Friday, December 26, 2008

Donut Shop On-The-Go

Earlier in the summer, I became obsessed with this project
for the girls' Christmas present. I'd always liked the idea of
playing storekeeper of any kind, which was the motivation
behind their cardboard donut shop/candy emporium/
general store
. I noticed, though, that they liked the delivery
aspect of vending - they enjoyed taking orders and then
delivering whatever we wanted on little plates or (in cases of
take-out) paper bags, pushing their grocery carts or strollers
from patron to patron.

So the portable donut seller idea was born- it reminded me
a bit of crackerjacks and peanut vendors at sporting events.

You know - the kind with the little hats

and paper bags

and little pouches for holding money;

little vendors like this one:

So this little vendor model got a sneak preview of the tray

and its accessories

which, in my typical manic way, I made three sets of
two of which got sent away to other little vendors for Christmas.

What were their wares?

Well, donuts, of course -

but sewn, not fried

so they have zero calories

and still come in many flavors.

But first, credit where it is due: I first chanced upon this post
on Skip To My Lou in the summer and thought I must sew one
of her donuts with her pattern. I couldn't stop at just one,
naturally, so I cut out enough pieces for almost forty, put them
in a small storage box with embroidery floss and began
hand-stitching the "sprinkles". This became my spare-moments
project - the one I reached for while nursing Kate on the
swing on the deck in the summer, curled up on the sofa after
the kids were in bed at nights, on long car trips to visit
out-of-town family and in waiting rooms at the doctor,
dentist and (less often) hair-stylist.

Initially, they were all meant to be identical

but, inspired by the seasonal colors of real donuts in our
local supermarket bakery, they diversified to represent some
of the different holidays and seasons we celebrate.

Valentines' Day: pink frosting on vanilla

Easter/Spring: vanilla frosting on chocolate

Independence Day



and classic all-season
chocolate frosting on coffee with sugar drizzle and
a lone mocha on vanilla with chocolate sprinkles.

Three dozen donuts and six months later,
they were all sorted into their trays

and, with assembly instructions,

packed into bakery boxes
and sent on their way -

but only after passing rather stringent quality control tests
by the littlest of all donut vendors:
Don't worry, the donuts were confiscated
before she could actually eat any.

A thoroughly fun project but long. Took even longer than
the Dress-Up Box did. And challenging in parts - the tray,
for instance, was fabric over flexible plastic board. I'd
considered cardboard but it bent easily and wouldn't stand
washing. So I cut up a new Ikea flexible chopping board and,
apart from being a little heavier than I'd imagined, it worked 
well. The sewing machine and I wrestled with the corners a 
fair bit but we made it without breaking any needles!


  1. basket...the donuts made me drool...sad rite!! Krispy Kreme (my fave but about 1500kcal each) should sell toy donuts that you make for kids to play like Macs do....

  2. Oh my!!! They look good and I want to eat them now! This is such a fun idea. But I don't think I'd have the patience of 6 mths to make this.

  3. Oh my God Lorraine!!! I have been following your blogs like a silent stalker for a while now but i can hold my silence no longer!! I can't decide if you are absolutely bonkers or absolutely amazing! i think its both! *bow in reverence* I'm waiting eargerly to see the Dress Up Box! Have even gotten Stella who is Shanghai and who is also a private voyeur hooked on your blogs! : )

    Quick quick - Dress Up Box!! : )

  4. I really don't know what to say! It is all so unbelievably wonderful I am speechless. I can't tell you how awesome I feel that my simple pattern could be turned into something so amazing!

    Fantastic job! What lucky lucky kids to have you put so much love and effort into their gifts!

  5. WOW lorraine
    the donuts look AMAZING!!!

  6. Don't think I did not notice that you photographed the donuts on an actual cooling tray.

  7. That is so awesome! I love the hat especially. My boys are obsessed with In-n-Out Burger and they've gone through several paper hats. Maybe they'll have to get a felt set later this year.

  8. Just found your blog via Ohdeeoh. WOW! This is so beautiful. Great work. I'm a grown woman and I want one. Kudos!

  9. Totally inspiring (again)! Doughnuts are another thing on my 'faux food' list for my Grand Daughter so thank you for the link.
    As I've dabbled in crafting for a number of years (I'm 60+ and counting) crafting supplies have come a long way. During this journey, I've discovered 'foam-core board' works very well for many projects. It is easy to cut with an utility knife, yet quite rigid and strong plus the price is reasonable. Just thought I wud mention it as another option for those wanting to make a similar tray. (It resembles poster-board but has a foam core piece sandwiched in between. Most Craft or Art stores and even Business supply stores carry it.) -Brenda-

  10. @mrsben
    Thanks, Brenda! I'm with you on crafting supplies having come a long way. When I was little, they didn't have anywhere near the volume, let along variety of supplies. But then I also lived in a different country, so it's hard to compare. Thanks for the foam board tip - it's a little thicker (about 1/4"?) than this flat IKEA board we used, but definitely easier to cut!

  11. could you post the instructions?
    It would be a fun thing to do with my kids

    1. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to share instructions on the set. You can find the tutorial for the donuts at Skiptomylou. The link is in this post.

  12. I joined a "foodswap" in my mommy-group, what also includes a DIY food-item. My theme is America so donuts it will be. I'm about to buy fabrics and get started, thanks for the inspiration!

  13. You are employed by God the creator to do creative work for your children.

  14. Wow, AMAZING!!!! really, really cool!

  15. I think you must be the most wonderful mother ever. The things you made for your children are phenomenal.

  16. Wow, love your donuts. What did you use for the drizzled icing on the chocolate donuts?

    1. Anonymous: I used a very narrow white cord and machine-stitched it to the top donut piece before sewing the top and bottom pieces together.


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