Gold Leafed Paper-Mache Bowl DIY

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This was my big project for the week, and it seriously did take all week long to complete! I finished my paper-mache bowl today, so perfect timing on my part, since I'm due tomorrow and all. I think I will always remember my last week of pregnancy and trying to stay busy while waiting for this baby when I look at this  bowl.

I saw the DIY instructions on Kelly Murray's blog, and since it looked easy enough and oh-so-beautiful, I thought I'd give it a go. It was more complicated and involved than it looked, but I always run into that problem with projects. Everything looks easy until you start doing it. Considering it was my first time using Mod Podge and gold leaf, I actually did pretty well and my bowl turned out just as pretty as I had hoped. It's actually much bigger than I thought it would be, but I don't mind. I definitely want to make more of these in the future and give some as gifts, but I will definitely be buying smaller balloons to make smaller bowls.

Step One:  Cut newspaper into strips. Blow up a balloon, place upside down in something stable, like a bowl, and start brushing Mod Podge on each strip of newspaper and adding to the balloon. Be generous with your layers of newspaper. My layers turned out too thick in one area and really thin in another, so next time I need to regulate that better. Let dry overnight.

Step Two: Pop the balloon and cut your bowl down to the size you want. Place on a flat surface so the bowl finds its balancing point and cut bits off until you get an even bowl. Eyeballing it works perfectly here.

Step Three: Paint your bowl with acrylic paint. This step took the longest for me because I painted either the inside or the outside at one time, and the paint wasn't covering the newspaper well so I seriously had to do 4-5 layers of paint per side. It may be that I was using a foam brush instead of a bristle brush.

Step Four: I wanted dots on my bowl just like Kelly's, so I stopped by Office Depot and got myself a pack. After sticking those on, brush on a very thin layer of gold leaf adhesive (called size).

Step Five: Start putting your gold leaf on, overlapping whenever necessary to cover all the adhesive. It will not be perfect, so don't worry if it gets a little messy. You can see I have some small white spots showing through, and I'm okay with that. Take your dot stickers off with an exacto knife (this part was tricky, and some dots got too wet and only the top layer would lift while the sticky layer stayed on--oy!).

Step Six: Flatten all your bits of gold leaf and spray lightly with gold leaf sealer. Now you have a beautiful bowl for jewelry, keys, loose change, pine cones, rocks--whatever your heart desires!

This project was pretty spendy at about $35 for all the supplies, mostly because of the gold leaf, but I have plenty of supplies left over for more bowls. The biggest investment is time.



Natalie said...

Looks beautiful, thanks for this great tutorial!

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