Wabi-Sabi DIY Papiermaché Bowl

Wabi-Sabi DIY Papiermaché Bowl

Do you also have some old cardboard lying around at home? Then we have a new joint project! We're making Wabi-Sabi Home Decor. Let's get started!

What exactly is this Wabi-Sabi?

Before we dive in, a few words about it: Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese philosophy that finds beauty in imperfection and impermanence. This philosophy has evolved into a trendy interior design style, aiming to bring a piece of nature into the home with earthy colors, natural materials, and textures instead of surrounding ourselves with perfectly polished glossy furniture. That's why we love DIYing in the Wabi-Sabi style. The result doesn't have to be perfect; the more imperfect, the more character your personal masterpiece has.


What you'll need:

  • Uncoated cardboard, e.g., egg boxes or packaging cartons
  • A kitchen scale
  • A tablespoon
  • Wallpaper Adhesive
  • Wood glue
  • A bucket
  • Water
  • A mixer
  • A bowl
  • A sieve
  • A towel

How to make the papier-mâché pulp

Get a clean bucket and weigh it empty. Now tear the dry cardboard into small pieces and throw them into the bucket. The finer your pieces, the easier it will be to blend later. Weigh the bucket with the cardboard and subtract the weight of the empty bucket. This way, you can estimate how much adhesive you'll need for the pulp.

For every 100 g of dry paper, we recommend 2 flat tablespoons of wallpaper paste and 1 tablespoon of wood glue. Fill the bucket with water and let it sit for at least a day. The next day, blend. You can do this either with an immersion blender or a countertop blender. Make sure there's enough water in the mixture for your blender to handle. Strain the pulp through a large sieve. Then transfer it onto a towel and press out the excess water until none drips out. Now, let's make the "dough". As mentioned above, add wallpaper paste and glue. If you skipped this step, don't worry. You can gradually add the adhesives until the mixture is nicely sticky; then it'll work just fine.

Let's shape it

If you're using a ball as a mold, there are two options. If it's a ball that you can deflate, make sure the opening remains accessible. Otherwise, plastic wrap will help you release the shell from the ball when dry. Keep this wrap with your crafting supplies after the project; it can be reused. Roughly stick a few handfuls of the mixture onto the ball and shape it. This works best with clean, wet hands. Use a small spatula or similar tool to shape and smooth the mixture. For decorations, roll the papier-mâché in your hands into a sausage shape and embed it in the shell. Place the shell on a sunny windowsill. After two days, when your work is hard and dry on the outside, carefully remove the ball. If your shell collapses, it's better to put the ball back in and let it dry a bit longer. If it's stable enough, place it in the sun again to dry from the inside.

Finishing touches

To make the shell even more stable, you can brush it again with glue. To give it a ceramic look, you can apply lime plaster or similar. If you want to color it, you can paint it with any color you like and seal it with acrylic varnish afterward.


Following the motto of turning trash into treasure upcycling is not only good for the environment but also a lot of fun! With a few old cardboard boxes and your creativity, you can quickly beautify your home. So, go ahead, grab some cardboard, and let your imagination run wild!


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