Remember when Clara was queen of the jellyfish? Good times. The girl definitely has fun with pretend play, and we like to make things for her, especially on occasions like birthdays and Christmas (like this play kitchen, this dollhouse, this latch board, this figurine cubby, this patterned doll cradle, this colorful quilt, this cuckoo clock and this beanbag pouf) so with yesterday being her fourth birthday (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!) I thought some pretend pastries would be fun.
I know, it sounds like a cruel joke. “Happy birthday! Here are delicious sugary things you can’t eat because – surprise! – they’re made of wood!” But lately she has been loving tea parties (here she is having one with Nonna the night before her brother was born). She loves pretending to add lemon and honey to her tea, stirring everything up, and then repeating that about five times since she doesn’t have many other tea-related things to do beyond that…. hence the idea for some teatime treats.
I liked the thought of making these for her because it meant I could use her favorite colors and include references to specific treats she likes, so they’d be personalized. I’d seen a few pre-made wooden pastry sets you can buy, like this one and this one – and after staring at a few small scrap pieces of wood on the floor in the garage I thought I might be able to use them to make some of mine.
Here are the materials I started with: a bunch of scrap pieces of wood from the floor of the garage (those are the rectangular shapes) along with some wooden spheres with flat bottoms (those were from JoAnn in the craft wood section for around $5). I grabbed those because they looked like little truffles or bon-bons.
I used craft paint and a small brush to paint them and then brushed on a few thin coats of Safecoat Acrylacq to add a nice glossy finish and more durability (it’s non-toxic in case they touch Clara’s mouth during fake-eating). It only took one Clara-nap to complete all of the painting, and I did it with my man Teddy right next to me. There was one nursing break in there and a little bit of burping and rocking, but he was pretty chill for the most part. Maybe he’ll grow up to be a painter. Or a professional pastry eater.
Here they are all laid out so you can see some of the random patterns and designs I had fun with. They’re definitely not hyper-realistic, but they’re full of bright pink (Clara always calls the pinkest donut or bonbon in the store) and I added in some stripes, swirls, zigzags, crisscrosses, and “sprinkles” (those were just dots I made with the back of my paintbrush).
I also made the stand using two plates (a big one and one smaller one) along with a small bowl and an ice cream cup holder thing (all plastic, and all from Target).
I turned bowl upside down to make the base, glued that to the larger plate, then glued the ice cream cup on top of the plate in the center, and glued the smaller plate on top of that.
In short: it was a fun little while-the-baby-sleeps project and I’m so glad that big girl of mine loves them. She even got to give them a spin with Nonna thanks to her being in town for her birthday. I cried like a baby when she said “You did such a good job painting them mom… BRAVO!” When are these crazy hormones going to level out?!
Clara’s birthday was also full of a bunch of edible treats – like these four pink and purple pancakes that she requested for breakfast. In case you’re wondering, she said the purple one tasted the best.
Now I’m off to feed this baby of mine (he’s ten pounds already!) and to try to squeeze in some party prep for Clara’s bash here this weekend (I have about thirty pounds of laundry to do along with a pretty chaotic house to clean). Oh who am I kidding, I’ll probably just end up cuddling the baby.
Psst- Wanna know where we got something in our house or what paint color we used? Just click on this button:
They look great! Also, I am crazy jealous that your 4 year old still naps!! My youngest gave it up when he turned 2!
My four year old did, too! Every once in a blue moon he passes out randomly, but not a proper nap. SO. JEALOUS.
All 4 of my kids stopped napping before 2 years old as well! Jealous mama, but happy for you all that she gets rested! :D
Clara was right, you did such a good job painting them. Those are soo cute! Bravo! (“,)
What an awesome idea!! You guys rock when it comes to great projects. I leave your page thinking-“Why wouldn’t I have thought of that” but I’m pinning this idea now for when my 7 mo old daughter is that age.
Noticed the rock and play-umm..hello-is that not a life/sleep saver for babies?? Love those things.
And how sweet is Clara? I mean “Bravo Mom” OH KILL ME NOW! What a thoughtful little one Happy birthday cute girl!
I also loved the rock n play for my daughter who is now almost 3! I’ve been using it now for my son who is 4 months and at his most recent check up the doc said his head is getting flat from sleeping in it (since he sleeps in it so well- 8 hours!). I didn’t believe the hype about the rock n play making babies’ heads flat until it happened to my own child. But it’s definitely something to watch out for- I’ve transitioned my son to the crib for overnight sleep now and we’ll only use the rock n play for naps now.
