Who knew leftover rice could make such an adorable holiday craft? This crafty elf, that’s who! So let’s make one, or two, or three…
Every time I order Chinese food, there’s always a small box of white rice tucked inside the delivery bag. I haven’t eaten white rice in about 20 years and throwing away good food makes me nuts – so I had to really think about this one.
So one night as I was just about to give in and pitch that week-old container of rice – it hit me! I use dried rice for craft projects every once in a while, why not use my left over Chinese food for something creative? An awesome holiday craft, perhaps? Oh yes!
From trash to holiday treasure…we’re making pink Christmas trees out of leftover Chinese food! Santa will be so impressed. (I know this crafty elf is!)
Holiday Craft: Leftover Rice Ornament
- Leftover white rice
- Cardboard (old shipping boxes work best)
- Craft paint
- Paper clip
- Red Hots or other small candies (optional)
- Plastic fork and knife
- 2 bowls
- Hot glue gun
- Cookie sheet pan
- Wax paper
- Cookie cutter
Prepare the rice
- Spread your rice out in a thin layer onto a cookie sheet pan.
- Place in 200 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to dehydrate the rice.
- If you don’t want to use electricity for this project, let the rice air dry for 1-2 days. It doesn’t take long.
- When the rice comes out of the oven, break apart any clumps with your fingers.
Note: You should only use plain, white steamed rice. Toss out any portions that might have sauce or food bits on it.
Make your background
- Using a tree cookie cutter, trace out the shape onto the cardboard.
- Cut out the shape with scissors.
Note: You can use any kind of cookie cutter you want. But trees are awesome.
- Place rice into a bowl.
- Add a few squirts of pink paint. Or green, if you’re feeling boring…I mean, traditional.
- Mix with a plastic fork until all the grains are coated.
- Spread the rice out onto wax paper so the paint can dry. This should take about ten minutes.
Time to get messy!
- Dump 1/4 cup of pink rice into a clean bowl.
- Add glue. I’d say about 2-3 tablespoons.
- Mix until everything is clumpy and gloppy.
- Place your cardboard tree onto wax paper.
- Add your gluey-pink rice to the cardboard cutout. (This is going to be messy.)
- Shape the rice into a tree. A plastic knife helps push the rice into place.
- Let the ornament dry for 3-4 hours. Overnight is best.
- You can glue on Red Hots or other small candies as ornaments. But this tree is toots-cutes even without them.
- Use a hot glue gun to add a paper clip to the back of the ornament.
- Thread some string through the paper clip and hang on your tree!
And there you have it. Leftover Chinese food – UPCYCLED!