How to Make Papier Mache Covered Bottles


Although this project is simple enough for a grade-school age child to complete with a little help, it is also the basis for what can become a true work of art. Once the bottle is covered with the papier mache, anything from a simple coat of paint or an elaborately planned design can finish it off.

Things You'll Need

  • A bottle with an interesting shape; if you plan to use the finished project as a vase, keep in mind that you’ll want a fairly large opening.
  • For the papier mache:
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 10 sheets of newspaper
  • a large bowl
  • spoon for mixing
  • For finishing the bottle:
  • Acrylic or other paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small clippings from old books or magazines (optional)
  • White glue (only if you are using magazine clippings)
  • Clear acrylic finish

Cover the Bottle

  • Put 2 1/2 cups flour into a bowl. Slowly add 3 cups of warm water, stirring constantly. Note: The mixture should be about the consistency of cake batter. If it's not, you may have to add a little more water or flour as necessary.

  • Tear 10 sheets of newspaper into long skinny strips.

  • Dip a strip of newspaper into the flour/water mixture, coating it completely.

  • Wrap the strip against the bottle, molding it to the bottle's shape and pressing it down as you work.

  • Continue adding strips of paper, overlapping them, until the bottle is completely covered.

  • Let the covered bottle dry completely.

Decorate the Bottle

  • Use sandpaper (after the papier mache is completely dry) to smooth out any bumps and prepare the surface for painting. Wipe the bottle with a soft cloth to remove any particles left from the sanding process.

  • Paint the entire bottle one color to begin with, whether or not you plan to use additional colors. This will give you a base to work from.

  • When the first coat of paint is dry, add other colors if you wish. For example, you may wish to stripe the bottle (either horizontally or vertically) or you may wish to add large splashes of contrasting color.

  • Glue on any small pictures you have chosen using white glue; make sure to secure all the edges.

  • Finish the bottle with several coats of clear acrylic finish.

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