What to do with your coloring pages? Quick paper mache bowl

What to do with your coloring pages?

If you are like me and have a collection of loose coloring pages, or pages that you do not love, you may want to turn them into something else.    I love the concept of upcycling – changing something into another useable object so it’s no surprise that I like to upcycle my coloring pages.  

I always have a ton of ideas for how to change things but often it is a real experiment to figure out which one would be ideal for the pages that I have.

How to Create a Paper Mache Bowl from Coloring Pages

When I was looking through this mishmash collection of colored pages that I had, I instantly thought I would make a paper mache bowl with it.     I was concerned that the markers that were used on the pages would run during the paper mache process, but it turns out I worried about this unnecessarily.   There was no color run at all.

What you will need

  •  a stainless steel, glass or plastic bowl that you can use as a template
  • cling wrap to protect the bowl if required (I didn’t use it) *
  • assorted colored pages
  • old newspaper, catalogues
  • PVA glue
  • Water
  • rubber gloves
  • an old container for your glue (I used a Chinese takeaway plastic container)
  • Something to cut or make shapes with – scissors, craft punchers
  • a balloon blown up to the size of the inner part of the bowl *

How to make your paper mache bowl

First you need to decide which method of making the bowl you will use*:

  1. blow up a balloon to the size of the inner part of the bowl and paper mache over the balloon while it rests in the bowl; or
  2. cover a bowl or object with plastic wrap tightly and then paper mache over the plastic wrap

I used the first method in my video of making a paper mache bowl from old coloring pages above.


  1. Cut up your colored pages.   You can use strips which would allow you to move quicker,  shapes using a punch, squares or even torn paper if you wished.   I used a variety in my example with some cut up strips, different shapes and torn newspaper.
  2. Mix the pva glue in your container and add some water until it is runny.   When choosing glue make sure that it dries clear not white.    Don’t mix too much as it may harden or start to congeal before you are finished.
  3. As I wanted the colored page to show on the inside of the bowl I dipped the colored page into the glue, wiped off the excess with my hands (that’s why I have the rubber globes on) and laid it colored side down on the first layer.   When this dries this first layer will be the inside of your paper mache bowl.   Add your next strip slightly overlaying on the first one and so on.     Continue to add colored pages until the balloon or plastic is completely covered.   If you wanted to paint the inside of the bowl then you could just lay down old newspaper strips.
  4. In order to ensure that our bowl is sturdy add some in between layers, using old strips of newspaper, catalogues or magazines.   These will not show, but are to provide structure and support for our bowl.   I used two layers of newspaper for a thin bowl.     If you want a chunkier look add more layers of newspaper.
  5. On your final layer, make sure the colored page is face up when gluing the layer so the pretty side shows on your bowl
  6. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.    Remove the balloon if you used method 1, or remove the bowl and peel off the plastic wrap if you used method 2
  7. You may find that you have some bits of pages sticking up so simply glue them down
  8. Decide whether you need to add another coat of diluted glue to further protect the bowl from the elements or even varnish.   I did not varnish mine
  9. Admire your  handiwork

Happy coloring x






About the author


I'm Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I'm all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

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