Thanks Sara! Teddy sleeps in his crib at night, so the rock & play is just for little daytime naps downstairs or for hanging out while we eat dinner and he’s awake (he might be in it around 2-3 hours a day since I’ve been wearing him a lot too). It’s the same one we used with Clara (this is a really old one from when she was a baby) and it seemed to be ok with her, but I’ll keep an eye on his head just to be safe :)
Holly Minutaglio says
You can just add a head rest insert (like they have for car seats) to prevent the flat head (there is a flat solid piece of plastic under the part where their head rests – we have the same one). That’s what we did and we had no issues. The new ones don’t have this issue and come with an insert, in case anyone else is considering the purchase. ;)
Sue Riggs says
Sherry, that is the most adorable thing I have seen! I so wish I had a little girl to make it for. I might be able to make it, but I give you credit for “seeing” it in the first place. The children are beautiful!!!
Happy Birthday to Clara!
Paige @ Lux Per Diem says
So cute! Fake food was always a favorite of mine when I was a child. Idk how many fake taste testings I made my poor mom sit though.
Mary Beth says
Love the plastic dishes from Target – those are beautiful colours.
Hope Clara had a great bday! My son turned 4 on May 4 – (my husband was soooooo excited when he was born on the “Star Wars Day”…
Cute idea! I love the stand too. You go cuddle that baby, soak it up.
Paige @ The Room Kit says
I like the faux treats, but what really caught my eyeball here was the plastic cake stand! I’m having a total “duh” moment over here. Great idea for a kid!
Forget the laundry! You have a two-story house now – just hide it upstairs and no one will know.
Haha! If only Clara and her friends weren’t “get in every crevice of the house” kids ;)
HAH! I was thinking the same thing. Throw it into the attic space that isn’t finished. Then again, I don’t have kids but if I *was* a kid again and in your house I’d want to BE in the attic space to play the most!
Seriously! I find them in the weirdest places, either playing hide and go seek or some “kids club” game where parents aren’t allowed. Ha!
Carrie M says
Oh my gosh, I love this craft project! I have an almost 5-year old daughter who LOVES tea parties right now. I may have to steal this idea. So, so cute!
ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
you are so crafty! and i love that clara appreciates all of the special projects/crafts that you do for her!! what a doll!
Nonna has guns! #impressed
HA!! I was going to say the same thing!! Your arms are fab ~ Nonna!!! :)
Sher-dog ~ those are the cutest things ever ~ what a great idea. And what Clara said…. sweet. Love the pics of her and baby Teddy. :)
Pam the Goatherd says
Nonna doesn’t look old enough to be anybody’s grandma!
Wow, I have four girls, and a bunch of scrap wood… I think I’m definitely going to have to do this project soon. Great idea for a project!
Nicole Depies says
This is so adorable! My mom just made me some cute fabric tea bags, and I’ve love to send Clara a set if you are ok with that! Feel free to email me :)
Cindy K. says
So darling! Your project, and Clara!
This is such a great idea! My daughter (3) loves to play teaparty.
Sounds like Teddy is on the same growth curve as my little Bertie. He’s 14 pounds at 10 weeks. Yikes! At least I know all the nursing is paying off but I miss sleep.
Have a great party weekend! No one will care if the house is a little messy, they just want to see the kiddos :)
Amanda S says
You guys give the best diy gift ideas! My daughter’s 3rd bd is coming up and this is something she would LOVE!
Thanks for the easy, fun and affordable idea!! We made her a doll house using John’s tutorial – it’s fabulous and even our six-year-old son LOVES it ;)
It’s hard not to always splurge on the littles, but these are the gifts that they will remember and treasure…BRAVO ;)
I love these! Aren’t they fun to make? I did something similar for Christmas a while back. I made a store too, complete with lollipops! It could also be flower shop! http://www.snugglebuguniversity.com/2012/12/pretend-store-preview.html
Happy birthday to Clara!
Yes! It was fun… and sort of hypnotizing. I got in the zone. Haha!
Jill, that candy/flower shop is adorable! I would have absolutely *loved* that when I was a little girl. Great job!!
Laura @ Rather Square says
What a cute idea! And so quick/easy effort for you (good call with a newborn), but with a big impact (as long as Clara loves them, you’re good to go).
That last picture of Clara kills me!! So cute, so sweet, so big! Bravo, mom, indeed!
What a great idea! I’m sure something like that at a store would be a fortune and she probably loves this even more :)
Such a sweet idea!
And to your mother… she’s got some guns! Nice arms!
Love the sweets! And the stand too!
How, absolutely, adorable! I can see those being passed down to your granddaughters many (many many many!!!!) years down the road!
Definitely just cuddle with Teddy (& Clara!). He’ll be grown before you know it!
Lisa P. says
This is awesome! You guys are so creative!! I love posts like this. I am so glad you guys are scaling back and enjoying your life with two little ones. Enjoy the party!! I can’t wait to read all about it!
