Tutorial: A guide to the makings of miniature food

It has always been hard for me to tell my friends what I do when they ask me about what I do in my free time. They look confused when I tell them I am "crafting miniatures", but going in lengths explaining about what it is just don't seem right. But still, though this hobby is a bit weird, I am happy that I have discovered it. To all of you that know this craft, or who are interested to it, I'd like to share how I work from start to finish. If your approach is different, tell me about it, I'd love to know! :)

Here's how I do it:

1. Finding ideas
First find out what kind of food you want to make. Do you want to make a donut, cake or hamburger? Search for inspirations either online or from cookbooks/magazine. My favourite is FoodGawker and Pinterest, the submissions/pins are photoed in brilliant photography that makes both your mouth drooling and your stomach rumbling.

2. Draft
Draw your design on a sketch book to help you visualise your work. I find this really helpful in letting myself know what exactly I want, especially in the later stages. I've sketched in the same size scale and added labels of what layer it is on each section (it's almost like biological labelling diagram).

3. Research
Figure out how to create the best colour and texture by working on an experimental piece of clay. If you couldn't think of any idea how to make it, always search online for miniature tutorials. Your favourite miniaturist might have some posts that give you some ideas.

4. Craft!
This is pretty self-explanatory, time to dig in and create your work! My favourite tools are  size 0 pointy paint brushes, toothpicks and X-Acto craft knifes. The key to this is to be patient. Many things can go wrong, maybe it does not look like what you expected or in a miniaturist's nightmare, you dropped the tiny bowl of blackberries you have been working for six hours onto the floor. Sometimes you might need to re-do your work, other times perfecting it. But once you've gone through the process, you will be so happy about your work!

5. Photography matters
Finishing your work is not your last step after all of these many hours you have put into though. You still have to photograph it to share it with people who are not able to see your work directly. To take a even, well-lit photo, try using a light box or a few mirrors toeflect light. Plus, being able to keep a soft copy of what you have done is just delightful. To take a even, well-lit photo, try using a light box or a few mirrors to reflect light. Save it in your phone and share it with your friends when they look confused about what miniature craft is about :)


  1. I love that you start with a sketch! I wish I had the talent/patience to do that, too (I'm more of a dive-in-and-learn-as-you-go kind of crafter XD ).
    Also, I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who browses Foodgawker mainly for mini-inspirations, rather than actual recipes :D that's seriously a goldmine of inspiration!

    1. Yes Foodgawker certainly is the best (high five)
      I love your photos of your minis, the composition is just like profession food photography. Especially the ones where you create a scene similar to the real food. That is so realistic! I'm sure you have already sketched/painted a clear picture in your imagination when you craft :)