DIY Paper Snack Bowls {Easy!}

You know what my favorite part is about riding on an airplane?  Oh wait, let me rephrase that:  You know what my favorite part is about riding alone on an airplane??  The magazines.  Any mother knows exactly what I’m talking about because flying with children is a whole different ball game.  Reading a magazine would be quite laughable in that situation.  However over the past few months Kate and I have been traveling a ton, and I had almost forgotten how relaxing it can be to sit on a plane by yourself with nothing to do but dive into silly magazines you wouldn’t otherwise spend money on.  (Because something about being thirty thousand feet in the air makes me suddenly feel the need to know everything there is to know about tween heartthrobs, the cast of the Jersey Shore, and the status of the latest Bachelorette Couple.)  But I also always grab at least one legit magazine in the case that it’s way to awkward to admit I’m looking at the other.  That’s why I buy a copy of Martha Stewart too.  I’m prepared like that.  I was skimming through the June issue of Martha Stewart Living and these cute little bowls caught my eye, mostly because it’s the most simple idea ever and I’m mad I didn’t think of it.  Darn you Martha! These are so cute and I can think of a million different uses!  Check it out.

The only things you need here are paper plates (and we’re talking the thin, cheap-o kind), scissors, and rubber bands.  Heck, you probably have all of that around your house as we speak, right?  You can use the regular dinner sized plates, or you can use the mini dessert sized ones.  The smaller plates are perfect for little snacks, they’ll hold about a palm full of stuff.  The large dinner sized plates will hold a couple of palm fulls- they’re great for popcorn!

Now Martha uses fancy scallop-edge scissors, but I’m not crafty enough to own such luxuries.  So I used (get this) non-fancy scallop-edged scissors! The plates you are using are so thin (they’re the kind that you have to basically peel apart to get one single plate off) that you can stack several and quickly cut an edge.  And if you want to skip the scallop all together?  Go for it.  Be crazy like that.

After you cut the quick scalloped edge, flip the plate over.  Now, don’t be scared.  You’re not going to cover it with pink sharpie, I’m just drawing so you can visualize what we’re doing here.  Basically you want a tic-tac-toe shape.  The center square you see will be the bottom square of your little bowl.  So you can make that square large, like the larger square I drew below, or you can draw your tic-tac-toe closer together to end up with the center square I’m showing.  One way will give you a wider shallower bowl, and one will give you a narrower, tall bowl.

You will rotate the plate around and cut every other line, the dotted lines you see above.  Just cut from the outside edge of the plate into that center square.  That’s it!  Draw on a few plates so you get the hang of it, and then you can move into super-advanced-paper-bowl making.  Stack several plates on top of each other and just lightly mark 4 dots instead drawing the actual lines.

When you make your cuts, it looks like this:

If you stacked several plates before cutting, separate them.  One at a time, fold the layers into one another and you’ll see it forms a little bowl.

And this is where Martha (or one of Martha’s five gazillion employees) is so brilliant.  Because I would have then started punching holes and tying ribbons and fidgeting with double-sided tape.  But for Martha?  Not so complicated.  Slip a rubber band around it! Boo ya!  So easy, and so cheap.  Older kids could definitely put these together, and they could even decorate the plates first.

You could do a million things with these; I think they’d be adorable all dolled up with some accessories like the aforementioned ribbon or cute cutouts slipped in the rubber band.  I can see them on a sweet table for a birthday party or baby shower filled with little snack mixes.  But even sweet and simple they’re fantastic for little party favors or casual backyard bbq’s.

I thought they’d be great for little Fourth of July goodies, sitting out on a festive table.  I headed to a local store with bulk candy bins and found tons of red, white and blue stuff

How fun is that?

I’m not a big fan of Tootsie Rolls, but these American flag ones are TOO cute!

Jelly Bellies.  Always a go-to for any color themed party.

I think these are especially fun for popcorn- like this Fruity Candy Popcorn (so good!)  On that note- if you ever have the idea that using blue jello will be fun for the fourth- don’t do it!  Well okay, maybe do it.  Someone left a comment on that post saying they do blue jello, but I will tell you that I have tried it a million times and every single time I end up with red, white, and teal popcorn.  So consider yourself warned.

Have fun getting crafty and foodie on the Fourth!


