Feb 022010

Long ago, before I became distracted with little details like weddings and babies, Two Wishes began as a craft blog.  The “little distractions” have killed my crafting time, but I regularly save wonderful tutorials that sit, growing cobwebs, in my bookmark folders.

Enter Tutorial Tuesdays.  Each week I will share a different tutorial in the hope that you can use it.  (And if you do, please do email or blog about your final results — we’d love to see them!)

For our first Tutorial Tuesday, it seems fitting to share my own small tutorial — for Magazine Bowls.  What follows is a Two Wishes re-post from June 2007:


1.  First, gather lots of colorful magazine pages.  You’ll be folding the pages into strips, so you’re really only interested in the strip of color that shows — roughly two inches on the clean (as opposed to torn) edge of the page.

2.  Fold each page horizontally into roughly equal strips.  I usually fold the strips about 1 1/2” wide.  I use a glue stick to glue down the outside edge so that the strip is compact and easier to work with later in the process.  (This is either a brilliant development on my part or an enormous waste of time and energy; I haven’t figured that out.)  There’s variation in this process between different crafters.  Some roll diagonally.  Others cut their strips to equal widths rather than folding.  I believe folding horizontally is easiest, and I’m all about the easy.  Here’s a small stack of finished strips:


3.  When you’ve got dozens of finished strips, start rolling them into a coil.  I usually glue-stick the entire length of my first 4 or 5 strips for extra stability because you want them to stay in a tight, smooth roll.  (But, again, maybe I just need to justify my purchase of that 12-pack of glue sticks!)  After that, you’ll start in with the Scotch tape.  Use a piece of clear tape to attach the end of each strip to the next in one long “snake.”  It’s often easiest to make a long snake of 10-12 strips in your lap and then add them to the coil all at once, rather than adding each strip to the coil as you go.  Meanwhile I keep a rubber band around the coil to ensure it’s tightly rolled when I’m not working with it.  Your coil will end up looking like a big coaster or trivet:


4.  To make your big coil into a 3-dimensional bowl or pot, place your thumbs into the center of the coil and pull up on the sides with your fingers.  The sides will “telescope” upwards until you wind up with a pot shape.  This part is fun!  You can keep sliding the slats around until you find what works best for you.  Sometimes it helps to use an existing pot or bowl as a guide for shape.


Once you find the shape you like, pull out your ModPodge and give the pot a few coats to keep it intact and give it strength.  And you’re done!  Here’s my new pot, still held together with its rubber band, waiting for ModPodge.  It’s being kept company by a couple of completed pots destined as a gift for a friend.  The pots make great gifts because they’re natural containers for chocolate or cookies or beauty products, baby gifts, or whatnot.


My favorite part of magazine bowls is always the view from the top:


Have you ever made magazine bowls? Have you seen similar products in stores?

  5 Responses to “Tutorial Tuesday: Magazine Bowls”

  1. Wow! I have never heard of magazine bowls but I think these look great! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. I didn’t even think you could do this (well, as in I had never heard of it). What a great and fun idea! And, it’s eco-friendly, which I love!

  3. Oh, so happy to hear it’s new to you! Hope you do give things a try — it’s a little time-consuming (good TV-watching activity) but fun and a bit addictive. I love getting a useful product out of something that’s basically just trash!

  4. I love getting a useful product out of something that’s basically just trash!

  5. [...] cameras, and a 2008 comment on a blog post about elephant-shaped laundry hampers. There’s my tutorial on making bowls from magazine pages, posted to a design site years ago and picked up by other blogs. There’s also the one other [...]

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