Make Toy-Food Mushrooms Out of Stuff You Already Have!

I’m always making DIY play food for our kids as they love cooking up meals in their play kitchen, and one of their greatest pleasures is mixing up the ingredients.

 We’ve had great fun stocking their kitchen with all sorts of little bits and pieces that can be stirred in a mini cooking pan with a handful of other things; pompoms for meatballs; soy sauce fish containers for, er, fish; strands of wool for spaghetti, and so on.  I’m always on the lookout for new things to include!

The other day I had an absolute brainwave, and came up with this easy-peasy, quick, and essentially FREE way to make these fabulous play-food sliced mushrooms.  Want to make some DIY play food too?  Read on!

make play food sliced mushrooms out of wine corks
Make the kids some sliced mushrooms for their mud kitchen, out of just a handful of wine corks!

I’ll admit the K-Dog and I are partial to the odd glass of discounted supermarket Prosecco of an evening (what we children of the 80s like to call the Liebfraumilch of the new millennia).  

As a result, we often have a handful of sparkling wine corks knocking around – the larger, more bulbous variety of wine cork, not the straight up and down ones.  

As I was looking at some of these corks recently, it came to me (yes, I’ll admit to not being especially observant or quick on the uptake!) that they were shaped very much like a mushroom.  Ten measly minutes later, and voila! DIY play food sliced mushrooms.

​It’s dead simple to do, and requires NO special equipment or supplies… though you may have to drink a bottle (or two) of wine beforehand…

Instructions for your DIY play food:

play food mushrooms - wine corks, felt tip pens, a knife and some scissors.
You don’t need much to make these bad boys! Just some wine corks, a knife, scissors and some pens.

​First, gather your equipment. You will need:

  1. Sparkling wine corks – each will make roughly 4 – 6 mushroom slices depending on how thinly you cut them.
  2. A knife with fine serrations, like the one pictured.
  3. A pair of scissors.
  4. A brown felt-tip pen (I used two shades of brown for variety).

And that’s it!

​Next, in order to make sliced mushroom playfood, you will need to use your knife to (carefully!) slice your mushroom shaped corks.  No pre-soaking needed, just go for it!  Once sliced, you will have almost perfect play mushroom pieces. You have completed the hardest part!

DIY play food out of wine corks
Slicing up your wine cork is the hardest part… and it’s really not that hard!
Making DIY play food out of wine corks
Once you’ve got your slices, you’re mostly there…

To make your DIY play food mushroom slices perfect, simply follow two final steps.

First, trim the ‘stalks’ a little with your scissors to make them thinner and more mushroom-y.  No need to be exact – we are replicating organic and therefore inherently imperfect shapes here!

To finish, use your felt tip pen to shade in the underside curve of the mushrooms’ caps – a sort of apostrophe-shape on both sides of the top of the stalk.  Do the same on the reverse of the slice.

DIY play food mushrooms made from wine corks and nothing else.
Just a little trim and you have a perfect slice of mushroom!
DIY play food mushrooms made from wine corks
Draw on some shading, and voila! Mushrooms.

​And, you are done!  

Stand back, admire your work, and then arrange in a pot or mini punnet (if you really want to go to town), before handing over to your little chefs.  

And as these are effectively made of compostable tree bark, they’re great to play with in mud kitchens too!Bon apetite!*

*Or not – though these are indeed fabulous, they are not food.  Make sure your little ones understand these aren’t really for eating before letting them loose!

DIY play food mushrooms in a pan
Yum – mushroom soup!
DIY play mushroom - from a wine cork!
Take a wine cork, slice it up, give it a trim and bit of colour… mushroom!

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make play food sliced mushrooms out of wine corks
Make the kids some sliced mushrooms for their mud kitchen, out of just a handful of wine corks!

Looking for more makes? Check out some of our other fun things to do… And yes, there’s even more DIY play food to make with corks!!

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Inspired by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward’s book ‘The Bog Baby’? Create a ‘Make Your Own Bog Baby’ kit for the kids, with home-made play dough and some simple accessories. Makes a great gift or travel toy!
Maileg mouse having mini cheese and birthday cake picnic
Make play picnic food for your child’s toys out of old wine corks.

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