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How to Make a Unique Key Bowl

Believe it or not, people have been making their own paper for 2000 years. For the last 100 years we leave the work to the paper mills, which use 40% more energy to produce paper from the wood pulp, than the waste you leave in the paper recycling bins. Making your own paper may be a bit of a topsy-turvy task for your taste, especially when you have empty recycling bins waiting for your junk on every corner. Still, there are ways you can reuse your garbage, especially old newspapers, used printer paper and mail. That way, you can help your environment to stay greener and have a fun afternoon with your kids, or by yourself. You can use this bowl for holding key chains, paper wrapped bonbons, or any bits and pieces that mess up your living room.

bowly.jpg

Making the Bowl

For this project you will need a bunch of old newspapers, a small sponge, a balloon and a PVA based synthetic glue. You can use Elmer’s Glue or any other, just make sure it is either transparent or white, and that you can mix it with water.

Take a few pages of the newspaper and fold them a couple of times. Make sure the ends meet, because you will want the strips you cut off to be even. Once you cut the paper into strips, hold a bunch of strips together and cut them, piece by piece into squares. If you think this will be too much of a task and it will take too much time off your hands, you can use a paper cutting machine. If the end product is your goal, not the recycling idea you can even buy a bag of confetti and cut the project short.

Once you have the confetti ready, lay an old cloth over the table or on the ground, because this is when the project takes a messy turn. Blow the balloon to the size you want the bowl to be and place it over another bowl, wide size jar or a glass.

bowl.jpg From now on, you will want to move the project slowly forward, because like everything else, a strong foundation is what keeps the structure standing proudly. Once you start spreading the glue over the balloon, you will realize that the glue tends to sweep away from the balloon, so you will see that it will be easier to work piece by piece. Take the sponge, dip it in the glue, splatter the content over the balloon and sprinkle a pinch of confetti over the glue. You can use your fingers to tie the paper up on the balloon and repeat the process next to this part. Make sure you can’t see the balloon from the confetti, and for that reason, pick a balloon in the most vibrant and bright color there is. You may think it isn’t necessary to follow these instructions, but once you start you will see that you actually need a plan. You can’t just coat the balloon with glue and dip it in the pile of confetti, because that way you will leave holes or bare areas on the balloon. You can still do that, and be done with the first layer in a minute, but when it comes to sticking the second and third layer, you will come across some bumps caused by the uneven position of the confetti in the first layer. You don’t have to wait for the first layer to dry, in fact, it will be best if you work fast.

bowlmaking.jpg For the second and third layer, the process is the same. Dip the sponge, splatter the glue, sprinkle the confetti. You can use a cloth or even a paint brush if you think it will be easier to work with, but with the sponge, you can actually hold the right amount of glue in and squeeze it over the confetti to make them stick together. Be gentle at first, or at least until the confetti are soaked. To make the structure more sturdy, mix the glue with a little water for the second layer. That way, both the first and second layer will be soaked and you can work your way for the final layer. Glue the last layer with glue only, which you can apply twice, to make the bowl stronger.

After that, leave the jar, glass or bowl out in the open to dry faster, or near the fireplace, radiator or heating fan. It is very important that you don’t touch the balloon too much once it starts to dry, because some of the confetti will become fixed and they might pop the balloon and ruin your entire project. Add another layer of confetti on the top of the bowl (or actually the bottom), and add more glue to this part. That way, when the bowl is almost dry, you can pop the balloon, slowly remove it away from the bowl and flatten the bowl on a piece of baking paper, wrapping paper or any type of plastic bag. Since the bottom of the bowl will be still a lot wetter than the rest of your recycling task, you can easily level the bowl into any position you like. You won’t always know if the first layer is dry enough for you to take out the balloon, so if you pop the balloon too soon, leave the bowl as it is and wait a couple of hours more. You won’t ruin the bowl even if you take the balloon out too soon, but the inner side of the bowl will be a lot more rugged than the outer side. And you won’t achieve that paper cut look on the inside like you did on the outside.

When the bowl is dry enough (you will know by its weight), you can cut the tiptop anyway you like, flat, curved or zigzag. And at last, if you do this project together with your kids, do not leave them unsupervised, because the glue is toxic and scissors are dangerous.

Next: How to Make a Unique Picture Frame

Hobbies, Do it yourself, How To


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