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How to create fake food

Styrofoam is one of the most popular items used to create fake food. Fake food is used as props for movies, in restaurant and wedding displays and is also set out in bowls for decorative use around the home. Fake food is sold as a gag item for April Fool's Day and for practical jokes. Fake food can be a project for children at home or at school and is also sold as a toy. Desserts and produce are popular forms of fake food.

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  1. Coat two styrofoam balls with white glue to create oranges. This fills in small holes in the styrofoam while maintaining an orange rind-like texture. Allow the glue to dry.

  2. Paint the styrofoam balls bright orange and allow them to dry before use. To make apples, carefully push in the top of another styrofoam ball. Make a similar, smaller indent in the bottom of the ball to form the look of an apple.

  3. Cover the ball with white glue and allow it to dry. Push a small piece of brown wire down into the top of the ball to create an apple stem. Paint the apple red, green or yellow depending on your preference.

  4. Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes (the amount of time it takes for the fake icing to dry). Use the frosting knife to mix the plaster, water and spackle together in a small bucket. Add more water if needed until the frosting has a smooth consistency; the frosting should be light and fluffy and not runny.

  5. Frost the styrofoam cake form or hat box liberally, starting on the sides and working up to the top of the cake. Allow the mixture to set overnight. Icing should be dry to the touch the following day.

  6. Paint the cake as desired. Use brown paint for a chocolate cake, cream for French vanilla and yellow for a lemon cake. Allow to dry and use as desired.

  7. Tip

    There are many online tutorials for making all kinds of fake food. See the "Resources" section for more information.


    Do not leave fake food sitting out and within the reach of children or pets.

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Things You'll Need

  • 4 or 5 styrofoam balls
  • White glue
  • Orange paint
  • Red, yellow or green paint
  • 2 1/2 inch piece of brown wire
  • 2 cups ultra-lightweight spackle
  • 1 cup dry plaster of Paris
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 8-inch round by 4-inch high styrofoam cake form (or a hatbox)
  • Glossy latex paint
  • Kitchen timer
  • Small bucket
  • 10-inch frosting knife
  • Paintbrush

About the Author

Kent Page McGroarty

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.

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