Food has many fabulous shapes and patterns for innovative crafts for kids. Nature provides the best designs with many fruits and vegetables to try. Pasta is another good example. It’s available in lots of forms and produces exciting effects.
Have a rummage around the kitchen and get set for some great family fun with food printing.
The most celebrated vegetable for food prints is the potato. It’s perfect for the purpose with a firm texture that holds the paint and lends itself well to carving and countless crafts for kids.
Take a potato and cut it in half. Blot the cut half with some absorbent towel to get rid of excess moisture.
The next procedure is strictly out of bounds for kids. Take a sharp knife and gently score the potato into the shape of the stamp you are trying to make. Until you are more accomplished, stick to simple images. You could try basic shapes or symbols like a heart, cross or square. Carefully cut away the potato until the shape stands proud of the cut surface.
If you’re not brave enough to attempt the stamp cutting, there’s a much easier alternative. Cut the potato into chunky slices instead and use a strong shape or biscuit cutter to make a stamp. This requires quite a bit of strength but much less skill than the other method.
Kids now have a fantastic stamp to work with. They can experiment with lots of different effects. The stamp could be part of a repeat pattern or a complete picture. Try fading the stamps by loading with paint once and using the stamp in a continuous pattern until it disappears altogether. Crafts for kids should always include plenty of trials – and errors!
Other vegetables don’t need to be carved in the same way as potatoes. They are blessed with patterns that provide plenty of interest in their own right. Let children try the following to see what effects they can achieve:
- Frozen peas (almost like marble painting!)
Food printing is not just for vegetables, there’s plenty of interest in fruit too. Don’t forget the pattern created depends on how you cut the fruit. For example, if you cut an apple lengthways you create the familiar and very attractive apple shape we are all familiar with. Cut it across its width and a whole new and interesting shape appears – try it!
Other fruits that are good for printing are:
- Oranges or Satsuma segments
- Kiwi fruit
- Star fruit
Pasta is available in countless shapes and sizes. It’s the instant food printing solution. It needs no preparation at all. The pasta will pick up and deposit paint in quite unexpected ways. This is a perfect chance for kids to experiment to their heart’s content. It’s possible to make an entire picture simply by using pasta prints.
Some of the shapes you may like to try are:
- Spaghetti (roll a small bundle around the paper to create some good striped effects)
- Fusilli (spirals)
- Conchiglie (shells)
- Fettuccine (nests of noodles)
Projects to Attempt
Food prints can be used in so many different crafts for kids. Start with simple experiments and stunning pictures. When kids feel a little more confident, they can use their food prints for projects like cards or hand printed wrapping paper. If you use the food stamps with fabric paint they can try longer lasting projects like a canvas ‘green’ shopping bag with lovely food prints, or a unique T-shirt.
If you are looking for a special piece of art for the kitchen, buy an inexpensive canvas block and get the children to cover it in a variety of food prints.
Take a look at food with fresh eyes – you can have hours of family fun with food printing. The best stamps are waiting in the fridge and pantry to be used in so many fabulous crafts for kids!