Paper Mâché Bowling Pins

While exploring the labyrinth of streets and medieval alleys in Lisbon’s historical Alfama district, I came across a teeny little shop called Chapito. Turns out it’s part of a school, and showcases an interesting assortment of products made by students and graduates, including some lovely enamel jewelry, cork necklaces, and a bowling pin covered in comics. This was definitely the coolest looking bowling pin I’ve ever seen, and served as inspiration for this project.


  • plastic bowling pins (available at dollar stores)
  • comics from the newspaper, torn into small strips
  • white glue and water
  • wide, flat paint brush
  • varnish (optional)
1. Tear some comic strips from the newspaper in small pieces, and set aside.
2. Make the paper mâché paste, which should be approximately ¾ white glue to ¼ water. Using a flat brush, apply some of the paste to the bowling pin, and begin adding pieces of your newspaper on top. Add paste on top of each piece using the brush. This helps to flatten the newspaper. Continue until the entire bowling pin is covered, and set aside to dry.
Comics aren’t the only thing you can cover your bowling pins with. You can choose all sorts of themes like faces, animals, etc. You may want to add a coat of varnish once the bowling pins are dry. This will make them more durable  and add a nice shine.

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