.


For this project, you can use any type of recycled paper. Magazines, catalogs, junk mail, and left over fliers are all great sources of paper to recycle into a coiled bowl. I used a stack of out of date program schedules from work because I liked the uniform color of the pages, but a multicolored bowl would be cute, too.


How to Cut Paper in Even Strips by Hand

First, you must cut the magazine pages in strips. These strips need to be uniformly wide and have straight sides if you want your finished product to look like a bowl instead of a mess. If you have access to a paper cutter, you can quickly cut 1/4" strips. If not, use a ruler to carefully mark off the page in 1/4" increments. To ensure a straight line, make marks every quarter of an inch along the bottom, middle, and top of the page. Then, use the ruler to draw lines along the marks so you create a series of parallel lines 1/4" apart.

If you would like to make the hand cutting process a little faster, take your lined sheet and clamp it to about five other sheets, as shown in the picture. I used about half a box of tiny binder clips to keep the pages from slipping while I cut, and then cut along the top page's lines. If you attempt to simply hold the sheets in place while cutting, you will end up with uneven strips because the pages will slip.


Glue the Strips into Coils

After you have made a few dozen paper strips, you can begin forming coils. It does not matter if you don't have enough strips for the entire bowl because you need to let it dry in stages so the coils do not simply fall off.

Before opening your glue, blow up and tie off a balloon. I think small round balloons work best, but use whatever shape or size you want for your project - it's yours! Then, place the balloon, tied side down, on top of a glass.

Gluing the paper strips can get a bit messy, so before your proceed, you should protect your work surface with an old grocery bag, or something similar. Then, place a line of white glue down the center of the "wrong side" of a paper strip and spread it evening along the surface using a paint brush or finger. If you are using double-sided magazine pages, you don't need to worry about a right and wrong side, unless you prefer the colors on a side. Then, carefully fold the strip in half, wrong sides together, to form a thinner, but equally long, strip. Apply another line of glue along this new strip and carefully form it in to a tight coil. Place this coil on the top of your balloon as the center of your bowl-to-be. I like the finished appearance created by placing the folded edge out, so I made sure all of my coils were placed with this neat edge showing.


Continue Building the Bowl

All that remains is gluing additional coils around your central coil until your bowl is complete. Unfortunately, this is a little easier said than done. The process is not difficult, it simply takes time - and a willingness to get glue on your fingers! After experimenting with super glue and white glue, I discovered that white glue works better for attaching the coils, you just have to stop every row or two and let the glue dry.

Even though it slowed the drying process, I added a small amount of water to my now partially-empty white glue bottle. The thinner glue had an easier time seeping down into the cracks and gaps, but you can use full-strength glue, if you wish.

You can use these drying periods to cut additional paper strips. Having an idea of how much area strips cover can keep you from devoting hours and hours to cutting far more strips than you need, too.

After the basic shell of the the bowl is dry, you may notice little gaps between the coils. To fill these gaps, cut some of your strips into shorter lengths and make smaller coils to fill in the empty spaces. You can do this while fabricating the main body of the bowl, but I found trying to incorporate small coils from the beginning meant I had to stop and wait for glue to dry even more frequently.


If you love the look but want to use the bowl for liquids, you can purchase plastic bowls covered with paper spirals.

How to Finish the Magazine Bowl

After filling in any gaps and waiting for the glue to dry, remove the balloon. I have seen people suggesting simply popping the balloon, but I was afraid the might leave me with clinging fragments of balloon glued to the bowl's interior. Instead, I suggest carefully rocking the balloon back and forth, cracking the glue. You should be able to remove the balloon, or pop it without fear of clingers.

Inside of coiled bowl

Inside of coiled bowl


Addicted to Recycled Crafts?

There you have it! You just created your very own recycled magazine bowl. Now that you understand the process, why not move on to bigger bowls, or maybe even an inventive trash can or storage bin?

If you love recycled crafts, I highly recommend Found, Free, and Flea. It's full of neat ideas and has fantastic pictures, too. When I grow up, I hope I can be as inventive as this book's authors!


Colin Garrow from Inverbervie, Scotland on May 03, 2015:

Wow - never seen anything like this before. I've done a lot of papier mache artwork, but this is a great idea. Can't wait to try it out. Great Hub.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on April 13, 2014:

Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it.

Trupti.Borawake from India on April 04, 2014:

Really super cool and super easy.. thanks alots

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on November 07, 2013:

It takes a little bit, but it's a very low cost project that is a lot of fun!

Emilie S Peck from Minneapolis, MN on November 06, 2013:

What a cool idea! I'll have to give it a try. :)

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on November 05, 2013:

Thank you! =)

Agaltom on November 05, 2013:

Wow, you are incredibly creative!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 18, 2013:

Thank you, Kevin, and I hope you have fun, Aplethora!

