Some of my best childhood memories includes running a play restaurant with my childhood bestie. However, neither of us owned any pretend foods because they were “too expensive” in the words of our moms. As a result, we made do with what we had and served up little dishes of ripped leaves garnished with dry twigs and little rocks.
These days you can purchase some super fancy play foods that will put your own meals to shame. However, they can get pricey (“TOO EXPENSIVE!” ), and I am all about making things to save money. Plus when you make things, you always get a say in how they look, and you can customize them to your (or your child’s) liking.
My most recent post was about making pretend eggs that crack open. However, a plate of just eggs seemed…well, a little boring! I want some other foods to go with my eggs. It started with a hamburger patty, then I wanted some veggies so I added carrots and lettuce. Afterwards I decided I needed other protein options so I sewed some fish. Then I sewed a loaf of bread. The sky is really the limit when it comes to making play foods!
Today, I will show you how to make a homemade pretend play food set including fish, burgers, carrots and lettuce to make it a balanced meal! These play foods are very easy to make. Once you start you will definitely want to make more than one of each! You can also do a no-sew pretend food version by gluing instead of sewing. Believe me, you will have a healthy pretend play meal set in no time!
Want to learn how to make the felt fruits in the photo? Check out this post on how to make shareable fruits.
Shareable Pretend Play baguette tutorial coming soon….* dun dun dun *
Do I have to use Felt to Make Pretend food?
Absolutely not! You can use any material to make pretend foods. For the fish and burger patty you can use fleece, flannel, suede, solid colored cotton, or an old T-shirt or baby blanket to make them. For the lettuce and carrots I do recommend choosing a fabric that does not fray (such as felt or fleece) because the edges don’t get inverted in like the fish and burger patty. I actually used fleece to make the fish, carrots, and lettuce because I like the soft feel it gives my pretend food. Also, the fleece gives my carrot slices a little extra thickness, making them more “real”.
How can I Make Pretend Foods Quickly?
Tip #1: For each of the pretend foods you will need to cut out two pieces of the pattern to make one piece of felt food. In order to save time, follow the steps below:
- First cut out one piece of fabric according the pattern.
- Roughly cut the second piece of the fabric slightly larger than the pattern.
- Sew the two pieces together according to the 1/2” seam allowance of the first piece cut according to the pattern
- Trim excess fabric down to about 1/4″ of the first piece (cut to pattern)
This saves time as you will only need to cut out one piece of the pattern to the exact dimension. You will see me doing this in the tutorial below
Tip #2: If you want to sew in bulk (or even just more than one of each kind of food), finish one play food item then sew the next. Because each of the play foods require a different colored thread, it’s much easier to (for example) use the green thread and finish all the lettuce pieces first. Next, change to orange thread and sew all the carrots. This will help you save time, which is great for sewing lots of play foods!
How do I make DIY No Sew Felt Foods?
You can definitely use a glue gun for making these pretend foods instead of sewing them! For the food details (the grill lines on the burger patty, the fish collar and the lettuce stem), glue a thin piece of yarn or crochet thread where the details go. Another option is to cut thin pieces of felt and use that instead. Simply follow along in the tutorial and use glue for where it says to sew.
Play foods really are a great addition to pretend play kid’s activity such as play kitchen, play grocery store, and play restaurants. I’ve spent countless hours playing this game as a kid. I’m sure your kid will enjoy it too!
Ready to add some extra flare to your child’s pretend play repertoire without costing an arm or leg? Read on!
- Light green fabric – I used Lettuce Green Blizzard Fleece from Joanns
- Dark Green thread (for stitching stem details)
- For no-sew option cut dark green felt into the stem shape
- Orange fleece – I used Orange Anti-Pill Fleece from Joanns
- Orange Felt – I used Orange Craft Felt from Joanns
- Orange Thread
- Brown fabric – I used Walnut Brown Craft Felt from Joanns
- Black Thread (for stitching grill lines)
- For no-sew option cut black felt into strips or use black crochet thread or yarn
- Light blue fabric – I used Air Blue Anti-Pill Fleece from Joanns
- Gray Thread (for stitching fish collar detail)
- For no-sew option cut gray felt into a curve or use gray crochet thread or yarn.
- Sewing machine
- Fabric Scissors
- Fine Pins
- Glue Gun/super glue (for no-sew version)
HOW TO MAKE PRETEND PLAY LETTUCE
In this photo tutorial I am making one piece of play lettuce.
LEFT: Cut one piece of lettuce according to the pattern [PIECE 1], and cut a second piece slightly larger than the pattern (back piece in the photo).
MIDDLE: Stitch the two lettuce pieces together at 1/4″ seam allowance from [PIECE 1]
RIGHT: Trim excess fabric.
LEFT: View of lettuce after it’s been stitched all around
RIGHT: Sew stem details of lettuce
LEFT: Fold lettuce in half and tack at the bottom (indicated by black dots on the paper pattern)
RIGHT: View of lettuce opened with bottom tacked.
LEFT: Fold both sides of the lettuce in and tack (indicated by black dots on the paper pattern)
RIGHT: View of finished lettuce. Doesn’t that look like a nice piece of crunchy lettuce?
HOW TO MAKE PRETEND PLAY CARROTS
In the photo tutorial below I am making two play carrots.
HOW TO MAKE PRETEND PLAY BURGERS
In this photo tutorial, I will be making two burger patties.
LEFT: Cut out Burger Pattern pieces (shown in left of photo) and cut out 2 more fabric pieces that are slightly larger than the pattern pieces .
RIGHT: Stitch grill marks on by first stitching 3 horizontal lines across the Burger Pattern pieces, then 3 vertical lines. I did a straight stitch (set at length 3). To make the grill lines thicker and more visible, I sewed two more straight stitches over the initial straight stitch.
LEFT: Stuff the burger patty with polyester fiberfill
RIGHT: Fold in seam allowance of the opening and close the opening using a ladder stitch
HOW TO MAKE PRETEND PLAY FISH
In this tutorial I will make one piece of pretend play fish
LEFT: Close opening by hand using invisible ladder stitch
RIGHT: View of fish tail after opening is closed.
Finished pretend play food set awaiting a kid’s imagination to take it to new heights!
“I would like an order of burgers with a side salad. Can you also add a fried egg?”
“No problem! How would you like those eggs?”
“Uhh, sunny-side up please.”
“Not a problem! Order coming!”
(That’s me reliving my childhood play restaurant now that I have REAL play foods 🙂 )
Let me know in the comments below if you made this and who it’s for. Happy Sewing!