  1. I just flew from AZ to Florida with 3 boys and I feel like I ran a marathon. Actually, I think I would rather run a marathon. My hubby and I flew alone to vegas last week and we kept saying flying alone is a vacation in itself. I can’t figure out why people without kids are complaining. And the only time I buy an “US” magazine is when I fly alone. Funny!

  2. I think this are great! I think I’d use these for a kid’s birthday party instead of those plastic “loot” bags. Wonder how they would look using printed party plates, like the plates that match whatever theme of the kid’s party.

  3. Wow! That is so clever and so easy:) Great post. I wowed the family at Easter with the orange napkin “carrots”, I think I’ll wow them again with this. Thanks for making us look so crafty, so easily:)
    Happy 4th!

  4. Amen! We were evacuated from Japan and I flew back to the states with 4 kiddos, then a month later we had to come back to Japan and another 12 hour flight alone with four kiddos! I kept fantasizing about what it would be like to fly alone!
    Adorable snack bowls, I am going to try them!!! 🙂

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!! Going to a 4th of July barbeque and was planning on making the fruit flavored popcorn in red and blue…and now I have awesome little bowls to put them in!!!

  6. So, so, so cute!!! I won’t be home for the Holiday this year, as my family is taking a cruise to Bermuda (jealous?? lol!) but rest assure, this WILL be bookmarked for future picnics/gatherings so that I, too, can impress the friends/family! As always, thanks for sharing! I ell-O-V-eee your site! ♥♥♥!!!

  7. Just FYI, I used the blue Jello yesterday to make the red white and blue candy popcorn and I could tell the color was going to be off (teal) with the blue so I added blue food coloring and it looks perfect!

  8. I too was thinking of using printed plates. This is such a cute idea. I stopped buying Martha’s magazine, maybe I should get it again.

  9. Oh I am SO going to do these. And I also used the carrot bundles at Easter and they were a big hit. My husband thought I had put real carrots out as a centerpiece! I know…but at least he noticed.

  10. So Cute! Where did you find the blue/red rubber bands and which store did you find the candies at? Love the idea, thanks!!

    1. Kristen the rubber bands just came in a cheap multi-pack. And they were super cheap for me because I stole them from a friend’s house, haha

      And I bought all of the candy at WinCo

  11. SO cute!! i’m thinking i might do this with my activity day girls as a patriotic/4th of july activity. but how would you do white? just leave it plain?

    1. Are you talking about the popcorn? If so, the white popcorn shows through no matter what flavor of jello you use so it adds a little white in there! If you do blue, read the above comments about it.

  12. I cannot believe how amazingly cute and simple these are! I’m definitely doing them for my son’s upcoming birthday party. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I’d also love to know where you found the candy??? My son is leaving for basic training in the Air Force this month & want to give him a BBQ go away party & will use all your 4th of July ideas for his party. Our theme is all USA 🙂

  14. So fun! I will have to do these with my little munchkins. Haha, you totally went to Winco for the bulk stuff huh? I recognize all those treats my kids were hounding me to by:)

    Love you girls!

  15. I love this idea. especially all those cute red white and blue candies-and the tiny flags….good work! Definitely be using these little bowls for all kinds of stuff. Hmmm…I need some rubber bands-I’ve never bought a rubber band in my life

  16. I did this for my son’s 4th of July BD this Summer and it was a hit!! Found the patriotic wrapped candy in the Meijer’s bulk candy! Great and easy craft!

  17. I love this idea and the rubber bands are a very quick easy and fumble free solution. However thinking if used for younger kids esp. or even adults for that matter, I would secure further with the double sided glue dots at each section- easy enough to do while already banded together. This way you can either leave on band, or add more dots once initially “glued” or use decorative ribbons etc. Just a thought. 🙂

  18. Oh my.. more random ideas just popping in my head for these. A color or party theme with napkins or wrapping paper could be decoupaged on the back of plate and continue with project when dried. Someone asked about using actual party plates, but I am thinking the shape and thickness might be an issue when assembling the cups, as those plates are heavier and have a different type edge to plate. But, you never know, that is what is great about crafting, it is all in the process of the endeavor where discovery if found. 🙂

  19. THis is a great idea, just came across you blog. I know i’m late to post a comment, and maybe someone has already thought of this but was thinking that you could you silly bands to hold the bowls together. Kids get a treat and a gift at the same time.

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