Looking for a fun garden craft that's perfect for kids? Try making these cute and easy fruit and veggie bowls. They are perfect for tea parties, coffee table arrangements, paperweights and more. Plus, they make lovely gifts. So pull out your favorite edibles and get started.
Fruits and Veggies
The most important supplies for making your fruit and veggie mold bowls are, of course, fruits and veggies. You can use nearly any fruit or vegetable you can think of, but firmer fruits will be a bit easier than softer foods like strawberries or lettuce. The most interesting items will also have lots of texture or unusual shapes. Leave stems and leaves on to make the impressions more interesting. For our bowls we used an artichoke, onion, orange, lemon, apple and pepper.
To make the mold of your fruits and vegetables you'll need some air dry modeling clay, acrylic paint and paint brushes. If you want a highly finished look you'll also need some sandpaper, but it's not absolutely necessary.
Prepping the Clay
Begin by kneading a handful of clay until it is soft and pliable. If you want a very large bowl you'll need more clay, and you'll need less for a very small bowl, so plan accordingly. You can always add or take away clay as you go. Shape the clay into a fat disk, about half an inch thick.
Creating the Mold
Place the disk of clay in the palm of your hand and press your fruit or vegetable into it. Use your hand to press the clay up around the veggie to form it into a bowl shape. Press firmly so the textures imprint clearly in the clay.
Finishing the Edges
Gently remove the clay from the vegetable. If you have trouble with the clay sticking, let it sit for an hour or two and try again. As it dries it will separate from the fruit. Flip the bowl upside down onto a flat surface and gently press the edges down so the are all even. It doesn't need to be perfect at this point, but it will make it easier later.
Drying and Sanding
Let your clay dry completely, following any instructions that came with the clay. Drying usually takes at least 24 hours. When the clay is fully dry, sand out any cracks, bumps or uneven edges you don't like. If you're happy with the organic feel of the mold, you can skip the sanding step.
All of your molds don't have to conform to the shape of the fruit or veggie, or even to a circle. Try making other shapes, like this rectangle, and pressing your vegetable into the shape while the clay is still wet.
Once your bowls are dry and sanded, it's time to paint them. If you sanded your bowls, make sure you brush off any dust before you begin painting. You can use any color you like, or even mix colors. If you like the color of the clay alone, paint it with a clear sealer or medium to make your bowls last longer.
Once the paint is dry, your bowls are ready for display. Although most modeling clay is non-toxic, it's best not to eat the food you used to make the molds just to be sure you don't eat any clay. The finished bowls will not be food, dishwasher or microwave safe, so enjoy them as decorations only.