Sunday, February 10, 2013

Recycled Mini Food (DIY)

My love for gluing things together blossomed when I was very young.  
In kindergarten, I spent many late nights working feverishly at my Little Tikes kitchen with scissors, glue, and whatever material I could get my tiny hands on.  To my parent's dismay, every cut-able item within reach became a potential craft supply.  They frantically hid anything of value while I went to town on catalogs, cardboard boxes, socks missing their mates, and whatever else I could find.  I'm all grown up now, but nothing has changed.

Slicing apart the junk mail to make tiny doll house sized food was one of my favorite past times (along with mixing condiments together from the fridge, using bobby pins to pick locks, and drawing on my bedroom walls).  Again...nothing has changed.  The food I made never looked this nice because I didn't have colored permanent markers, an X-Acto knife, or very good motor skills at the time.  
You will need:
junk mail with pictures of food in it
foam core board
X-Acto knife
glue stick
colored permanent markers
metal ruler

In the ads, find images of boxed food.  
Look for boxes of chocolate, cereal, cookies, pizzas, and anything else that comes in a flat box.  Leaving a little excess paper around the edges, cut the images out and glue them to the foam core board.  Corrugated cardboard may be used in place of the foam core.  Its easier to cut, but your boxes will not have the clean, flat edges to work with (as a kid, I never cared about that).
To cut them out, I recommend using an X-Acto knife and a metal ruler.
Place the ruler over the food image and cut around it.  Because the paper can snag and tear, you'll want the image protected under the ruler as you cut.  Sadly, I learned this lesson the hard way by tearing a very promising little package of Oreos. 
With your colored permanent markers, carefully color the sides of your box to match the front.  Beware of coloring near the edges of the image, the ink can bleed into the paper.
If your dollhouse has a cleaning supply closet, the food images could be swapped for boxed laundry detergent, dryer sheets, Kleenex, or packs of paper towels.
Totally Tutorials Blog
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  1. How come tiny things are so much cuter? Love these!

  2. Love this! I shared this with my followers on my blog miniaturemavendiaries! They will love it too I'm sure! Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great idea! I'm going to try it.
    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Hugs, Drora

  4. What an absolutely darling idea!!!

  5. Hey girl, guess what I came across in my blog reader today...
    I thought, "hey, I know her!" haha.

  6. Wow fantastic idea thank you for sharing.
    Hugs Maria

  7. That's ingenious! And oh-so-adorable!

  8. Great idea. I think that crafts foam would work also. While cutting out those little items, save the section with fruit and veggies, punch out mini leaves for fall decorating.

  9. Wow! This brought back some memories! I use to do this for my Barbies back when she just came with what she was wearing. Nowadays instead of using your imagination you can just buy all the pieces and parts.

  10. I've used that whitmans sampler image myself!

  11. OMG! It is so nice to know that I was not an odd child! lol I use to do this too! I made paper dolls out of magazines and even built a Barbie grocery store out of card board boxes and other small bits of cardboard and styro foam! And I STILL do!
    Just a note for anyone reading this post, corrugated cardboard does not work well with this project, eventually the the holes in the one side will cause sinking. But with todays craft supplies Im thinking washi tape would work well for covering the edges!
    Thanks for the post, this was great!

    1. Thanks for the tip! I love that you did this, too! We were the original up-cyclers. :)

  12. Good post! About the waste Styrofoam, our company INTCO also has many machines to deal with it. Our company has compactor, melter, dewatering machine, and crusher which all can deal with it. Here is our website:

  13. perfect idea! they also work for littlest pet shop.