How Are Coconut Bowls Made?

How are coconut bowls are made?

Tons of coconut shells are thrown away every year by businesses because they only use its husk, meat and water for beauty items, food and oil.  The shells are usually thrown out or burnt.  And this is where the problem arises, burning coconut shells is not good for the environment, releasing CO2 and damaging the atmosphere.  So why not upcycle coconut shells into coconut bowls.

Coconut bowls are versatile, they can be used for decoration and they look good if done right.  You can use them as serving bowls, cosmetics containers, jewellery holders, potpourris etc.  you can paint them with different colors and be creative on how you can use them.  They are not only great for decor, but they are also very sturdy containers plus they are bump resistant because coco is a really tough material.

To be able to use a coconut shell as a bowl it has to be matured and aged before you can sand it down to get that smooth surface.  To make sure it is safe to use, we clean it thoroughly and polish it with some coconut oil to make a shiny, durable and water-resistant coconut bowl.

How to make coconut bowls

Our workshops in Vietnam and Bali use specific tools and craft them by hand. If you want to try at home you can use a hammer, chisel, box knife, hack saw, a nail and sandpaper.  You will also need a paintbrush and your coconut oil for waterproofing.

  • Punch holes on the top side of the coconut where it is less dense. Three holes is sufficient.  Drain the water.  Once empty you can go ahead and break down the shell in between to make one huge hole.  Once the hole is done, place it upside down so it fully drains of its water.
  • Draw a line around the coconut circumference dividing it in half. Use a ruler for this.

Use the saw along the line you drew, this should take you a few minutes depending on your strength.  

  • After separating the two halves, loosen the meat of the coconut. To make it easier for you, throw the coconut in the microwave for a couple of minutes to loosen the insides. That way, it will be easier for you to chisel out the remaining meat inside.  Or you can use a spoon if that suits you better.  Use the box knife to slice sections on the meat then wedge your chisel or spoon between them and pry them loose.  If done successfully, the inside of the shell should be completely empty and with a rough texture.
  • Prepare the bowl for waterproofing and texturing. Get the sandpaper and tear it into many pieces then start sanding down the inside until you start to feel it turn smooth all around.  Run your fingers inside and out so you can tell.
  • You can skip this step if you like. You can polish it but you don’t really have to.  But it does look better shiny.  Use the paintbrush to coat the shell with the coconut oil polish, a couple of coats will be sufficient.  You’ll need to leave it out to dry for an hour or two depending on the weather.  Use a hair dryer if you like to speed up the process.

One coconut makes one coconut bowl.  Not only will you be able to help save the environment, but you will also have a beautiful container or serving bowl that you can be proud of.

Get your coconut bowls from our store here