Saturday, July 23, 2011

Groceries, Check!

Groceries, Check!  Got em' :0)
I wasn't sure if I could get these guys posted today.  Luckily, I had to wait up for Madison to get home from babysitting sooooo time I had!
Here are my wooden play food pieces, FINISHED!

I used the labels I posted the other day HERE.
You can download them HERE with Dropbox.

  I cut a pile of scrap wood into blocks and used modge podge to apply the labels.  I went to put the labels on last night and realized that I was OUT OF MODGE PODGE!!!  You know, I don't think that has ever happened to me before!  I am sure that I have just forgotten where I decided to store it.  Whatever.  I took that as my sign to go to bed, but went to the store first thing this morning to buy some more. I will tell you, I tried a new kind this time.  Here is the one...
I figured that it would be better for the high use and rough kind of play this wooden play food will get.  If you don't have it, I wouldn't worry.  Just apply a few extra coats of regular mogde podge or polyurethane and you will be good.  
One thing you should know about this hard coat modge podge, you have to let it cure for 4 WEEKS!  What! Can't play with this food for 4 weeks!?!  It isn't a problem for me because my set will be on display for the next month and not being played with.  For anyone else, it probably won't work.  Honestly, I would probably use regular modge podge to attach the labels and for the first top coat, then use regular polyurethane as the top coat, in 2-3 applications for durability.

OK, now for the cut list I promised.  I will give you the complete cut list in a hand-to-the-guy format you can take, with that plate of cookies mentioned earlier, to the Home Depot guy {or your dear Hubby}.  I have also listed each piece separately below so you know which block goes with each label.

Cut List
1x4:  2@2 1/2"
1x6:  1@5 1/2"
2x3:  1@6"
2x4: 1@1 3/8"
        1@3 1/4"
        1@4 1/8" 
        1@4 1/4"
        1@4 3/4"

Shaped pieces (if you have someone to cut them):
2x4:  1@4 1/4"
         1@5 1/4"
2x6:  1@6 1/2

Amount of wood you will need

This means that you will need this many inches of the following boards (I add an inch for good measure.  Watch for knots in your board because it will equal lost inches and you will need more wood than I have listed):
1x4: 5-6"
1x6: 6"
2x3: 6"
2x4: 28-30", basically 2 1/2 feet

If you are doing all the pieces, including the shaped bottles and cartons use this list instead:
1x4: 5-6"
1x6: 6"
2x3: 6"
2x4: 42", basically 4 feet
2x6:  7"

Now to match the sizes with the pieces:

1x4- 2 1/2"x's 2{Frozen Veggies}
1x6- 5 1/2" {Pizza}
2x3- 6"{Spaghetti}
2x4- 1 3/8"{Butter}, 3 1/4"{Oreo}, 4"x's 3{Lasagna, Goodfish, and Chips-oh-Boy}, 4 1/8"{Waffles}, 4 1/4 {Chicken Nuggets}, 4 3/4"{Cereal} 5"{Mac-n-cheese}

Then there are the shaped pieces.  You will need more advanced tools to make or know someone who whittles :0)  You could always take up whittling yourself!  I didn't put those patterns in the post, but if you would like them, just shoot me an email and I will get them for you.  
Here are the wood cuts you will need for the Milk carton, the egg carton, the ketchup, ranch and mustard:
2x4- 5 1/4"{Ketchup}, 5"{Ranch}, 5"{Eggs}, and 4 1/4{Mustard}
2x6- 6 1/2{Milk}

*Now, let me tell you a secret about getting just a little wood.  Back in the back of the store (Home Depot at least) they sell smaller portions of lumber for something crazy like $.50 a piece.  I have purchased pieces of a board that should have been $10 for $.50 out of the, and here is what they call it, cull lumber cart.  You could very easily find all the wood I have listed for $.50 each board making your total cost $2 for the wood.  Think if you know anyone that woodworks too.  They probably have half of what you are looking for just sitting around begging to be used.*

Paint List
These are the paints I used on the wooden blocks before attaching the labels.  Please remember than they were simply paint colors I had on hand that happened to work.  There are many choices that will also work if you don't have the exact colors I used.  Your best bet is to get the labels printed and then color match to them directly.

Red- Americana- Tomato Red
Yellow{waffles and butter}-Delta- Young Wheat or Pale Yellow
Yellow{Mustard bottle}- Micheals brand (Craft smart)- Mustard Yellow
White- Delta brand- Light Ivory
Blue- Americana-Navy Blue
Green- Delta- Green or Medium Foliage Green

Make sure your paint is totally dry before modge podging the labels on.  It would be terrible if the paint smudged all over the labels.

For Super Saturday we will be doing all of the food, except for the shaped pieces.  I figure they will take too much time and I can't get a smooth enough cut without the proper routing tools to guarantee a quality product.  That said, I figure the wood to cost about $1.50.  When I add in the cost of the color copies on cardstock for the labels, plus the paint,  modge podge, brushes, and plastic for the table, I think this project will come in between $5 and $6.  Not bad!  

