Ask a pet store owner why the inventory is so expensive and you’ll probably hear, “people will buy anything for their pets!” That’s kind of true, but let’s take back some authority here and agree that while we may not buy everything… we sure as heck will try to make it. Here’s a quick DIY that upgrades boring old stainless steel food and water bowls into fancy, mod “wood” bowls worthy of any West Elm shelf:
WHAT YOU NEED:
- A sheet of specialty papyrus paper ($10 for a large sheet of Thai Papyrus from Swain’s)
- Mod Podge (the matte sealer kind)
- Sponge brush
- Stainless steel dog bowls (mine are about $6 from Petco)
WHAT YOU DO:
In order for the Mod Podge to stick, you need to scrub the outer surface with something like Barkeeper’s Friend (an amazing cleaner/friend if you have stainless steel sinks). Measure the height from the bowl bottom to lip and start cutting out squares of papyrus (a Post-it makes a good template).
Cut your squares into thin strips, using the natural grain and coloring of the papyrus as a guide for dramatic colors/shapes. You could also just cut long strips in the previous step, then cut those into thin slivers.
Paint a generous stripe of glue on the bowl and start gluing the strips on. You’ll have to hold the piece snug for a few moments before moving on to the next piece.
Keep gluing around the bowl. You could do straight pieces for a paneled look, or cut subtle angles for some FUNKY FLAIR.
Once you get to the last piece, take your time to make sure the shape fits the remaining space juuuust right… you don’t want a random uneven ledge if you can help it.
Coat the whole enchilada (just kidding, it’s not an enchilada, it’s a dog bowl!) in a generous layer of Mod Podge.
Flip it upside down and drench the top and bottom edges with extra Mod Podge. If you leave these portions unattended, they will be subject to water and grime and gross stuff, so prevent that mess by sealing up the cracks with a TON of glue.
Let the edges dry a little and then do another complete coat over all the papyrus parts. Let them dry completely (you won’t see any white when dry) before serving food and water again. It’s a good idea to set out another water bowl while you’re working on this so your dog’s not looking at you like “come on, Human, priorities here!” Also, Mod Podge isn’t FDA safe to be next to human food, so for safety’s sake, don’t paint the inside of the bowl with it.