Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Directions for Magazine Bowls


I have been asked a couple of times with my last post about the 'how to's' of this Magazine Bowl.  This is by no means my idea, I have seen it all over the internet for years.  This is the way I teach this process.  


  • I cut several pieces of magazine the same with.  For my students I have several National Geographics.  This way they are all the same size.  Being uniformed is key.


  • Fold the page in half once.


  • Open the page up from the first fold.  Fold the paper into the center fold on both sides. Then fold it back on it's original fold.  (I know... could I write fold one more time?)

  • Anyway, do this several times to several sheets.  I gave the kids one day to do this.  I was also finishing up some other projects at the same time.  This is a project you can do while having another project going on at the same time.  When I have them all like this I ask students to write their name on a name tag that I provide (maybe a uniformed color and shape) and place a rubber band around the pile.


  • Start rolling with one sheet.  This is the most difficult task of the whole project.  You MUST get it really tight!!!!

  • At the end of the roll use a small amount of tape.  I have used both masking tape and scotch tape.  Both work fine.

  • Use another piece of tape for the next coil.  I tape it right where I left off.  This part is important...  ALWAYS tape at the end and a the beginning of every coil.  Students will try to tape all the coils together and wrap them all at once.  This looks like it works until you start pulling it up into a bowl, then it falls apart. 


  • Continue with your rolling the coils.  When/if students run out of coils, I ask them to make more. I give the goal of 6 inch diameter.  It really pushes them and about 10% meet this goal.  That is the great thing about this project.  Once can be successful no matter how big the bowl ends up.


  • At the end of each day I have them write their name on the outside of the 'puck' (I call it a puck because it reminds me of a hockey puck).


  • The last step I didn't take pictures.  Here I am pulling the bowl up.  I had a Mod Podge table where students would paint the outside of their bowls with it.  I was sure to have the table covered because it leaves quite a mess.
Helpful Hints... 

  • Students may want to take this home.  Placing the puck and a magazine in a bag was a successful way to do so.
  • If the bowls are loose (about 10%) will be.  When glazing the outside of the pot with Mod Podge, simple rest their paper bowls over a ceramic or Styrofoam bowl.  This will give it the support it needs until the glue is dry.
  • Please, if you have other hint on how to do this project, write in... Thanks!


  1. I have done this with my classes and have learned a few helpful tips along the way.

    1. If you are using newspaper and have a wooden dowel rod, you can roll a large sheet of newspaper along the rod making a long skinny tube. (This will work with magazine paper as well)
    2. Flatten the tube and begin rolling/coiling, this method helps cut on time and prep.
    3. Inner lock the sections of paper by sliding one end in into the other and supporting with tape or glue. This helps keep things strong. You can continue coiling after this step.

    Hope this helps. Happy Creating!

  2. Hi Nic,

    When I am rolling the paper, it starts to pucker up. Has this happened to you? Am I rolling too tight?


    1. Yep, that always happens. The first coil is the hardest. You just have to really 'boss' that paper to lay flat. It may have to wrinkle a bit. Good luck... share pictures if you would.

  3. So, all the little places where you taped doesn't bother when you're pulling up?

    Each magazine strip gets 2 tapes- one at beginning and one at end, right?

    You do all the pulling up of bowls?

    Thanks so much!!!

    1. Nope, the tape was not an issue. Give it a try. They are a lot of fun.