DIY Mini Doll Food – Made from Wine Corks!

Do your kids love having little picnics with their toys? Mine do, but what they don’t love so much is tidying away, and those little bits of teeny tiny doll food often go astray.

So instead of buying them more, why not try out our quick and easy DIY solution? All you need is a bottle of wine and some paint…

Maileg toy mouse having cheese and cake picnic outside a toy bell tent
Make a lovely play picnic for your child’s toys – all out of wine corks!

Corks – the ultimate craft material.

No, seriously, you don’t need the bottle (or the wine, but I’m not judging) – just the cork.

Wine corks have become my absolute favourite, numero uno, best of the best, go-to resource when it comes to making play or doll food for my kids. If you’ve read the previous article on play-food sliced mushrooms, you’ll have scraped just the tip of my wine-cork obsession. 

Why do I love them? Well, they’re readily available (ahem), environmentally friendly (cork is a natural, biodegradable and renewable material) and extremely versatile. Basically, it’s dead easy to cut up!

mini doll food - toy cheese and birthday cake made from wine corks for Maileg toy mouse
Is that a yummy chocolate cake and wedge of cave-aged cheese?

A feast for a mouse

For our Maileg Mouse camp-out, we made a whole doll food feast of little mouse-bites out of cork. The kids haven’t stopped playing with them since, and the best part is they were both free and quick to make.

Now, received wisdom says that you should soak your corks for an hour or two before cutting them up – this is supposed to make them easier to cut and less prone to crumbling.

I wouldn’t know about that, as I’m far to impatient to bother with this bit of prep. But if you’ve got particularly crumbly cork, you could give it a go.

Two wine corks - to make doll food from!
Using an old cork, or two, you can make a whole toy feast!


To make our doll food starter (jammy toast), main course (a wedge of cheese with a side of potato wedges) and pudding (chocolate birthday cake), you’ll need one whole cork. Ideally quite a big, chunky one.

Wine cork cut in two to make doll food
Step 1 – cut the cork in half.
A wine cork cut in half to make doll food
The two halves will be used for different food.

Start by cutting this bad boy in half to make two roughly equal stubby cylinders.

The top half will be your cake.

The top of a wine cork with sections of toothpick stuck in to make a doll food cake
The top half of the cork is shaped just like a cake – all it needs are some toothpick candles!

DIY doll’s food cake

Paint it brown (or whatever colour you fancy for your icing).

​Dot on a few real cake sprinkles while the paint is wet for added cakey-ness.

Cut into quarters. Or not – it’s your cake.

As we like a layer cake in this house, I painted brown stripes on each wedge for the cake filling.

Stick in a few cut-down, painted toothpicks for candles, and you’re done!

Doll food birthday cake with candles - made from wine cork and toothpicks
Paint your toothpick ‘candles’ in bright colours, and add a strip of paint to be the filling in your cake.

DIY doll’s food cheese

Take the bottom half of your cork.

​Cut off the curved edges in three sections (save those sections!), to leave a cheesy wedge shape.

Carefully carve out a few ‘craters’ of different sizes on each side of the wedge.

Paint yellow, et voila! You have a mouse-tastic chunk of doll food cheese.

Doll food wedge of cheese made from painted wine cork
Maileg Mice like only the best and holiest of cheeses!

DIY doll’s food chips / french fries

Now for those sections cut off to make the cheese.

Slice two of them into strips.

Paint yellow. Aaannd you have a pile of chips/wedges/French fries – whatever you want to call them.

I made a simple little paper bag to hold them using a rectangle of paper, folded in half. And I trimmed the open edges to a scallop shape, just because.

​You could also make this with washi tape. Pretty…

Wine cork cut into strips and painted yellow for doll food chips or french fries
Use your offcuts of cork for a tasty pile of toy potato wedges!

DIY doll’s food toast and jam

Take the last section.

Note how it already looks a bit like a crust of bread.

Slap on a bit of paint. I used yellow for butter, topped with red for jam once the yellow had dried. My kids don’t like butter, so I got told off for this – should have just done red!

​Anyhow, jammy toast. Done.

Sliced wine cork painted to make doll food jam toast
Jammy toast! Or perhaps the toys would prefer marmalade, honey or even Marmite?

DIY doll’s food marshmallows

T-Bird was insistent that our doll food picnic included marshmallows (odd, as she can’t stand them herself), so a second cork was needed…

Cut a thick slice from your cork.

Cube it.

Stick the cubes onto the pointy ends of toothpicks.

Paint pink and white.

Your marshmallows are ready to toast!

Cubes of wine cork painted pink and white to make doll food marshmallows
Squares of cork on a toothpick make great toy marshmallows.

DIY doll’s campfire

Of course, then you’ll need a campfire to cook them on

Cut out a circle of thick cardboard.

Place an electric tea-light in the middle.

Glue some pebbles around the edge.

Cover the tea-light with twigs. Campfire.

​Make a tripod out of a few more sticks if you want. Once you start down this road, it’s hard to stop!

Mini campfire and doll food marshmallows for toasting
Mini campfire – made in ten minutes!
Child feeding Maileg mouse toy doll food toasted marshmallows
Yum, marshmallows!

Ideas for more DIY doll’s food

The trouble with making bits of doll food like this is that once you start chopping up corks, you start to see their limitless potential. 

Why stop at yellow cheese? What about some camembert or blue cheese?

That cake shape could just as easily be a pie – cut some strips and you can make a lattice over it.

Take round slice and you’ve got a pizza. Or a cookie. Or an omelette.

Glue a few thin triangles together and make a sandwich, or round slices for a burger.

Odd shapes on a toothpick would make a kebab, orange sticks could be carrots, a triangular one could be a Toblerone (might have to try that one!).

So. Many. Choices…​Have fun!

DIY Toy Bell Tent

PS – if you’re looking for instructions on how to make our bellissimo toy bell tent (pictured above and in our Maileg Mouse review), they’ll be posted soon… make sure to check back!

Homemade doll food chocolate cake with birthday candles
Delicious-looking toy chocolate cake made with a wine cork and real cake sprinkles!

More from Rhubarb and Wren

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Maileg mouse having mini cheese and birthday cake picnic
Make play picnic food for your child’s toys out of old wine corks.


  1. I LOVE this and will definitely be saving my corks. An excuse to buy more wine?

  2. Wow! I love these, may have to drink some wine and make for our Smurfs, a new favourite in this house!

  3. Oh this is perfect – thinking of investing in Maileg for xmas – what sort of paint do you use? Many thanks

    • I don’t think you can go wrong giving Maileg toys for Xmas – they’re so lovely and great quality too! And I just used my kids’ ready-mixed poster paint for this craft, so there’s no need to get anything special. It’s held up really well – no rubbing off or flaking at all. 🙂

  4. We did get the maileg and did make some lovely cakes and cheese and toast…
    Did you ever prepare instructions for the tent??
    Many thanks!

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