Oh junk mail. I hate you, the world hates you. It's amazing that you don't have bad self esteem! Except I don't hate junk mail anymore - I know right? What a weirdo I am. It's not very green of me, embracing the junk mail, but I don't care. And why is that? Because each one holds the possibility of a hidden gem inside. The hidden gem of Security Paper! You know, the inside of the envelopes that are marked with some wacky design so you can't tell there's a check in there (or the offer of a lifetime in the case of junk mail...) And lucky me! It is my job to open the department's mail at work, so I not only get the security paper from my home junk mail, I get to security paper from my department's junk mail too! I find it funny that the letters that are actually important rarely have secure envelopes, but that's another story... Oh, and I do have more responsibilities than just opening the mail by the way.
Now you may be wondering, why is security paper anything to care about? Well, I'll tell you! You'd be surprised at how many different designs are inside those envelopes. How could a crafter not get excited about so much pretty paper when it's FREE! So I started saving all the envelopes I could get my hands on (let me tell you, you walk a fine line when you start saving garbage for crafts... If you aren't careful, pretty soon you'll end up on hoarders). I had seen a tutorial for a fabric bowl that I wanted to try, and also tons of tutorials for security envelope projects so the two melded in my mind and I decided to make a security paper bowl!
For this project you will need: assortment of security envelopes, mod podge - glossy or matte is up to you, mod podge applicator of your choice, a bowl you like to use as your mold, and plastic wrap. I think that's it. I basically used the same process as the fabric bowl tutorial, but used paper instead of fabric.
I started with my old friend Mod Podge! I love you mod podge, you make so many wonderful projects possible!
Then I covered my "template bowl" with plastic wrap to form my mold for my new bowl. FYI - this step was SUPER annoying. The sooner you accept it's just going to be totally wrinkly, the better. I tore open all my security envelopes (carefully) and cut them up into little pieces and I was ready to go!
I must be crazy to do a mod podge project wearing a nice dress...
The next step is to slather that Mod Podge onto your plastic wrap covered bowl, nice and thick, and put your paper pieces, pretty side DOWN on the bowl to make your inside layer. I did not use my mod podge sparingly. I think this will make for a stronger bowl in the end, but since I've only made one, I really have no basis for comparison. After you do that layer, you make another layer with the pretty side facing outward for your outside layer. My husband borrowed a tripod from work for a different project, and he was eager to play with his camera, so we even got some crafter-in-action shots on this project! Awesome! Sorry everyone, but I did this project on the dining room table, possibly the darkest place in our house.
Slathering on the first layer of mod podge
The first paper scraps going on...
Wow! Now all of the inner and the outer layer has been applied!
Then after that I think I spread on another good thick layer of podge and left it to dry. It takes a good couple three days to dry completely so be patient! Then wriggle the bowl off of the mold (this can be a little tricky) and TADA! You're done!
The end result, after I trimmed the edge, was a pretty sturdy little bowl, albeit a little... squiggly? This could maybe be remedied with a little more practice, or a little more patience in letting the thing dry, but I'm happy with the end result! In fact, I saw some paper mache bowls in a home magazine of some sort, and they were a little squiggly too, so I'm not upset with my results at all.
It's nice to know that with all this security paper, no one will ever be able to tell what is inside this bowl!