Saturday, March 26, 2011


Yes, you could say I like donuts (or doughnuts, as I grew up spelling them).  

These are different from those felt ones, though. For one, they're tiny

and for another, they're made of wood. 


They're actually little wooden wheels! Who says wheels have to be stuck on vehicles? 

I bought mine here, where I buy all my wooden craft parts, including the blanks for my peg dolls and clothespin people. I buy them in bulk because I don't know how to buy just one of anything. 

The husband was away for the week, so we indulged in a craft that we knew would take that long.  

We had a lot going on that week, including chauffeuring various children to various educational institutions, playdates and recreational activities. So we did just a little each day, with plenty of drying time in between.

Day #1
We painted the little wheels in shades of dough. We used acrylic paint. Notice the kids are dressed in very bright colors - they were instructed to choose their most lurid clothes to camouflage paint stains.

Two coats later, the wheels were left to dry overnight.

Day #2
We painted on frosting - also two layers.

Day #3
We added sprinkles. 

This we did with toothpicks. Notice that we didn't actually use a palette. Instead, we used a sheet of wax paper over a padding of paper towels. The wax paper is a good non-stick surface for the almost-dry bottoms of our painted items, and when the painting session is done for the day, everything gets crushed up and thrown away. Almost zero cleanup.

These have nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands as I grew up calling them). Kate, Jenna and Momma did these in collaboration. 

And these have sprinkles and drizzles. Momma did these by herself when no one was watching:

Day #4
We varnished the donuts. This is what I used - you can get it at Michaels. Again, we did two coats.

Drying tip: I mounted the wheels on the ends of chopsticks (first wrapping their tips in wax paper strips) and then stuck them in a bucket of rice. They dried beautifully and evenly

and we had a charming table centerpiece during the week.

Day #5
We made cardboard tiered serving trays.

Here's how:

We cut two circles, one larger than the other. We also used a skinny cardboard tube, and a strip of cardboard for the handle. The dimensions are not important - it all depends on the size of the cardboard pieces you have available.

We cut a central hole in the smaller circle, and made it slightly smaller than the diameter of the tube. Short radial lines (left) were added to make a snug collar (right)

so that when the tube was inserted (left), the little tabbed collar could be glued on (right) to hug the cardboard tube.

We bent the cardboard strip into shape for a handle and glued that into the top end of the tube. 

When everything was dry, we had a mini-tea party for dolls. 

I love these donuts. I am glad we bought a bag of 100 wheels because I think I am going to make more. And guess what - these come in a bigger size, too. And what about these for spice jars for a toy kitchen? And toadstools for fairyland? And trees for advent? And I must tell you how absolutely therapeutic it is to paint wooden things. Very calming to just sit, me and my toothpicks, and go dot, dot, dot. So much better than seam-ripping.

Cardboard and wood .......... is it any wonder that I'm not sewing anymore? 

P.S. Of course I'm still sewing, silly! Did you panic for a second? Hee. 


  1. Absolutely brilliant!!! I love that you tapped into that cardboard stash too.

  2. So brilliant, as always! We call them hundreds and thousands too! I never knew they had another name!

  3. These ara wonderful!
    And the tutorial is great!

  4. they look super yummy... hmmm...

  5. I just got on the computer to look up recipes for baked doughnuts (to top with the maple cream we bought last week, yum!) and your post was the first thing I saw in my Google reader... ha ha... but I love your doughnuts and especially the serving tray.

  6. Wow!!! what a fabulous project. So many great tips - chopsticks are so great for so many things (including eating!). The donut stand is a perfect display. Thank you for sharing this wonderful project. Looks like your girls had a great time with this week-long extravaganza.

  7. "I buy them in bulk because I don't know how to buy just one of anything."

    Oh, is it a sewist thing?

    Nope, must be a personality trait... because we have 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 fish, 3 canoes, 4 sailboats, and 7 sewing machines and an uncountable number of books...


    Why buy one when two will do?

  8. I love the serving tray! And am a little curious as to why you seem to have green & orange grains of rice - leftovers from a craft project?

  9. @Laura
    Yes, Laura - it's from here:

  10. I really love your blog. Where do you find the time to do your every day things like -> meals, cleaning, loundry ...... ?

  11. Love these! You all did a beautiful job, too! I make felt food for my 5 yr old daughter and these would make a nice addition to her refrigerator. Thanks so much for sharing.

  12. looks like delicious drop spindles!

  13. YUM!! Made me very hungry for real donuts this morning! Alas, I didn't get any. ;(

  14. Owie doll sized donuts! Brilliant! I love the serving tray, too.

    And thank you for the link to the woodworks shop - I was wondering where to look for bulk-priced wooden items, and knew I'd seen a link on your blog somewhere but couldn't find it! Now I know where to shop!

  15. Just stumbled across your blog when I googled for pig patterns. I love what you do & have marked it in my fav folder. I loved your pig pattern so brought it straight away, thnaks for the rock

  16. This are fantastic! We use wooden stuff for all sorts of things other then their real purpose but I never thought doughnuts when I looked at wheels.With a bit of prep work this would make a fun birthday party craft. Just let the kids add the sprinkles at the begining of the party and let the doughnuts dry in the sun(I'm thinking summer here!). Of course you wouldn't be able to put the gloss on at the end but I bet the kids would have fun.

  17. @Meadow
    What a great party craft suggestion! And the paint dries quickly, too - within an hour, if it isn't too thick a blob.

  18. @Millie
    You know what, Millie? I only learned that name here in the US just recently when shopping for cake decor stuff. I now have an unwanted double vocabulary for many things, thanks to the British-US English disparity.

  19. Great idea!
    Going to try make some donuts with my kids too. They both love to paint and recently painted the wall in living room while i was busy...Donuts are definitely much more better option :)

  20. I love this project! It's definitely being added to my craft to-do list.

  21. i blogged this today

  22. Wow! They look so tasty! Everyone will want the real thing after looking at these adorable little guys. Better have the real thing standing by! : )

  23. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your fabulous donut project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid-friendly crafts, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a great project idea!

  24. Hello. I saw this when I looked at google images of "pretend play donuts." My dad has wood working as a hobby and these inspire me to go pop into a favorite store of his to look around for inspiration!

    This also made me think about pretend play fair food. Starting with the cinnamon sugar mini-donuts. After that, corndogs, nachos and cheese, milk shakes, funnel cakes, cotton candy, pickle on a stick...? I would love to see a post where you made these wooden wheels into a bag (made of felt) of mini-donuts. It might be hard to capture the texture with paint, but I've been so impressed with everything you've made so far. Your frosted cookies are on my list of things to make for my little niece :) Thanks

    1. irishgirl123: thank you for your kind words! I never did make a bag of mini-donuts, but I made a lot more wooden food here:


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