La Gelateria

Today I’m bringing home a diy project from Bugaboo Mini Mr & Me’s novel Hand-made Gift Series. I have to admit, there once was a time when I felt a little awkward about home-made gifts and their fairly strong association with paddle pop stick photo-frames. But home-made gifts, done well, really can beat the pants off anything store bought! And as anyone on Pinterest knows there’s no shortage of inspiration out there. So here’s a little something to consider before undertaking a gift of the hand-made, hand-stitched felt food variety: do you love the recipient? How much? Because let me tell you, hand-stitching the waffle on a waffle cone is not something you do for just anyone. What starts off as a labor of love, quickly becomes just plain labor. A beautiful, heirloom, one of a kind gift for your kids? Absolutely. A beautiful, heirloom, one of a kind gift for the kids up the street? Think twice, my friends, think twice.

Now just putting it out there there. In the DIY gift arena, you would be hard pressed to find anything cooler than an entirely felt ice-cream parlor?  As well as being pretty to look at, it’s a tactile wonderland. The ice-cream scoops and cones are detachable with velcro which means you can have your chocolate mud-cake in a waffle. Or your peppermint chock chip in a cake cone. Or a strawberry chunk surprise (with real strawberries), orange sherbet and caramel triple scoop. Lets not forget the cherry. Kids or no kids, I would probably still have made and gifted this to myself.

Etsy is an absolute mecca for felt food ideas. There’s everything from roast chickens to dim-sims to seafood platters. I came across this one particular shop that sells pdf patterns for some seriously delicious felt delicacies and the kits to make them with good quality wool blend felt. Buying a kit with the right felt colours already included made it all a bit too easy so I got a bit excited and purchased the ice-cream set, the pizza and the hamburger lunch.

Pattern: You can buy the pattern from here or a ready-to-go kit, which is the way to go. The felt has a good wool content, feels nice to touch and has a soft muted palette which I think adds to that ice-cream parlor of yesteryear charm. I gathered the other bits, tacky glue, needles, velcro and thread and set off on what was supposed to be the slow-food equivalent for sewing. Impatience reigned and finished the whole thing in a week.
Difficulty: The instructions are clear and the actual construction is not complicated, but a willingness to develop a decent callous is necessary.
Time spent: Probably between 15 and 20 hours. A couple of hours each day here and there. There’s the tracing, the cutting and then the assembling.

Worth it: ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY! Look at these babies. This is the sort of hand-made gift that blows anything store bought out of the water.
Love-o-meter: Played with for hours, cherished forever and passed down from generation to generation. That’s the best case scenario, most likely they be loved hard and live a short, saliva drenched life.

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