Monday, May 23, 2011

Felt Crinkle French Fries Tutorial

As a newbie to felt food making, I've been trying to start with foods my son loves. And as much as I'd love to pretend that's quinoa with eggplant & brussel sprouts, he wouldn't recognize any of those things even if I managed to make the awesomest felt food versions of them known to man. So instead I've got some fruit, a sandwich, an egg (not too terrible nutritionally so far, right?) and now...crinkle fries. We don't have them all that often, but when we do, my son gobbles them up. But all the fry patterns/tutorials I found were kind of lame 2D renditions (maybe they're supposed to be smushed McDonald's fries?), so I had to come up with my own. And when I showed him the first felt fry I finished, he was super excited and clearly recognized it. So if your kid is a fellow french fry lover, give this a go!

Yellow felt (one sheet of felt should easily make 8-10 fries)
Matching embroidery floss.
Stuffing of your choice

How-To Make It:
1.) Cut out 4 rectangles of yellow felt for each fry you'd like to make. They all need to be the same length (mine were about 3 inches long), but I think it looks cute to have the two side pieces narrower than the top & bottom of the fry. The important thing is that the top & bottom are identical and the two sides are identical.

2.) Use blanket stitch (or whipstitch if you'd prefer non-crinkle fries) to attach the four pieces together to make a rectangular felt tunnel.

3.) Cut two small squares of felt to fit the ends of your fry (I just stood the fry-tunnel up on the felt to figure it out. If you prefer measuring, the end pieces should have two sides the same width as the long top of the fry & two sizes the width of the long side pieces.)

4.) Attach one end piece, then stuff the fry with poly-fil, wool stuffing, felt scraps, or whatever else you'd like. A pencil or stick might be helpful for shoving the stuffing way down in.

5.) Sew on the other end piece. If you want non-crinkle fries, you can stop here!

6.) This is the slightly tricky part. Thread yellow embroidery floss on to your needle and loop it around the fry, going underneath the thread at each seam but not into the felt.

7.) When your loop is back where it started, pull it really tight and quickly secure it (I used a small knot incorporating the seam I started from.) This is your first crinkle! Repeat this process 3-4 more times until you're happy with the number of crinkles.

8.) If you're making these fries for someone who still chews toys (or whose younger sibling does), I'd recommend sewing several fries together in little clumps to reduce the choking hazard. (We've all had fries stick together like this for real, so I don't think it ruins the realisticness at all.)

Voila! French fries.
Bon Appetit!