About Me

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Former preschool and kindergarten school psychologist turned stay at home mom and felt food designer. Mr. Felt Food & I are total foodies and our daughter Grace is becoming one, too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FAQ: How Do You Design Felt Food?

Cinnamon raisin scone from the reject pile.

Creating Felt Food:  My Process

FAQ:  Where do you get your patterns?
I get asked a lot about how I come up with my felt food.  The answer is generally a lot of trial and error!  The easiest way to get started yourself is to buy patterns online.  They are great for helping you understand the fundamentals for constructing felt food.  Once you understand how things come together, it's much easier to start creating your own works of art.  However, you cannot sell items you make from those patterns so if you want to become a seller you need to become a felt food designer (aka make your own patterns).  The exception is umecrafts on etsy.  Umecrafts allows you to sell items made using her patterns.  You'll need to be patient with yourself when creating your own patterns as it is rare to get the first protoype perfect!

Since my items tend to be life sized, I often actually trace the real items themselves, cutting them up when needed to help me understand the shape.  My bread size & shape came from the loaf of bread I was using to make Grace's peanut butter and jelly sandwich that day.  I had already made several prototypes that morning, looked down at the sandwich I was making & a light bulb went off in my head.  We've bought foods like pop tarts & pineapples specifically so I could work on patterns.  At the grocery store, Mr. FFK will catch me staring at a package of English muffins.  "Trying to see how many carbs are in those?" he'll ask.  "Nope, just looking at the shape & colors" I'll answer.  

FAQ:  How long does it take you to make a pattern?
The longest I have ever obsessively worked on an item was four days.  Yep, it took four days & lots of prototypes before I finally got a food right.  Most times I can get an item the way I like it in 3 tries.  If I can't, I often set the idea aside and wait for better inspiration to hit.  I don't like to get too frustrated.  Generally it takes 4-5 hours to get a food from idea to a finished product that I'm happy with selling.

A look inside the reject bin.

FAQ:  What happens to the rejects?
The rejects are sent to the reject basket.  Either the stitching wasn't right, the design was a dud, the sizing was off, etc.  Grace often steals out of the reject basket, not that I mind!  Rejects that aren't close to completion go straight to the trash can.  I don't see a point in wasting time finishing an item that isn't even close.

FAQ:  How do you decide what to work on?
Well, part of the fun of this whole thing is doing what I want, right?!  I do have a master list of the 200 foods I have planned in the shop.  I'm currently working on the breakfast section so I can send the food to the photographers next week.  The list is about 40 foods long so I've been able to jump around to what I feel most inspired to make. 

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