Angie Power from North Cali on May 18, 2013:

awesome. I will let you know. I already have the directions written out, along with a few other crafty projects to do with the kids this summer. Just waiting for school to get out and then we're all over it!!

Kevin Peter from Global Citizen on May 18, 2013:

A very unique thought of creating such a wonderful piece of artwork. I loved it. The pictures included in the hub will help making such a bowl easily. Great and useful hub!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 17, 2013:

Post them here on my page or like on your own blog? I'm happy for you to post results of using my tutorial - if you can just link back to here as the tutorial source. If you let me know where you post it, I'll try to add a link to you, too.

Angie Power from North Cali on May 16, 2013:

I am new to Hub Pages. Is there an appropriate way to take pictures of the things we made from following the directions on your site and post them? Does it work like that here - or - ?

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 16, 2013:

Hooray! I hope everyone has a great time and you find some colorful stuff to upcycle!

Angie Power from North Cali on May 16, 2013:

What a FUN project to do with the kids at home this summer! I am looking forward to it. Thank you. Voted Awesome.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 16, 2013:

You made me smile! Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed =)

Ken Taub from Long Island, NY on May 16, 2013:

Fun, useful, awesome, cute and helpful info Natasha!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on April 29, 2013:

I wish I'd had my current camera when I made this hub! The pictures would have been so much better. Oh, well. It was fun to make and the materials were practically free! Thanks for stopping in and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 29, 2013:

Great instructions. This looks like a fun craft with do with a tween or teen.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on March 05, 2013:

Thank you so much! I appreciate the votes and am glad you found it useful.

vibesites from United States on March 05, 2013:

Amazing and clever DIY tutorial indeed! Very creative. Instructions and pictures are really great. Voted up and useful. :)

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on September 21, 2012:

Thank you, Heather Says! Glad you liked it.

Heather from Arizona on September 21, 2012:

This came out great! Thanks for the instructions and pictures! :)

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on September 21, 2012:

Thanks so much! I am glad you find the instructions understandable. Thanks for stopping by!

Graham Gifford from New Hamphire on September 21, 2012:

Oh, what fun! I've done a few magazine crafts- never a bowl (yet). Your explanation was well organized. Thanks for sharing.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on September 21, 2012:

Thanks so much, carol7777!

carol stanley from Arizona on September 21, 2012:

You are just too clever. What a lovely bowl and it is so cheap to make. You are amazing. I am voting up and sharing..

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on September 20, 2012:

I think I know what you're talking about - it's like how you make a paper bead. I agree, that doesn't show a cut edge and coils that big work well for larger containers, like a small trash can. It might look a little goofy on something so small! Thanks for sharing your tip for anyone wanting to make a larger project.

Mrs Galland on September 20, 2012:

I am making one of these bowls, BUT my way of rolling the paper is way different and I would say the coils come up thicker, a bit more sturdy and look like good quality. I use one whole page per coil, sometimes 2 or 3 if I want the coil to be bigger. I'm making 3 sizes. Each page I roll it up from corner to corner to get a stick with pointy ends. There's no cutting, and then roll it up again into the coil. When you see the coil you don't see the edge of the magazine page, you see more like a rounded edge. Just thought I'd share the tip.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on July 24, 2012:

Thank you! By using a larger balloon, or one of those long, skinny ones, you could make some pretty interesting bowls!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on July 24, 2012:

What a great way to recycle and this looks so much fun, I can't wait to try it - brilliant thank you and voted up!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on June 28, 2012:

Thank you! I'm glad you like it and thanks for taking the time to comment to let me know.

DREAM ON on June 28, 2012:

You have found a great way to eliminate waste and recycle and be creative too.I love it.All new to me what a great thing for kids to do.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on June 07, 2012:

What a great comment to find first thing in the morning! Thank you, Helena Ricketts! I'm always trying to come up with ways to make recycled crafts, too.

Helena Ricketts from Indiana on June 06, 2012:

I love this idea! I'm always on the lookout for recycling projects like this. VERY neat!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 18, 2012:

Thank you! I have even more recycled magazine projects lined up - now I just have to find the time to make them!

AnnRandolph on May 18, 2012:

I love this idea. Very creative!

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on May 15, 2012:

This is awesome! I want to try making one now :)

anivardiashvili from Georgia on May 15, 2012:

hanks so much, jellygator!

Anoop Aravind A from Nilambur, Kerala, India on May 14, 2012:

Good & creative.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 14, 2012:

Thank you, donabhatt!

Tanuka Bhattacharjee from Cupertino on May 14, 2012:

It is so creative.....

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:

Thank you, randomcreative!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 10, 2012:

Beautifully done! Thanks for the great tutorial.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:

Thanks! Yeah, it is easy to get too many magazines and catalogs. My roommates are moving back to their home states soon and I've been watching them cart arm load's of magazines to the trash. I've been tempted to snag some of them, but I still have paper strips left over from this project!

