Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cool's PAPER!

Look at that swirl!  How fantastic!  I swear I can sit and stare at that all day.  It just draws me in and sort of invokes a relaxing, mesmerizing sensation.  It's just plain fascinating.

Here's the story.  My son came home with a fabulous 3rd grade project.  I thought his version was terrific.  I was even more delighted when he turned to me and said, "I could teach you how to make one." How priceless is that?

We ripped pages from an old colorful magazine (a lot), and began folding, and folding, and folding, and folding...well you get the idea.  We used a metal ruler to fold against which ensured a consistent size for all our strips. My son sort of wandered off at this point...he felt his work was done. 

I challenged myself to make the layers really tight so I wanted a lot of strips.   I used my bone folder to make the edges nice and crisp.  I then sorted them to get the colors the way I liked them.
HERE's the trick...taught to me by my 10 year old!  Take each strip and rub it end to end on the edge of a table until it starts to curl.  By doing that step they curve naturally and it makes it easier to wrap them around each other and make it really easy to get a tight wrap.

I wrapped the first strip around a pencil and kept tightening. I took out the pencil and continued to coax the strip into a really tight coil.  As I wrapped more strips on to the initial coil, I put a bit of glue on each strip, which really worked to keep it tightly wrapped and I think it helps makes the work much more stable and solid after it dries. I wrapped enough strips to make a large coil about the size of a hockey puck (I live in Minnesota and everyone here knows the size of a hockey puck...3 inches).  The bigger you make this base coil the wider the resulting bowl.  My bowls turned out the size of a large cereal bowl.

Once you have the base coil, just start adding strips about 1/8-1/4'' higher with each new layer.  Make sure to specifically glue the ends down completely or they stick out more than you probably want.  It can get fairly tricky to make sure you are wrapping tight and straight so the bowl isn't crooked.  Just make sure you keep turning and stop and look at how the bowl is shaping up from all angles as you add the strips.  Put it on a table and get down eye level and look to make sure it's not leaning one way or the other.

I saved some strips that had cool designs specifically for the top of the bowl.  After the glue in the bowl had dried nicely,  I coated the entire bowl with Modge Podge and it made a great sheen.  I now have a great candy bowl on my office desk that everyone picks up and looks at.

My last secret:  In hotel lobbies there are always colorful tourist magazines highlighting the area attractions and shops.  I made one whole bowl from the pages of three such magazines while sitting pool side watching my son swim the afternoon away.  I saved special pages for the last strips that clearly identified the area featured in the magazines.  Every heard of the Wisconsin Dells? Pretty cool souvenir from a trip huh?

Here's some more pics....Hope you give it a try


  1. Super fun! I love the wide brim - it looks great!

  2. so cool! i've made trivets from magazine strips but never a bowl. might have to give this a try! thank you for sharing!

  3. OH!!! I want to try this! Tell your son and his teacher THANK YOU! ♥

  4. Goodness, what a fun and awesome project!!! Beautiful!!!


  5. Love this bowl! What a fun project. Thanks for sharing!