Here are the pieces of wooden food up close... 
Frozen veggies.  I actually got the Green Giant image from a photo taken of the Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, Minnesota.   I used my scrapbook program to rubber stamp the image in green.  I opted to paint the block green, but a light blue would work well also.

The Goodfish lable didn't end up as orange as I thought it would.  It ended up more red.  I painted the cracker box red and the cookies blue. 

The Lucky Farms cereal was so fun to make.  I learned a ton about my program, Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 I have had for almost 2 years now.  It can do things I never even realized, like adding gradient color to any image, font, or background.  You should check it out.  It can be downloaded right on to your computer without any waiting for it to come in the mail.  I really couldn't live without it.  It's awesome! 

Hopefully my crazy label names/changes aren't too cheezy.  It was kind of fun to play around with them.
This block was painted with the navy blue paint.

All the labels were modeled after actual name brand boxes.  My hope was that they would add to the kids excitement and imagination in their play kitchens by looking real.  What I am missing is side labels, but there was no way I had time for that this week :0)  Maybe next week (te-hee).

The butter was a tricky label to put on.  I folded the label on the crease lines before putting any modge podge on the block.  Make sure to start with the center section, fold on the lines, then put it around the block to check the fit.  Next, fold the free sides down around the block, and crease label on the corners.  Make sure it fits the way you want, then apply the modge podge and smooth each segment down.  On the bottom, be sure to apply modge podge directly to the loose flap of the label that overlaps the other label edge.  You want them to stick together and putting the glue on the block of wood alone won't work with an overlap.   Make sence???  Probably not until you are actually doing it :0)  If not, email me and I can walk you through it again.

Macaroni and cheese.  What play kitchen would be complete without it.  This box is a little big, not quite to scale with the other pieces, but I was trying to make the wood cutting easy.  Plus, mac and cheese is the biggest staple in most kid's diets, right?  Why not make it bigger :0)

Aggo Waffles.  OK, so that name is a bit of a stretch.  Occasionally I ended up with a blank stare when trying to name some of this stuff.  Aggo was the best I could come up with at that moment without using the actual name.  
When you are picking your paint for this one, notice that the yellow on the label came out a little green.  You could almost go with a yellowy-green instead of yellow.  You could even skip the trauma and just paint the block red to match the top.  Your choice!

Lasagna.  Making this label made me want to eat lasagna.  Funnier still, I think the kids were watching Garfield in the other room and we all know how much he loves lasagna!  I think the whole family ended up with Lasagna on the brain. 

Funny story :0)  OK, maybe not quite funny, but it is a story... I made one set of labels, sent them to Office Max to be printed.  When I got home, the 3/8" I thought I left around the labels ended up more like 1/2" or something-ie, half the labels were too small for their blocks!  I resized them and sent them back over to be printed again.  The effort was well worth the time.  The bigger labels were perfect.  In the end though, I decided to go ahead and use the small labels on the back side of the food so it could be two-sided.  I didn't notice until I was cropping my photos that I photographed the wrong side of this box and the next.  Ooops!  When you print your labels for these two boxes they are already bigger, I promise!  That is another thing.  You may just want to print two copies and put labels on both sides of your food.  It will be worth the extra $2  I am sure of it!!!

I so love this box!  Because it is out of thinner wood than the rest, it really looks like a pizza box.  Love it.  Even if the photo I used is of a stuffed crust pizza and the brand I modeled the label after has never made a stuffed crust pizza in their lives.  Oh well.  It's looks yummy anyway, right?  I think I am getting hungry again looking at all of these photos :0)

OK, here are the shaped pieces.  This is the bottom of the egg carton.  I was very proud of myself (can you tell) that I was able to cut that on my band saw.  One day I will get back up there on that clippy horse again and buy myself a router and table.  A router can probably do that...I think?  Anyway, I am still proud of myself :oD  
I wanted to use 4x4 wood for the milk carton and cut the top like the little cartons they give the kids at school.  For the life of me I couldn't find one scrap of 4x4 in my garage.  I couldn't stomach buying a whole board when I only needed 5-6" so I decided to go for a squashed gallon jug :0)  I think the shape came out well.  Both of these, the milk and the eggs, and the ranch from below are all painted Light Ivory.

I so love these little guys!  You are looking at another crazy idea I have had in my head for months not brave enough to try it...or was it 'cause I never had a free minute to just make play food?  Whatever the case, with my new band saw I can cut 2" wood like a breeze.  The tricky part of these bottles is to get any kind of a curve on the edge.  I had to trim the corners off at crazy angles, sand them all down and like the mustard bottle lid, cut away chunks of wood to shape the lumber into bottles.  It was tough, but I did it!!!  They are just so darling!  
I really wish I could offer these at Super Saturday.  They would be so fun!  I just know that I would be cutting wood out in my 110 degree garage for weeks, not days, and I simply can't commit to that kind of project with all the others we are going to do.  Maybe we can make them for a craft club...hmmm...

Alright, there you have it.  The Wooden PlayFood project that has dominated my week.  I started four other projects today.  We shall see if I can get them all finished by Sunday when the samples are due.  Ugggh.  Wish me luck.  I will be back to show you the other ideas I came up with so check back!

