Thursday, July 30, 2015

Japan has Cute Stuff: DIY Fake Food




Finished creation: tiny blueberry parfait!
Whenever I went shopping for presents for my brothers, I'd always end up stumped. Not so when shopping for my little sisters! There's a huge abundance of all kinds of cute toys and accessories to be found like you wouldn't believe. 

Normally, "cutesy" is not really my thing. But I love the fake food displays outside restaurants and cafes here in Japan...so when I saw a shelf in my local 100 yen ($1) store of materials for making DIY tiny fake food, I couldn't resist. One night when my husband called and said he'd be home late, I made my move and stopped at the store and got a whole bag of little acrylic tubes and tiny plastic fruit to make some parfaits. 

There seem to be a lot of parfait shops around Kyoto. Matcha (green tea) parfaits in particular have whole sections devoted to them in the Kyoto travel magazines. The displays of the plastic ones outside the cafes are so great, and the real thing actually hardly looks any different! It's an art form, people. For my cute crafty time I decided to try making a strawberry banana and a blueberry kiwi parfait. Next time I'll try a fancy matcha one. Here's the materials I started with, I paid about $5 for it all:

The best thing were these little rubber sticks, that when cut thin with scissors turned into tiny slices of strawberry, banana, and kiwi! The main thing I used was an acrylic paste in little tubes with the consistency of cake icing that dries hard after a few days, and guess what? The "strawberry" and "blueberry" ones even smelled like strawberries and blueberries! How cute is that??

I was a little clumsy at first; these things are itty-bitty! I used a pin to position the tiny plastic banana, kiwi, and strawberry slices in the layers of acrylic. The strawberry one I did first, and it turned out alright, but I accidentally filled in the little hole in cup meant for a keychain strap, so it's kind of useless. Then after letting it dry for about two days, I found it had lost a lot of the volume on the top and that the red jelly acrylic had stained the white stuff yellow...oh well, I guess that's what happens when I paid only a $1 for it. By time I did the blueberry one, I got the hang of the acrylic tubes and I think I got better at doing the layers. I was even able to leave a space to make it into a keychain once it dries! I added a lot more white acrylic to the top of that one, so I'll see how it turns out when it dries...since I just finished it! I hope it doesn't overflow the cup. 

So that was my little experience with tiny Japanese-style cuteness the other day. I'll see how the blueberry parfait turns out, and I think I'll try it again from time to time...it's a fun way to pass the time and do something crafty!

Oh no!

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