Recycling made easy.

Okay, not easy, precisely. But made.

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An old magazine, regular school glue, a glue gun, a knitting needle and a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Not to mention several hours. That's how you make this form of recycled paper bowl.

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This was my first effort. It's not perfect, but it's a learning curve, eh?

Want to know the HOW of it? I'll explain it basically, but you can find all sorts of methods and styles of recycled paper bowls online, including things like papier mache, pulped paper, etc.

Okay, ready?

1). Rip out magazine pages.

2). Cut 1.5" strips (vertically) – a paper cutter's pretty much essential for this, unless you're a martyr.

3). For bottom, start with corner of paper strip on knitting needle and roll – angle the paper so it covers most of the needle. You'll wind up with a "pipe" of paper.

4). Grab your needle nosed pliers and grab one end of the pipe. Wrap pipe around pliers, gluing as you go so the circle stays in place.

5). Roll your next strip. Insert into the end of the previous pipe on pliers, and repeat. Keep going 'til your base is the size you want.

You can take out the pliers after you get a couple strips glued, then just keep adding the strips of paper.

Got that? Clear as mud?

For the little rounds you do steps 1 – 4 and leave it as a little circle. Then make more. And more, and more. This is what takes all the time. You have to make dozens of the little buggers.

Finally, I used hot glue to attach the circles to the base. The tough part is keeping them even, which I didn't do the first time around. But hey, it's fun. Time-consuming, but fun.

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You can also make the mini size, which may be better to start out. Supposedly you can use a ceramic or stainless steel bowl as a form, but I decided to risk doing it by hand. And yes, mine came out crooked. Such is the "charm" of handmade items.

It's a good rainy/snowy weather kind of thing to do, or a craft to keep kids busy for a LONG, LONG time in the summer. And they make nice little gifts, or holders for various and sundry. Plus, they recycle things you already have. Try a bit of ribbon if you feel ambitious, or whatever you have on hand to fancy it up. Would it work with fabric? I have no idea! Give it a go.

And, if you do try it, I'd love photos to see what you came up with.

There now! See what a Renaissance woman I am? I read, I write, I photograph, I perform basic domestic and familial duties, and every now and then I get crafty. You never know what's next from me.

Here's a site with a cute pulped bowl for kids (or, heck, adults!):

http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/paper-bowl-670922/

And another style:

http://www.indiepublic.com/library/topics/946391:Topic:59641

And another:

http://alittlehut.blogspot.com/2007/09/recycle-project-no-7-magazine-bowl.html

You get the idea. Have fun!

Oh, and P.S.? This is GREAT therapy. Keeps the hands and mind busy, takes forever to do. Good stuff!

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