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on May 10, 2012:

Natasha, this is an awesome idea, especially for so many of us who have, you know, that or those stacks of magazines we keep thinking we might need (instead of just clipping out that article or recipe!). This would be great for kids to do too. And it's kind of artsy. Thumbs up and thank you!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:

Thank you so much, Prasetio. It took me a really long time to find my creative streak, and now I love sharing it with everyone.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 10, 2012:

Very inspiring hub. My friend, you are very creative. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up and useful!


Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the shares from ishwaryaa2 and PracticalMommy.

Caren Kreftor - thanks for the complements. I know you write about crafty things, so I appreciate it!

Vinaya - your candid comment made me laugh!

Riverfish - you're right, ads would work really well. I actually cut up some glossy ad fliers, but then decided to go for a monochromatic look.

Stephaniebcrosby and emilybee - thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I get so excited when I see that little green comment bubble pop up!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on May 10, 2012:

Though this is not my cup of tea, many people will find this tutorial very useful.

Karen Creftor from Kent, UK on May 10, 2012:

This is so cool!! I've seen a lot of recycled paper items, but never one like this. It's looks really cute and such a good way to create something useful on a budget :D

Thank you for such a clear family will be getting a set of bowls each for Christmas I think hehe.

*voted up and shared*

~Kaz x

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 10, 2012:

Creatively smart and economical idea! The instructions explained by you are so detailed and the pics are helpful. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up.

Riverfish24 from United States on May 10, 2012:

Very neat! Takes me back to craft class days years ago..great instructions, nice idea to keep handy especially when you have kids over looking to be kept busy..:)Also great suggestion to use the ad mail that fills up my mailbox

Marissa from United States on May 10, 2012:

Love it! It would be great to try with kids as a Mother's Day or Father's Day project. Thanks for the idea! :)

Voted up and sharing!

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on May 10, 2012:

This is a super cool idea. You have saved my life. My recycle can was always overflowing with all the magazines and journals I subscribe to. Now I have a way to recycle that will also help with keeping things organized. Thanks for sharing!

emilybee on May 10, 2012:

This is so very awesome! I love the look of the bowl, very stylish! I'll re-read this and try to make later :)

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, theraggededge.

Bev G from Wales, UK on May 10, 2012:

I love this! Just the sort of thing I like to make. Thanks very much for sharing this project.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:

Awesome! Just be prepared to wash your hands a lot - unless you find a way to be far neater than I was. At least white glue cleans easily!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on May 10, 2012:

What a fun and creative project. Now I know what to do with all these magazines I have sitting around collecting dust. Love this idea.

Karen Lackey from Ohio on May 09, 2012:

Another great hub! Easy to follow given the instructions and photos. Voted up and useful!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, Teaches. I really like the bright yellows and blues - I was lucky to get my hands on these at work!

Dianna Mendez on May 09, 2012:

Who would ever think that you could make something so beautiful from paper? Love your idea and also the green tip on saving trees!

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, HawaiiHeart and TripleAMom. I'm always exited to see new comments! I hope to make many more DIY tutorials because I love making things.

HawaiiHeart from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

What a cool idea! It's great to find new uses for old magazines!

TripleAMom from Florida on May 09, 2012:

This looks like a fun idea my daughter would enjoy trying. She is always looking for something new to create and we have lots of magazines thanks to my mother in law :). Voting up and looking forward to following you to get more ideas.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

Thanks so much, jellygator!

jellygator from USA on May 09, 2012:

That's a cute idea! Voted up, useful, and shared.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

DS Duby - Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I'm glad you liked it.

DS Duby from United States, Illinois on May 09, 2012:

Really creative and original idea, I can honestly say I have never heard of something like this. Great hub.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

LaThing - you probably could use a bowl. The only problem is you might have trouble with coils falling off while trying to dry. You could probably keep that from happening by using super glue, but I found the super glue was really messy to work with. Or, if you let the base of the bowl dry, you could flip the bowl right side up and then build the coils up. That might help.

Cheds - thanks for stopping by! Glad you like the recycled craft.

Heather Henley from Buckfield, Maine on May 09, 2012:

Recyling is awesome! Thanks for the new project idea, Natasha. Nice hub :)

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on May 09, 2012:

Oh, this is such a nice idea, and great way to have the whole family help. Have to try it out.... I wonder if we can use an upside down bowl instead of the balloon.

Voting it up, and very useful.

Natasha (author) from Hawaii on May 09, 2012:

Wow - thanks for the quick feedback! I'm glad you like it. Sometimes I feel like I have way too many pictures (I actually took a couple photos out of this one), but I want to make sure the direction are clear.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna from New York, NY on May 09, 2012:

Another great DIY tutorial! I really want to try this one. Voted up and I'm sharing it :)