What You Need to Know About Felt Food

Felt food is an excellent alternative to plastic for kids’ toys. Still, it’s also a quick and easy way to create personalized food toys for your kids, as it requires minimal effort and sewing.
Felt Food

Food is a familiar toy for many children. Food toys encourage children to take an interest in food and pretend to cook, eat, and entertain. But food toys are usually made of plastic. The abundance of plastic is a problem in itself because once discarded, they are not biodegradable, leading to pollution in our nature and a significant risk to our lives.

See Also: How to Make Felt Vegetables

In addition to these risks, plastic toys also contain many toxic additives such as BPA. Plastic also quickly absorbs many toxins, such as pesticides.

Check out our felt food patterns and tutorial videos created from natural fiber felt for a softer, washable, and eco-friendly alternative.

What are Felt Foods and Felt Toys?

Felt treats to make a great handmade gift for a child and inspire hours of pretend play. You can create enough food to fill an entire kitchen or just focus on recreating a special kid’s favorite food in felt form. Most felt food projects require only minimal sewing, so they are quick and easy to create.

Felt is a non-woven fabric made from “felted” interwoven fibers. Felt is a non-woven fabric produced by felting, compressing, and pressing together fibers, the smallest visible unit of any textile, often using heat and moisture.

Felt is a strong material consisting of permanently bonded fibers. Because it doesn’t require a loom or even spinning the fibers into yarn first, felt is one of the earliest fabrics. Felt was used to producing rugs, shoes, clothing, and even tents in ancient times.

Today, felt has a wide range of uses, from decoration and handicrafts to clothing. It is even used in some industrial applications such as soundproofing and machine filling.

Many different types of felt are available, from brightly colored handcrafted felt made of synthetic materials to undyed felt made from sheep’s wool. Felt comes in different weights or thicknesses, in addition to different colors and fibers. Thick felt is frequently used as cushioning or insulation. In contrast, thinner and softer felts are utilized for everything from children’s crafts to hat creation.

  • Natural fibers such as natural wool and animal fur and synthetic fibers can make felt. Blended fibers are also standard.
  • Eco-fi felt is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
  • Felt is flexible, waterproof, absorbent, and the best natural insulator.
  • Felt is used in musical instruments, fashion, home construction, the automotive industry, and arts and crafts.
  • You can buy the felt in sheets or rolls.

How Are Felt Foods and Felt Toys Made?

Felt food is an excellent alternative to plastic for kids’ toys. Still, it’s also a quick and easy way to create personalized food toys for your kids, as it requires minimal effort and sewing.

You will need primarily soft felt to make felt food. The felt should be good for making small pieces, adding details, and should be folded up nicely. Please note that many types of felt are available, such as soft, stiff, thin, thick, wool, and acrylic. That’s why you need to check beforehand which one you need for your project.

If you’re going to your store just to buy felt, I highly recommend comparing prices in your local stores first, as felt can vary a lot for the same quality of felt.

Merino wool felt is a thick, velvety, and environmentally friendly felt that may be sewn by hand or machine. You may also use a felt cutting machine with it. Best of all, they come in various colors, perfect for creating unique felt food toys.

Like wool felt, bamboo felt is environmentally friendly. Bamboo felts also come in many colors and are light enough for easy sewing by hand or machine. It is also very suitable for a clipper and withstands heat without melting or shrinking like other felts. Bamboo felt, on the other hand, is created entirely of plant-based ingredients, unlike wool felt.

To make these entertaining, non-toxic toys for your kids, all you need is a sewing machine or a needle and thread in addition to your felt and patterns.

Why Are Felt Food Toys a Good Choice?

Examine my felt food patterns, and you’ll see that many of them encourage the use of felt food toys with children as a way to encourage open-ended play. What is important here is that open-ended play is the way children learn, grow and solve problems.

Open-ended play does not have a predetermined or mandatory scenario. Open-ended toys, such as felt toys, have no “how to play” rules. Open-ended play develops creativity, and open-ended food play is essential as children grow up in a world where food choices are imposed and frequently misinterpreted as morality.

Food at the dinner table can become a source of strength, a place of fear, and even famine. Food is complex, and learning to navigate is part of growing up. Also, living in a culture where food is highly confusing and important adds to the challenge.

Playing with felt toys and felt food in the kitchen helps children resolve their feelings and frustrations about food and eating. While parents are the boss in the kitchen and dining room, children lead the play kitchen.

They have complete control over what ingredients are put into the pot, what is served to whom, and how the food is handled. This open-ended play can help kids process and learn while having fun with cute soft felt food sculptures because there is no incorrect way to play with toys.

What supplies do you require to create felt food toys?

The beautiful thing about crafting felt toys is that you don’t need a lot of supplies to get started. All you need to get started stitching felt is an inexpensive acrylic felt, a hank of embroidery thread, a sewing needle, and a pair of scissors.