These are so cute, Sherry! I might have to make some of these myself– my son isn’t quite at the “tea party” age, but he loves the box of “food” and dishes I keep for him in the kitchen, and these would be a great addition.
Also, noticed Teddy’s Rock-and-play– how is the sleep coming? Better than my son was at that age, if you were able to get something crafty done!
He’s getting there! The rock and play is a really old one from when we had Clara (we use that for when he’s awake and happy while we eat dinner, or for small naps downstairs during the day) so he’s in his crib at night. I think he’s slowly figuring out the whole “I’m supposed to sleep at night” thing. Last night we got four hours straight, but then wake-ups every one or two hours for the rest of the night. He’s a hungry boy!
Talent level = 11.
That pic of all of them laid out looks like a shot from an Etsy store!! If you didn’t have crazy lives already, I’d say you should make more & sell ’em! :)
Remember when Clara had no hair? Now she’s such a big girl!
Happy Birthday to all of you :)
Gosh, Clara looks so grown up in that last picture with the pancakes. Enjoy the party this weekend!
Mary | Lemon Grove Blog says
Your craftiness never ceases to amaze me :) I love how they turned out – looks like Clara does, too!
When aren’t pretend pastries fun? Also, I love the look on her face when she has the pink & purple pancakes in from of her. Pure. Bliss!
I have to say, you guys do a great job when it comes to gifts for that little girl. While many others simply buy whatever the coolest toy currently happens to be or whatever their little one wants at the moment, you always put a lot of thought into the gifts. I’m sure Clara still gets Barbies and other store-bought toys, but I absolutely LOVE the gifts like this the best :)
Ditto! Me too, love all the handcrafted items :) She is such a lucky little girl.
oh, so much fun and so pretty, love the reuse-recycle-repurpose! so you know, don’t be near those wooden treats when clara is mad or she might wonk her brother or anyone in short sight! my daughter did it to her brother (they were 4 yr old back then)and the poor guy end up with a pretty nasty black eye :(
So cute! I’m always impressed by your creativity and craftiness, but this one takes the cake. (<–, Ha, see what I did there?!) What a great idea and these are adorable.
Darling idea, and you really did do a great job painting them… BRAVO!
Happy Birthday Clara!!!
Isn’t it interesting how people are so quick to call their baby boys a man, little man, little guy, or some variation of an adult while we’re so adverse to calling girls women? It’s like we’re eager for boys to grow up and mature, but want to keep our girls childlike forever. It’s even hard for adult women to call each other women instead of girls most of the time. Anywho, something to think about when raising a boy and girl.
I’m sure Clara will love whatever yall do for her. My childhood parties were pizza, cake, tail on the donkey, and presents. I still fondly look back on those simple memories.
Happy birthday, Clara! Those cakes and bon bons are fantastic! You surely don’t need one more thing to do, but… I could totally see an Etsy shop… sets of 6 or 12, boxed in donut boxes… would be a big seller I’m sure!! So cute!
Natalie Royall says
Sherry, One, LOVE the birthday gift!! Your two littles are just precious! About the hormones… My little lady will be two next month and I got all teary yesterday reading Katie Bower’s Blog about her little one turning four AND I got teary reading yours today!! I still cry at the most random (non-sad) movies… I think it could take me… ok I think I will always be like this…hahaha!!
Pam the Goatherd says
My “babies” are all in their 20s (the eldest is almost 30) and my hormones still haven’t balanced out! I think it’s just a MOM thing. We’re supposed to tear up when our kids tell us we did a good job.
Lauren (in PA) says
Absolutely not one person will remember anything about laundry.
Keep it real!
Pam the Goatherd says
I’ll bet they all have their own laundry piles at home. Keep it real and they won’t have reason to feel inadequate when they see your spotless home.
Ah your moms arms are amazing! What is her secret? Such inspiration.
She just told me she’s taking a barre class. So funny! My mom, the fitness nut. She also loves weeding the yard, so maybe that helps with the guns?
Marie M says
SO cute! I love this idea. My little guy always loves gifts that I make him more than anything else, so I always mean to make more things for him. I always end up too caught up in the other holiday/birthday planning that I put it off. Thanks for the inspiration!
P.S. – I loved the Rock and Play for my two little ones, too. My youngest grew out of it quickly, but it sure was a lifesaver when she fit. And hurray on the 4 uninterrupted hours! Did you wake up feeling like you’ve been asleep for a million years? I hate/love that feeling. :-) I hope that becomes a habit and stretches out to longer and longer!
Yes! I shot up in bed and said “has he been crying for a long time?!” and John said “that was literally his first whimper” – haha! I felt so out of it.
