Magazine Strip Bowl

April 6, 2020


These bowls are made from recycled materials and are just as satisfying as those childhood pinch pots you made out of clay. They start with a disc of coiled paper before being pressed into shape. Any paper will work. I like my coils to form faster so I use folded pieces of paper. The videos below show the process with calendar pages. Glossy magazine pages are pretty but so is newspaper. You can even save the ads that get mailed to you over the course of the week.

Start with a stack of papers that are the same width (this bowl uses 7″ strips. I’ve also cut each of those in half and used 3.5″ strips with nice results). It does not matter if the pages are the same length. The fold in the video below will give you neater edges than simply folding the paper in half a few times.


Once you have folded a number of strips, it is time to start coiling. I’ve left this video in real-time so you can see the difference in difficulty between coiling the first strip and then coiling the rest. It can be difficult to start the first strip. Be patient. Know it doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if the first strip is not coiled tightly, as long as you coil the remaining strips tightly around it, all will be fine! Also, note that each strip (after the first one) is taped to the coil at both ends … when you attach it AND when you reach the end. This is really important to make sure the coil stays tight throughout the process.


Continue coiling until you reach the diameter that you want for your bowl. The diameter of the disk will be the diameter of the topmost edge of your bowl. You can always form the bowl and see if you like it. It is a simple matter of squashing it back into a disc and adding more strips if you want it larger.


Remember those pinch pots? The ones where you start with a ball of clay and start pushing in the center and pulling up the sides to form a bowl? Well, that’s essentially what you are doing here. Gently pull up the layers. Each layer of magazine strip needs to overlap the one below it … by how much is up to you. You want to move slowly. If you pull one layer completely off the layer below it, you will have a hard time getting it back into a disc.


Once you have the bowl how you like it, you can fix it in place with glue. Mod Podge is my favorite for this, but watered down Elmer’s Glue will work as well. Paint it liberally both inside and out.

We at TinkerSpace hope you are finding strength in your family. As crazy as our world is right now, I find comfort in knowing that I am spending extra one on one time with my children. Showing them it is good to try new things, letting them see it doesn’t always work the first time, and that we can grow from the experience. In many ways, this generation will be better off because of this added time they are getting with their family.


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