DIY Carnival Food

diy play food

All kids, boys and girls, go through a pretend food phase. Cooking, tea parties, picnics…and you can go far down the rabbit hole buying plastic peppers, wooden watermelons, or felt fettuccine.

Especially if you suspect this is a short lived phase, craft these treats to play with your kids. Pizza, a big pretzel, popcorn, and cotton candy…all made from upcycled materials.

So fun to make, but not so tasty to eat!

What you’ll need:

• Brown paper grocery bags

• Tacky glue

• White, red, and yellow paint

• Paintbrushes

• Newspaper

• 1 popsicle stick

• 1 square cracker box

• Scallop scissors

• Red crayon

• Resealable gallon-size plastic bag

• Packing peanuts

• Cookie sheet lined with wax paper

• Cardboard

• Magazines


1 Cut a grocery bag into 3-inch-wide strips and glue them together to make a 24-inch-long piece.

2 Roll and crumple the strip into a rope shape, being sure to keep any labels or writing on the inside.

3 Fold the tube into a U shape, then bend the ends toward the bottom of the U, twist them, and glue them down, crisscrossed. (You may want to put the pretzel under a medium-heavy book until it dries.)

4 Paint white dots on as the salt.


1 Unfold the cracker box. Measure 7 to 8 inches from the bottom folds to where the top of the popcorn box will be, and cut a line straight across with scallop scissors.

2 Paint the inside surface (nonprinted side) of the box white. Let it dry.

3 Color red stripes vertically on the painted side of the box with the crayon.

4 Reassemble and glue the box so that the decorated side is on the outside.

5 To make the popcorn, squeeze a quarter-size dollop of yellow paint into the resealable bag, add enough packing peanuts to fill the cracker box, and shake. Start with a little paint; you can always add more.

6 Set the popcorn out to dry on a sheet of newspaper. Once the popcorn is dry, fill your box.


1 Cut a triangle from cardboard, with two long sides of about 7 inches and a short side of about 5 inches. The short side of the triangle (the crust side of the pizza) should be slightly rounded.

2 Give your pizza some tomato sauce by painting the cardboard red and let it dry.

3 To make the crust, roll and crumple a 4-inch-wide-by-7-inchlong strip of brown grocery bag into a tubelike shape and glue it across the rounded edge of the pizza. Trim or glue any excess underneath.

4 Paint a 10-by-10-inch piece of newspaper yellow on both sides. Once it’s dry, fringe 1⁄4-inch strips of the paper (see the Fringing lesson on page 120) and then cut across to make tiny strips, about 1 inch long.

5 Cut pepperoni and peppers (or whatever toppings you like) from magazine pages in the appropriate colors.

6 Brush watered-down glue (in about a 1-to-1 ratio) onto the cardboard, then sprinkle the “cheese” on top. Glue the toppings on top of the cheese.


January 10, 2017| Everyday Crafts, Food, July 4th, Parties, Toys, Upcycled