What a wonderful idea!!! I think I am going to have to try this for my son. They look awesome!!
Sherry, you are BRILLIANT! What an awesome idea!!! Oh man, lucky Nonna for getting to join the Jellyfish Princess at a tea party with those adorable bonbons. From one mom to another, I just wanted to say that age 4 is my all time FAVORITE age. Mine son is 10, and yes, every stage is truly wonderful, but I have to say that something about 4 is just magical. Those little adorable four year old faces! Take extra pictures of Clara this year. Once those little teeth start getting wiggly, their faces change SO much SO fast. Soak up every minute of it. I know you do. : ) xo
Clara looks so grown up! My son, Luke, turns one today! We’re having a low-key party this weekend :-) I hope to one day DIY some b-day and other presents for our man like you do for Clara! Happy Birthday, Clara!
Firstly, congrats on the new baby! Babies are awesome and you all look very happy! And happy birthday to Clara as well! This is the first time I’m leaving a comment because, after seeing this post, I’m certain you (at the very least, Clara) will LOVE LOVE LOVE this Etsy site my friend has. She makes hand-sewn goodies (cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream). They’re so detailed and real-looking and Clara would adore them. Please check out her site; it’s called “KaseyPies” https://www.etsy.com/shop/Kaseypies .
So cool! Thanks!
Your friend is so talented! I want one of those pies for myself!
Genelle G says
I love Kasey Pies!!! We have a 5 year old boy, who is not at all in to tea parties, but if he were I would be loading up on Kasey’s goodies! I’m just waiting for some of my friends little girls to be old enough to enjoy such a gift and then I’m totally buying them Kasey’s treats!
Those “pies” are making me huuuungry!
Thank you all :)
YHL, Thank you so much for allowing Heather to link to my shop. What a fun surprise!! Your followers are crazy loyal. The shop has never had traffic like this! I would love to send Clara something as a token of my appreciation. I know you had every right to take down this post, and I appreciate that you didn’t. Please shoot an email over and I’ll get a little something ready!
You’re so sweet Kasey! I’m afraid we don’t accept freebies but we love your shop and would love to place an order soon :)
So cute! I loved my play kitchen and toy food as a kid. My parents still like to remind me of the Christmas when I received my kitchen and immediately stuck my teddy bear in the oven and then started chatting away on the play phone. Thankfully, my cooking skills have improved since then.
Sarah @ Sarah's Daybook says
Aww! That is so cute! Mom of the year right there. Ya know, tied for first with my mom… gotta be fair :) Hah.
Can’t wait to see what her birthday party looks like! Do you guys have a theme? I’m sure that it’ll be wonderful!
Such a cute project. I love how simple it was but how much it means to Clara. Just a reminder that gifts for kids don’t have to be huge and expensive.
I have this simple and plain wood dollhouse (got it for $20 at a thrift store) that I want to turn into a police station/fire station/hospital for our son’s 3rd b-day in August but don’t want to over do it on spending money. I’ll use paint and wooden dolls (my mother-in-law can make those similar to the princess dolls Clara has) but would love any ideas you/others have on keeping it simple!
I got some dollhouse furniture for Clara from etsy for cheap and then repainted it in bright colors for her. It was fun!
so cute! and your mention of safecoat made me remember that i’ve had the hardest time tracking down a local place that sells it. i have family in RIC, so i tracked your first mention of the product back to a recommendation for Ecologic. but sadly it looks like they’re closed now. where do you source your Safecoat now, or do you bite the bullet and buy it online? i was trying to avoid the extra shipping charges.
I was so sad when Ecologic closed! Now we get it online since it’s the only place I can find it. It helps that it seems to last forever (we get 10+ projects out of one container since it’s nice and thin).
Mary Ann says
I stay tuned to your blog daily – and rarely post… but I MUST say, you are SO BRAVE for painting on the ottoman! Just a few paper bags. Bravo Sherry! Doesn’t look like you had even one spill :)
Thankfully it’s water based craft paint, so it would wipe up pretty easily I think!
This was my thought too – I never comment (sorry!) but oh my gosh – painting on the ottoman?! Crazy brave! :)
haha i had the EXACT same panicky feeling when i saw the paint on that ottoman. I’m happy to hear it was water-based paint. Those came out SO cute. I hope i’m as creative a mom as you are when i’m a mom! : )
Annie V says
Hahaha me too, thought the same thing – I’m such a klutz it would’ve gone either one of two ways: as I’m putting all the supplies and cardboard down, ready to go, SPILL. Or carefully paint everything, everythings finished, hurrah, time to put it all away… SPILL. All over the carpet, all over the painted pastries, all over the ottoman… I can just see it now.
I applaud steady-hands-Sherry. Water-based paints or not!!