Tutorial: Dollar Store Raffia Bowl

14 Jun

I love the Dollar Store, but really who doesn’t? But I know exactly why I love the Dollar Store.


Oh sure there are lots of other great craft supplies and random treasures that help fill my shopping basket, or two or three, but it’s the irresistible raffia that draws me back time and time again. The colours! The versitility! I could wax poetic about this string all day long.

Instead I’ll give you a tutorial on one of my favorite creations to craft this amazing raffia into.


  • Balloons (round shaped)
  • 2 Colours of Raffia- you will need about 1/2 a roll for each 8 inch diameter bowl.
  • Glue or Modge Podge
  • A bowl to put the glue/modge podge in
  • Scissors
  • Something to protect your work surface- I use a piece of poster board
  • A very patient husband to take pictures while your hands are covered in goppyness

1. Blow up the balloon until it has a diameter of about 8 inches. Fill up the bowl with a good amount of glue/modge podge. You will be using alot of it. Smear a 2 inch wide strip of glue starting about 1/4 of the way down the balloon.

2. Unwind 8-10 inches of raffia at a time. Run it through the bowl and cover with glue, wipe off the excess with your fingers.

3. Start to wrap around your balloon, making sure the rows are tight together. Keep a hold of the balloon, it will roll away if you let go! Try and tidy up your rows as you go. Keep unwinding the raffia in 8-10 inch lengths and running it through the glue as you wind it around the balloon.

4. Continue with the first color of raffia until you have a band 2 inches wide or so. Cut off the string of raffia and unwind 8-10 inches of the second colour of raffia. Run the new raffia through the bowl of glue. Twist about 1 inch of each colour together, tuck the tail under the row above.

5. Continue with the second colour until you have a band about 3 inches wide. Change back to the first colour, twisting the ends together and tucking the tail in under the previous row. Continue with the first colour all the way around the balloon. The bottom can be a bit tricky, it helps it you hold down the rows with your fingers as you wind the next one.

6. Smear a generous layer of glue over all of the raffia. Lightly go over it with your finger to remove excess.

7. Tighten up the lines, try to make sure you get glue into any holes left between the rows.

8.  Use a wire hanger to create a hanging device. Poke one end of the hanger through the nipple of the balloon, wrap the middle of the hanger around a curtain rod and tack the other end to the ceiling.  Ignore the looks of disbelief your husband will cast your way.

9. Wait 6-8 hours, and the outside will have mostly dried. You will be able to tell because it will look clear instead of white. Take the bowl down.

10. Pull the balloon out. Sometimes you have to pop them, sometimes they will have started to deflate (like mine). Tidy up any extra bit of dried glue. You will be able to see that the inside is till wet.

11. The weight of the raffia will have pulled down the shape of the bowl. This works perfect for our project. Rest the bowl on a work surface and press down gently. Your aim is to flatten the bottom so that the bowl will sit nicely when dried. Leave it a few days to fully cure and then enjoy your gorgeous new bowl!

I use mine in my craft room as a little catch all. When I’m in the middle of a project I like to throw all of the stuff I’m using in one place and put it back into its proper home later. That way I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and loose my crafting mojo, plus if I need it again (which is usually likely to happen) it’s right at hand.

You can also use the same method to create a simple fun mobile. I made this one for my niece when she came to visit.

Blow up three balloons of different sizes. Cover the whole balloon with the raffia. To keep the shape dry these resting on their side on a garbage bag at first, be sure to turn every now and then to stop it from sticking. String together and secure to the ceiling.

Kimmy loved watching this above her crib. I keep it in my craft room now, it matches the colours and looks like a mini art piece.

Here’s another great project tutorial using Raffia to add colour and texture to a magnetic Dry-Erase board.

You’ll find tons of crafts to use the raffia in. It does just as well as a supporting character. I used in it my Party Favor Baskets to add a bit of colour and texture.

What is your favorite Dollar Store find? Do you love the raffia as much as I do? Can you think of any other great crafts to use it in?

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17 Responses to “Tutorial: Dollar Store Raffia Bowl”

  1. Rachel June 23, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Aww, this is so pretty! I love the colors! Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

    • Cheyanne June 23, 2010 at 11:56 am #

      Those are some of my favorite colours too. Thanks for the comment and linkage Rachel.

  2. Elyse June 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Just love this! Can;t wait to make some.

    • Cheyanne June 24, 2010 at 9:27 am #

      Hi Elyse I hope you have fun with them. I love the kid friendliness of your blog, I`m going to have to forward a link to my sister so her and my niece can give some of them a try.

  3. Annabelle June 24, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    It doesn’t get much cooler than that!

    • Cheyanne June 24, 2010 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks Annabelle, I stopped over at your blog and I think I just found another skill I need to learn: crocheting! I love your stuff.

  4. kaduina June 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    sorry for my poor english!
    your blog is so nice and I have not been able to resist to translate this post!
    i hope is not a problem and, if i can, i wonna have the pleasure to link your blog in my blog!


    • Cheyanne June 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

      Hi Kaduina, I’m flattered that you took the time to translate my post, it’s amazing that we can share crafts even across language barriers. Feel free to link to my blog any time. And your english is just fine, better than my Italian lol.

  5. Rebecca August 29, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    I have a ton of natural raffia. It will look great as fall decor with apples and/or leaves in it.

  6. Melissa August 30, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Posted on my blog! Absolutely loveeeeeeeeeee this! I wish I would have seen this at the beginning of summer with two kids in the house!!! 🙂

    Love your blog!

  7. Kim @ Cheap Chic Home September 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I love rafia and never know what to do with it. This is a great craft.

  8. Nicole September 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. My bowls turned out great, I really appreciate the fun idea, you rock!


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