If you want the original files, they can be downloaded HERE from Dropbox :0)


  1. Hey looking at all these things i am feeling hungry, i need something to eat....

    Free Criminal Records Check

  2. Amazing and timely - My daughter's Christmas present is going to be a play kitchen, but I wasn't excited about buying plastic food. Any ideas for fruits & vegetables?

  3. Bubblelush, my best guess for fruits and vegetables is to make felt versions. I LOVE Bugga Bugs patterns found on etsy. They are very time consuming, but so worth it in the end. Here is a link:

    As for wood, I will give it some thought. Thanks for your comment!!!

    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I found a link to this post on Pinterest and used your labels to recreate play food similar to yours. It didn't come out quite as awesome as yours, but my 2 year old thinks all of it is just the mission accomplished, I'd say!
    I did a post about it today and made sure to give you credit :) Thanks again!

  5. For some reason I can't save the files on my mac. Is there anyway you could email them to me? Thanks.

  6. No Problem Katie! I will get that file emailed right away :0)
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

  7. These are awesome!!!! Our children's museum has play food just like this and I was thinking that I needed to make some for my kiddos! Soooo happy I found your post!!! Thanks!!!

  8. I know this might be a crazy question but would you be willing to sell it as a kit with the wood already cut and labels made up. I would love to paint them and do the Mod Podge for the labels myself but I don't really have access to a saw for the finish work. I found the link through pinterest and think your idea is amazing!! Great job!!

  9. What fun! I am a Head Start Preschool teacher and found this on Pinterest. Now I have another project for my summer. Hopefully my wonderful husband will cut my wood for me. (He doesn't let me use his tools)LOL!

    1. I forgot to tell you thank you for your hard work!!!!!And sharing it with others!!!

  10. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing all your hard work!!

  11. This is genius! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I would love it if you could email me a copy of the file for the shaped pieces

    p luvisotto @ (no spaces)

  13. Hi Vanessa, These are the cutest! I'm going to make them for my Granddaughters. I was wondering if you've thought about using Dremel tools for your curves, ect.? I have a shop full of Dremels and they would do the trick for you and they are not very expensive either. Here is their site You'll love'em. Thanks for your work and sharing with us!

    1. You know, I have a dremel, but never thought of using it. What attachment would you suggest?

      Thanks for your comments!

  14. I would love a copy of the patterns for the Ranch & condiments. Will send you a copy of the finished product when we complete :) hopefully it turns out as good as yours!! Great job!!!

  15. These are too cute! I love it =)

  16. Could you please email me the labels and anything else that goes with them.
    Thank you Tammy

  17. This is the coolest project I've seen. I don't have children but I really want to make this. I might donate the project to my aunt's kindergarten class. Thanks for posting this.

  18. So cute!

    I’d love it if you shared this with the Fun Family Crafts audience.
    FFC is similar to Craftgawker but it only features kid friendly tutorials.

    Looking forward to seeing what fun crafts you submit!

  19. I love these and can't wait to *try* to make them :) Thank you for sharing and will you please send me a copy of the patterns for the ranch and condiments.
    txsooner at

  20. Awesome! You did such a good job with the labels, I didn't even realize they were not exact copies until I looked closer. This is a genius idea.

  21. Awesome! You did such a good job with the labels, I didn't even realize they were not exact copies until I looked closer. This is a genius idea.

  22. These are fantastic! Thank you for sharing your ideas. Would you please email the images to me? When I save the ones on your other post, they come in a very low resolution. I would love to make these for my niece one day. Thanks so, so much!!


  23. These are awesome! I would love to get the patterns for the shaped pieces. Would you email it to me at:

  24. Just found this and would love to try them out. Would you please e-mail me the file for the shaped pieces. Thank you so much.

  25. These are so cute!!! Could you email me the images and the patterns for the other shapes please. great job (:

  26. Love the little play foods! Am making them for my daughter's kindergarten class and grandkids. Please email the images for the mustard, ketchup, and Ranch. Thanks!

    1. I can sure email you. I just need an email address. You can either leave it here, or email me at

      See you soon :0)
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

  27. These are just adorabill! Great job!!! Sorry, had to go with the word change :o) One question... would these be mouth safe for younger children, or did you make these with older kids in mind? Thanks, New Grandma

    1. These should be mouth safe. That was totally what I was shooting for. I have looked into "food safe" finishes and it seems that shellac is the most often recommended. I would probably make the food with mod podge, then after the topcoat has dried, apply a couple coats of shellac, drying in between. That should work great. Home depot sells small cans of the stuff or a spray {but be sure to rinse out the nozzle if you go for the spray. I bought the stuff once and failed to rinse, thus couldn't use it more than once}.

      I don't know if that made any sense, but you can always email me if you have more questions :0}

      Thanks for your comment,

  28. They look like real groceries. looking at them reminds me of that type of art where when you look at the image form a certain angle, it appears to be in 3D. Anyone would think you had just come from the grocery.

  29. These are so great! I'm going to use them for a kid craft day. Can you email me the curved pieces? Thanks again!

    1. No problem! I have all of the patterns available here from my dropbox:

      Let me know if you have any questions!