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Home /  Learn & Create / Family Days / Make a Tulipiere
Mother and daughter at a table making ceramics

Make a Tulipiere

Sun May 24, 2020,All Day

A tulipiere, or bulb bowl, was used to grow tulips, crocuses, or hyacinths indoors. A bulb would be placed in each of the eight tubular ‘spouts’, which have access to a shared water reservoir. Tulips were especially popular in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, when merchants from the East introduced them to the European market. This particular tulipiere was manufactured in London, England. It’s made of a type of tin-glazed earthenware known as delftware.

Blue and white ceramic bowl with multiple spouts

Want to make your own version using materials from home? Here’s how…

You can also download the instructions as a PDF


  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Other recycled materials like a tissue box or a plastic food container
  • Paint, markers, construction paper, or tissue paper for decorating


Start by collecting materials from your recycling bin. Toilet paper or paper towel rolls are a must have for this project.

Art materials including paper towel rolls, a tissue box, and scissors

Arrange your materials to make the structure of the tulipiere. We used a tissue box, toilet paper tubes, a take out soup container, and a berry box. You can cut toilet paper tubes into different lengths, and play around with how you arrange the parts.

Toilet paper rolls of different lengths stuck to a tissue box and take out soup container

You can make parts out of cardboard as well. We made a cardboard ring to raise the height of the take out container so it looks more like the tulip holder in the Gardiner’s collection.

Hand shaping a cardboard ring

Wrap one end of the toilet paper rolls with masking tape. Cut slits into the tape, so you can bend it to be perpendicular to the roll. Take the cardboard ring and tape it to the bottom of the bowl.

Taping a cardboard ring onto a plastic take out container

Put a lid of a plastic container on the bottom to give the piece a little extra width and height. At this stage, you can still be playing around what pieces you want to join together.

Taping a plastic lid underneath a take out container

Tape the toilet paper or paper towel rolls on top of the container or tissue box. Make sure all the masking tape is pressed down firmly.

Toilet paper rolls of various heights taped to a take out container

Using construction paper, tissue paper, or paint (we recommend acrylic), cover the piece in white. Just like we’re now covering the various colours of the materials we used to build our tulip holder, the delftware potters used white glaze to hide the brown clay of their pottery.

White homemade bowl with spouts

You can decorate your tulipiere using as many colours as you want, or you can try a classic blue and white colour scheme like the one in our collection. Popular images to paint on tulip holders were flowers, birds, and landscapes.

Homemade tulip older with blue and white design

Make some flowers to display in it, then take a photo and share it using #GardinerFromHome.

Homemade blue-and-white tulip holder with paper flowers


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