These are all you need to get started with the most basic felt foods like felt carrots or felt tomatoes. In certain circumstances, a needle and thread aren’t even required! No stitching is needed for projects like felt food bread and felt food salad.

However, in most cases, basic sewing skills are required. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Making felt food is an excellent activity to do while learning to sew.

See Also: Which Embroidery Thread is Used in Sewing Felt

See Also: Which Embroidery Needle is Used in Sewing Felt

How Can You Learn to Sew Felt Food?

Sewing can be daunting, especially for teenagers, but eating felt is an excellent craft for learning basic sewing skills for kids and adults alike. Because nowadays there are so many resources you can reach to learn how to sew felt.

See Also: Basic Types of Hand Embroidery Stitches for Felt

For example, learning to sew an outfit is complex. It requires perfect stitches to create something you can be proud of while working with felt food is really easy compared to clothing.

See Also: How to Sew Felt

Felt’s fluffy texture hides all but the most unsightly seams, and the flexibility in the fabric helps compensate for damaged seams. When using quality felts, such as wool or wool-blend felt, you can back up, remove, and redo seams without leaving marks on your material. In this way, it offers excellent convenience for those who are new to sewing felt toys.

See Also: Felt Sewing Tips

Finally, felt is an excellent material for learning to sew because sewing felt lets you use large, easy-to-use needles. Large needles can punch holes in fine fabrics, while large needles are great for making felt and felt food.

What you need to start sewing felt:

  • A good quality pair of scissors, preferably an 8″ pair for chopping and a very sharp 4″ pair for detailed cuts.
  • Embroidery floss – I recommend the popular colored starter sets made especially for sewing and embroidery. Beware of cheap embroidery threads. Good embroidery floss has long, smooth fibers that are easy to sew and resist knotting. Good yarn makes creating felted food fun, not frustrating.
  • Sewing needles – If you’re experienced, you can go a little faster with smaller needles. Still, larger needles are easier to use, easier to thread, and work well.
  • A fabric marker pen – You can also use chalk. Still, modern charcoal-based fabric markers erase with just a smudge with a wet paper towel and make cutting patterns much more effortless.
  • Felt Fabric – You can use any felt type, but I highly recommend a wool fiber blend felt. The problem with cheap eco-felt sold in craft stores is that the fibers are too short and don’t felt tightly. This means that if you try to rip off a seam to re-stitch an area, your felt can literally fall apart. This also means that solid play in a children’s play kitchen can cause felt toys to deteriorate quickly. If you have the time to craft, choose felts in a blend of wool, rayon, or even bamboo. These batts have longer fibers, tighter felting, and much more color.

In addition, the consumables you can use optionally are as follows:

  • For cutting, you’ll need a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.
  • Cornstarch for hardening
  • Alcohol-based markers for shading
  • Sometimes even stitched crafts need some glue for the finishing touch. Adhesives that do not harden or stain when dry are more suitable for felt foods.

What are Felt Food Sewing Techniques?

Even if you are an experienced stitcher, working with felt can be a whole new world for you. Felts can be great or challenging depending on what you plan to do with them, and they act very differently than other fabrics.

Working with felt has its advantages and disadvantages. What makes it fantastic for one project may make it difficult to deal with for another. Luckily, you can look at the following tips and tricks I’ve created for you that I believe will help with your felting projects.

  • Use of Stiffening Felt for Hard or “Crispy” Tissues. The soft spongy texture of felt does not always work well for felt food toys. This is especially true for crispy felt foods such as curly tortilla chips and lettuce mats. Pre-treating the felt with an organic, non-toxic curing process can help to give the felt body and rigidity in these types of felt toys.
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Stuffing Felt Toys. When you start making felt food, you’ll probably start by stuffing everything with basic polyester fiberfill. However, you’ll probably find that the stuffing you use in your food toys can change the look of the final result as well as the materials and techniques you use to sew. For example, fiberfill tends to swell in all directions. For example, this feature is great for stuffing a felt pear, but for sewing a pattern like a hot dog bun, it’s essential that the edges don’t bulge. You can add additional body to your felt toy by applying different techniques to fill your felt food and create a more satisfying result.
  • Use of Interlayer Pipe Cleaners. Pipe cleaners in felt toys are one of my favorite secrets. Sew double or triple pipe cleaners to the handle of felt food, creating a playable and more interactive toy. It also adds exposure capability to the bendable pipe cleaner, body, and felt toy.
  • Using Markers for Shading and Detail. It is the use of markers to add depth and realism to the felt food. For some felt food projects, such as taco shells and potatoes, adding dark brown markings can add visual interest to your felt food project. You can even use a simple black sharpie to add grill marks to “grilled” felt food toys.

I’m always working on new felt food patterns and always looking for suggestions on what to see next. Leave a comment below, and I’ll look for an answer to your question! Which felt food creations would you like to have a pattern? Where are you stuck in your current felt projects?

To get started, you can check out the following felt food tutorials:

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