Trash to Treasure for the Science Table

I found this little wooden bowl at a garage sale.  I grayed it out for privacy but the rim is unfinished tree bark, the rest of the bowl is carved and shaped.  I couldn't see the inside of the bowl when I bought it.  It was filled with raffia and enclosed in plastic.  Still, it had enough that I knew it would be a great bowl for my science center.

I have to say, it stayed wrapped for a few months because I had a lot of things I was already working on but one day I unwrapped it and to my dismay, there was a family name engraved in the bowl and a family crest.  It commemorated a family reunion.  I'm not sure the people even knew what was inside the bowl and by this time, I could not tell you where I picked it up.  What to do?  I didn't want to leave the bowl the way it was.  And, I did not want to remove the natural finish of the bowl.

My solution:  fill the etching in the bowl, sand it and paint it, leaving the rest of the bowl in its natural condition.  Let's get started.


-Dry Dex Spackling  Walmart
-Sand Paper #80
-flat paintbrush size 2
-craft paint in a warm white
-spray on modge podge (I got mine at Walmart)


1.  I used this filler. You can also get it at Walmart.  It starts out pink and turns white when it is dry.  Nothing simpler than that!  I spread it thinly, just enough to fill in the engraved markings.  

2.  Next, I  lightly sanded the spackling.  I just wanted to sand all the edges so that the surface was smooth and even.

3.  I wiped any remaining dust and moved on to painting.  I used a small flat brush, # 2 and craft paint from  Acrylique, the color name is Warm White.  Starting at the very edge, I outlined the bowl and moved the paint down toward the middle of the bowl.  This was the trickiest part because I didn't want to get paint on the bark.  It took 3 coats for me to be satisfied with the look.  

4.  Then I finished it off with a spray sealant.  The modge podge didn't leave any overlap.  It blended into the bowl and left the natural look I was going for.  

I love the look of this bowl and will be changing out the nature objects throughout the year for children to explore.  

I'm not thinking that everyone will find a bowl like this, but think of things you might have passed on in a sale because there was a name on the front or some other symbol you didn't want.  Perhaps, a little carefully placed paint might save the project.  

Happy hunting.  


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