DIY: Tissue Paper Bowls

July 29, 2013

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

Text and images by Amy Christie for Design Mom.

What is it about little bowls and containers? I’m drawn to them like a magnet. I set them on side tables and dressers. In bathrooms and living rooms. I use them collect bits and bobs — jewelry, safety pins, beads, crafts supplies, keys… And when I come up with a way to make them myself. Well. Suddenly I am compelled to make. all. the. bowls.

If you have a thing for bowls — or for pretty tissue paper — I think you’re going to really like this project.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

You don’t need much to make this happen. Just tissue paper, white glue, a balloon or two and a brush. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t require perfection. The hardest part is waiting for things to dry!

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

You can make them any size you want. Big or small, huge or tiny. Anything goes. And the colors are endless. Coordinate with your decor, the holiday party, or give a friend a set in their favorite colors. And you can make them lightweight and disposable, or more heavyweight, so you can keep them around awhile.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

Ready to get started?

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom


-tissue paper
-balloons, any size works just depends on your wants
-white glue or Modge Podge – I do like to water mine down just a little, to make it more spreadable.
-brush or foam brush
-weighted base for drying
-optional for strength -a coat of Enviro Tex on the inside and outside

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

First, inflate the balloon to the desired size. I did a nested set so my balloons were sized from small to big.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

There are two ways to get a circle of tissue paper. One is to trace a circular object and then cut it out. A quicker though less exact way is to fold a square of it in half and then half again. From there, bring one folded edge over to the other folded edge to make a point, like above. Trim the tail straight across.

Continue to fold and make the piece more narrow. Then smooth out the non-folded edge and when you unfold it, it will be an almost perfect circle.

I used two pieces of tissue per bowl though use as many pieces as you’d like. The more you use, the thicker the bowls will be — and the more intense the tissue color.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

Place a piece of tissue paper over top of the balloon and begin to brush on the white glue. Continue until the whole surface is covered. Add layers one by one, coating each with white glue in the same method.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

Allow to fully dry. It’s really hard to wait, I know! But be patient.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

Then pop the balloon and release the air. The tissue form will crumple down, but once the balloon is deflated, gently adjust the bowl and the shape will keep. And now, the bowl can be used.

Drop whatever you’d like inside or leave the bowls stacked on a shelf. They are not food safe so place a napkin inside first before adding goodies.

If you would like the bowl to be more solid or firm, you can use a product called Enviro Tex (found at Michael’s) to coat the outside and inside of the bowl. It’s a hard finish medium that you brush on and when it dries, it makes a very solid surface.

Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design MomEasy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

And that’s it. Very doable, no? I hope you give this project a try. And if you do, I’d love to hear about it!

P.S. — We love making things! Here are lots more terrific projects.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle July 29, 2013 at 10:10 am

What a great idea! We have a giant container of balloons – finally something to use them for (other than water balloons).


2 Jackie July 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

My gosh, Amy! Your DIY projects always blow me away. These bowls are so gorgeous. I couldn’t figure out where to pin them…DIY decor, party ideas, or gift ideas. Love, Love, love!!!


3 Rose D. Frenchtown, NJ USA July 30, 2013 at 5:57 am

I love this!!


4 Petra July 30, 2013 at 7:02 am

We make these in fall, using only white tissue paper, and we make the sides higher and sandwich pretty fall leaves in-between the paper. Then we put votive candles inside – voila – fall lanterns! The children look forward to making them every year, it’s become a tradition for them!


5 Christine July 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I love this variation and the tradition you’ve made. Such a lovely idea!


6 Christine July 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm

These are beautiful!


7 Ann Martin July 31, 2013 at 7:05 am

I always look forward to your posts, Amy. These are lovely!


8 Melissa July 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm

These are so beautiful all grouped together!


9 Ananasa August 21, 2013 at 6:11 am

These are just amazing! beautiful colors and great idea! Home For Handmade


10 Paperistas August 27, 2013 at 5:30 am

This is so stunning, thank you for sharing. Also Love your blog!


11 Tonya D October 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

These are really cute! I recently took an interest in paper crafts and was elated to make a gift box from paper. This looks like its next on my list :)


12 Andie P. November 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Just stopping by from! What a wonderful DIY column- I couldn’t get away from it! Thank you for such great ideas- this tissue paper bowl one is so elegant- perfect to put hors d’ oeuvres in for the Holidays! Thanks for sharing with us.


13 Christine January 18, 2014 at 3:36 am

I am wondering how long you let them dry?


14 Dara @ PurpleDot Boutique March 25, 2014 at 7:20 am

These are really pretty and simple looking! I think they’d make really nice little “nests” for colorful Easter eggs. (Probably the plastic eggs that don’t weigh a lot would be best.) Thanks for sharing :)


15 Jessica February 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Does this process makes the bowls shinny?


16 Wendy K May 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Thank you for sharing your beautiful bowls. My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I decided to give it a try with my 3 year old grand daughter so she could give her mama a special gift… Me not the most patients, her even less patient! Decided after 10 minutes of air drying , to take the blow dryer to them on medium low heat, for a few minutes, then I preheated the oven to 200 degrees turned it off, let it cool down to 100 degrees and placed them in the oven for about an hour and a half . Popped the balloon. They turned perfectly! My daughter is going to love them and my granddaughter is so proud of her creations!


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