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Halloween Craft: Paper Bag Candy Bowls

By Ellen Luckett Baker

By Ellen Luckett Baker
Serve up your candy this year in these fun papier mâché Halloween candy bowls. Made from paper bags and recycled tissue paper, they are a fun and messy project for the kids. This project uses some recycled materials and others that can probably be found around your house.

For the base, we used a metal bowl for the ghost and a real pumpkin for the pumpkin bowl. If you decide to use a pumpkin, you’ll need to cut the top off at the widest point. You’ll also want to find a space that can get messy, or cover your work surface before you begin. Lots of drippy glue in this project. The drying time for the bowls will be about 48 hours, so make some time.

Supplies (for one bowl):

-paper bags
-plastic bag or plastic wrap
-bowl or pumpkin for the base
-tissue paper
-white school glue (one medium-sized bottle)
-old paint brush for applying glue
-acrylic paints
-paint brushes


1. First, cover your base with plastic wrap or a grocery store plastic bag.
2. Then mix one part of glue to one part water in a mixing bowl.
3. Rip the paper bags into long strips and dip them one at a time in the glue mixture, running your hand along the strip to remove excess glue. It might take your kids a few tries to get the hang of this.
4. Place the strips overlapping all over the bowl. Allow the bowl to dry for at least 24 hours and put your remaining glue mixture in an airtight container to save for the next step.

After the paper bag layer has dried for 24 hours, you’ll move on to the tissue paper step. With an old paint brush, apply the glue mixture directly onto the bowl and lay the tissue paper in strips. Again, allow to dry for 24 hours. You can trim the top edges or leave them ragged. Once dry, remove the bowl from the base and paint it. Have a spooky, sugary Halloween!


Explore Halloween costumes, crafts, decorations and treats from our archives here.

About the Author

Ellen Luckett Baker

Ellen Luckett Baker is the author of the long thread, a blog about handmade goods. She has always enjoyed making things, but the flexibility of staying a...

Ellen Luckett Baker is the author of the long thread, a blog about handmade goods. She has always enjoyed making things, but the flexibility of staying at home with her two daughters along with the creative inspiration they provide has led her to craft on a daily basis. Combining her love of graphic design and sewing, she has created an Etsy shop selling machine embroidery designs and sewing patterns.

Ellen lives in Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters. She holds a B.A. in Art History and a Master’s of Public Administration with a focus in Non-Profit Management.

Ellen recently wrote 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects her crafting book. She is crazy talented!

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  • Amanda Formaro

    October 17, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    These are so adorable! A simple idea, but I never would have thought of it. Kudos!

  • SAJ

    October 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    This is pretty cool!