How do I Design Vegetable Food Art?

Written by tammie sloup
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How do I Design Vegetable Food Art?
Vegetable art can be intricate or just simple characters and animal shapes. (pumpkin with face image by Photoeyes from

Vegetables aren't just for staying healthy, they also make eye-catching art centrepieces. Some artisans create intricate designs, with meticulous carving and flare, but vegetable art for beginners does not have to be so extensive and detailed. Create children's games out of vegetable art, bringing out their creativity--and possibly encouraging them to eat vegetables--or place pieces on your table for a colourful centrepiece. From flower bouquets to animal shapes, vegetable art for beginners with an imagination provides for a multitude of possibilities.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Toothpicks, long and short
  • Carving knife
  • Peeler
  • Pencil or marker
  • Bowl with ice

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  1. 1

    Choose vegetables that are soft enough to be penetrated but firm enough to hold their shape, such as potatoes, radishes and pumpkins.

  2. 2

    Sketch details on the vegetables, such as eyes or other features, using a pencil or marker.

  3. 3

    Cut thin slices for creations, such as flower petals, using a peeler. For example, if making a flower bouquet, peel a carrot on the long side by holding the peeler against the carrot and sliding down slowly, peeling away a piece a centimetre thick. Stack two or three pieces and carve the shape of the petal, repeat for multiple petals, then attach petals to a stick or skewer.

  4. 4

    Create layered pieces by using toothpicks to keep vegetables in place. For example, to create a Christmas tree, use a squash as the base, and stick broccoli pieces into the squash, all the way around, attaching with toothpicks. Add some colour by stringing cherry tomatoes around the tree by threading them with a string. Using a brightly coloured vegetable, such as a pumpkin, cut a star shape and set at the top of the tree, attaching with a toothpick.

  5. 5

    Use stand-alone vegetables to carve animal shapes. Choose the animal based on the shape of the vegetable. For example, use an eggplant to create a pig. Lay the eggplant flat, and using a peeler, peel two half-inch pieces, with an inch separating them, upward, so they curl and resemble pig's ears. Do the same toward the bottom of the eggplant for the tail. Carve eyes, and attach four toothpicks for legs.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid using glue to connect pieces. Toothpicks are more practical, and glue makes your creation unedible.
  • Peas and cloves are good for creating eyes on characters and animal shapes.
  • Place creations in a bucket of ice to preserve them while working on other pieces.
  • Do not leave vegetables out longer than a couple days, or they will begin to rot.

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