deconstructed spaghetti and meatball fake food set for play kitchen

One of my favorite recent felt craft food projects is this spaghetti and meatballs play set that I made for my niece this past Christmas. She loves her play kitchen and I love using the products we sell to create playsets for her that help her express herself and organize her world through the important childhood work of open ended play. This spaghetti and meatballs Italian dinner was one of the simplest felt food meals I have made for her kitchen, but actually looks like one of the fanciest! It wasn’t complicated at all and in this blog post I will be walking you through the steps for making your own!

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

This meal consists of three parts (four if you add a basil leaf!), all of which are very simple to make.

Below I will walk you through the steps for making pasta sauce, spaghetti noodles, meatballs, and basil leaves.

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

The spaghetti sauce for this project is just a little harder than it looks. Surprising even myself, it took a couple tries to create a “splotch” of sauce that looked semi-realistic. You can download my free printable template for this meal and just use my puddle of sauce as a template.

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

To make the sauce I just cut out two pieces of shape out of Bright Red  felt, and stitched the two pieces together with the running stitch, adding a few scraps of the red

to the interior, sandwiched flat, to add some dimension to the sauce.

SPAGHETTI PASTA NOODLES

The foundation of this spaghetti and meatballs meal is actually yarn! Would you believe I found this 100% cotton yarn in a yard sale Grab Bag!? It’s the perfect shape and color to make a play dinner of spaghetti pasta. (Actually, half of the yarn I purchased in this color was already knit into half of a scarf and unraveled into the perfect curly–style raman type noodle- but that’s a play food meal I’ll be showing you on another day!) Searching the internet for similar projects I saw the other crafters using yarn as pasta but couldn’t find a good way to keep the noodles organized will also leaving the child space to play with them, so I made up my own presentation for the play spaghetti.

Step 1. Bundle Yarn

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

To make my play food spaghetti pasta I began by wrapping the yarn around my needle case – which happens to be about 10 inches long and about the size of a pencil case. By wrapping, I created large coils of noodles, which I then tied together in one or two places to keep them from uncoiling.

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

Step 2. Secure to Backing:

Next, I took a piece of flat Champagne colored felt  that was cut to fit the size of my container (I always send my felt meals to my niece in inexpensive meal prep containers with snap- top lids so that she, and especially her mother, and keep her play kitchen tidy).

keeping play spaghetti yarn from tangling
small stitches make a big difference in preventing pasta tangles

Working with one coil of yarn at a time and some embroidery floss in the exact same color as the yarn I secured the yarn to the felt in a dozen or so places, careful to leave a couple big chunks of “noodles” loose for play.

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

This created a tidy “mat” of noodles that were secure enough not to tangle but loose enough for play. Once the noodles were secured in place, I trimmed my felt sheet so felt edges would not show.

leaving a few yarn "noodles" loose makes this play food more interactive
leaving a few yarn “noodles” loose makes this play food more interactive

ITALIAN MEATBALLS

On top of my pretend pasta and felt spaghetti sauce I added three meatballs in varying sizes. The meatballs were easily made by cutting circles of brown felt. And then cut notches in the edges of each circle, as shown. These notches help reduce the bulk of gathered foals when the circle is formed into a sphere-shaped meatball.

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

After cutting notches, I added a running stitch around the edge of the circle, and tightened my thread, gathering the edge and forming the circle into a sphere. As the opening closes, but before tying the thread off, I added a few pinches of poly-fill stuffing to keep the meatball round.

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

TIP: you can use felt scraps as stuffing on most dimensional felt food projects. Just keep your felt scraps together, and user sessions to chop them into pieces no larger than 1″ x 1″. You can use the scraps to stuff items like these meatballs with a firmer fill than plush stuffing offers.how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

After the meatball edges are gathered and tied, you can place a few stitches through the thickness of the meatball to create “dimples” that emulate the texture of real meatballs. I used a solid brown felt for my meatballs, but using a heathered brown shade such as Safari Brown WoolFelt, adds layers of colors that reflect the color and texture of meatballs a little better than a solid color.

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

BASIL LEAF

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

Rather than reposting my salad instructions I will just redirect you to the post on creating dimensional crafted felt leaves for salads and garnishes. Creating dimensional leaves that hold their shape takes a bit of extra time, but these 3-D leaves are such a cute finishing touch it’s a satisfying way to finish off this felt food dinner.

The wool felt color Magical Forest  perfectly captures the shade of freshly grown basil herb.

FINISH

These four simple elements make up my pretend-play italian dinner worthy of the most discriminating tiny felt-food play chefs! Did you find this instructional post and free downloadable pattern helpful? Let us know in the comments section below!

how to make a felt food spaghetti and meatballs set

 

deconstructed spaghetti and meatball fake food set for play kitchen

deconstructed spaghetti and meatball fake food set for play kitchen

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