Crafting in the Kitchen: Making Fun, Edible Crafts
A craft (noun) is defined by Merriam-Webster as making something in a skillful way by using your hands. There are so many different types of crafting – painting, fiber arts, and decoupage, to name a few – and crafting has really taken off in popularity in recent years. But there’s one underrated subsection of crafting that I want to talk about today, and that’s edible crafts.
By its very definition, a craft can easily be something that you make in the kitchen. After all, when you’re cooking or baking, you are creating something, with skill, using your hands. In one of my previous articles, I shared some kitchen items that could be used as craft supplies – food dye & coffee, just to name a few. But for this article, I’d like to focus on crafts you can eat. The following edible crafts vary in skill level needed, so there’s something for everyone – even the kids!
It seems like gingerbread houses are solely a Christmas project, but they don’t have to be. Honestly, I’ve seen gingerbread houses for every holiday – and even non-holidays – before. You’re only limited by your imagination and the supplies you have. Gingerbread houses can be small, medium, large, or even huge. The official Guinness World Records holder for the largest gingerbread house was created in Bryan, Texas in 2013. It measured in at a whopping 60 feet long, 42 feet wide and 10.1 feet tall!
Obviously, unless you want to set a new world record, I would suggest you go for something smaller. There’s a wealth of information on the internet about different types of gingerbread houses, including patterns for cutting out your gingerbread, theme ideas and more. You could even make a gingerbread beach bungalow, like the one you can find in Walmart’s tutorial here.
One of my favorite parts of making a gingerbread house is picking the decorations out. Here’s a short list of candy & snacks and what I’ve used them for:
- Necco wafters are great to use as pastel cobblestones or tiles for paths outside your gingerbread house.
- Pretzel sticks make great window frames.
- Tootsie rolls can be stacked to be a pile of logs. To add extra detail, score lines on the rolls with a knife.
- Mini sandwich cookies split in half make great roof tiles when layered in a shingled pattern.
- Butter ring cookies make a great base for a wreath! Decorate with green frosting, and then add whatever decorative touches you want. I really like to get shaped sprinkles for this – especially the ones in the shape of leaves or flowers.
Edible Play Dough
This one doesn’t have to be just for the kids – though I’m sure they’ll love it, too. There are a lot of great recipes for edible play dough, and you can customize it however you want. Oxo.com has an article, found here, that features 5 different recipes that you can use! It’s great for play time with your kids or used to make decorations for a cake. You could even use silicone molds to shape your edible play dough into cute decorations! Please remember that the FDA advises against consuming raw flour, so I recommend the flourless recipes featured in the article.
This is an especially useful craft if you have small children and want to make a sensory craft for them. Not only can they use their sense of touch to feel the texture of the edible play dough, how it squishes between their fingers, etc., but they can also use their sense of taste.
Salt Dough Ornaments
While technically edible, I wouldn’t recommend actually eating salt dough…but it does make great ornaments.
- 2 cups of flour, sifted
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of cold water.
The instructions are easy – mix your flour and salt together, and then slowly add in your water, a couple tablespoons at a time, until mixed through. Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, and then let it rest for 15 minutes before rolling out. Use whatever shape cookie cutters you want, and make sure to use a straw to make a hole toward the top of each ornament for a string or ornament hanger. Bake on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours, or until hardened. After they’re cool, remove them from the cookie sheet. You can leave them plain, or you can paint them with craft paint. This is a great craft idea to do with kids, but remember: this is a technically edible craft, but not something you should eat.
Instead of using these as ornaments, you can forgo the hole at the top, and glue them on a wreath. Could you imagine the cute Easter eggs you could make with salt dough and some paint? Adorable!
I can remember making this as a science experiment when I was in elementary school. Don’t you wish all science experiments could be this sweet? It’s fairly straightforward and easy & requires only a few ingredients. You can find a great tutorial at The Spruce Eats, with suggestions for different flavorings and food dye colors to use. While this could be a great science experiment to do with kids, you can do it yourself…that way, you don’t have to share the candy!
Edible Body Oil
Here’s one edible craft that’s all for you, dear reader….and hopefully, a partner. Edible body oil is a great way to get crafting in the kitchen, and leads to smooth, soft skin. There are many recipes and articles out there for making your own, but I’ve found that the simplest ones are the best. FaveCrafts.com has this article on how to make an edible body oil with cacao nibs and a vanilla bean pod. Remember, it has a shelf life of only 3-6 months, so please mark the date you made it on the container. This could also be part of a thoughtful spa gift basket for newlyweds. Add in some vanilla scented candles, some fluffy towels and a couple loofahs, and you’ve got a great present.
What did you think? Where there any edible crafts that I missed? (And how many of you wish you could’ve toured that massive gingerbread house? That was AWESOME!) Let me know in the comments!