While they probably won’t fool your guests into trying to take a bite, paper fruit adds a splash of color and whimsy to your kitchen or dining room decor. If you decide to make your own, you can make fruit using a variety of techniques, each of which creates a product for which you’ll receive compliments.
3-D Fruit in the Round
Create 3-D fruit for a bowl display or to hang in the window or on a tree. You’ll trace the outline of the desired fruit and cut it in half to make a template. Next, fold three or more sheets of colored paper in half and position the pattern with the cut edge on the fold line. Cut out the shapes, then glue them together to form a 3-D circle, with the left half of the first to the right half of the second, the left of the second to the right of the third and so on. The more shapes you glue together, the fuller your paper fruit.
Related: Krokotak: Paper Fall Fruits
A New Twist With Twisted Paper
Craft paper twists give a rustic look to polystyrene foam shapes, giving your space a cozy country vibe. First carve the foam balls into the general shape of the fruit with a craft knife. Then, spiral the paper twists around the surface of the shape, which you’ve covered with craft glue, making sure to wrap the entire face of the fruit. Use more paper twists or cardboard to add details like stems and leaves. If you like, you can give the finished piece a quick spray of acrylic sealer, although it’s not essential. You can also use this method with twine or yarn.
Tissue Paper Decoupage
Begin with newspaper balls squeezed into the desired shapes. To make it easier to work with the balls, wrap them with masking tape. Mix equal parts of craft glue and water to create decoupage medium. Cut colored tissue paper into 2- to 3-inch squares. Brush the surface of the ball with the glue mixture and position a piece of tissue on top. Continue this pattern around the ball, overlapping the squares, until you cover the entire shape. Brush the tissue surface with more glue and allow all the layers to dry. Add a second layer of tissue in the same manner, and, if you choose, add a third layer.
Using papier-mache, you can create realistic fruit shapes, as you will use actual apples, pears or other fruits as the forms. Cut some newspaper into 1-inch-wide strips. Dip them in a bowl of liquid starch, and gently slide them through two fingers to wipe off excess starch. Wrap the strips around the fruit, overlapping as you go. Repeat to create two more layers. Allow the paper to dry overnight. Next, use a craft knife to carefully cut through the layers of newspaper so you can remove the fruit inside. Use more strips and starch to close the paper ball back together. When the starch has dried, use acrylic or tempera paint to decorate your fruit.
Paper Plate Fruits
If you're working with younger children, a paper plate makes a medium for their small hands to craft paper fruit slices. With tempera paint or watercolors, help the kids paint sliced sections of fruit, along with the rind or peel. They can embellish with painted or paper seeds, or you can help them glue real seeds to their apple or orange slices.
For an "arty" look, substitute colorful magazine pictures, cut into squares, for the tissue paper in the decoupage project.