Tuesday, January 14, 2020

DIY Pretend Play Ice-Cream Toppings

I don't know if it's because my children are blessed with so many Christmas celebrations (read: spoiled by family) or because we have managed to raise little humans who are thankful for what they have but when I told the kids that their "big" Christmas gift from us (they still get some things from Santa) wouldn't be finished by Christmas, they were totally fine with it.  Honestly, I planned for it to be done pre-Christmas Day but as is often the case with DIY projects... I got a little behind.

So that's why I'll be sharing parts of this gift over the next few weeks here on the blog... because well, I just got it done and gifted this weekend.  It's the truth, it's messy, it's real life.  Aaaanyways, keep on reading to see how I made these custom ice-cream toppings to fit the pretend ice-cream we already owned.

[Discloser:  This post contains affiliate links to products used in this project.  Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you, which I use to put back into my blog/projects. Thank you for supporting my blog.]

A little backstory: My daughter (2) has recently started playing "ice-cream shop" every day.  Sometimes with our Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Set, sometimes just with her imagination.  But each and every time she would ask me what topping I wanted.  Of course, it's always great to simply use our imaginations but I thought that her and her brother would just be tickled if they could actually add 'toppings' to their ice-cream.  I figured the company would have some for purchase but after repeated online searches, I found nothing.  So I decided to make my own. Join me as I show you what works and what doesn't:

What Doesn't Work:

My first thought was to make entirely new scoops of ice-cream, using a similar technique as these faux whipped toppingsProblem: They are made out of spackling.  After doing some research, it seems that spackling isn't super safe and since my kids sometimes actually lick their play ice-cream I decided it wasn't worth the risk.

My second thought was to use school glue and paint to create a drip (like I ended up doing in the photos above). My first one went really well and then I dropped it on our couch. No joke. Paint everywhere. The next day I tried to make more and could not get the consistency to be thick enough.  Below is the clear school glue with sprinkles (beads) on it and it was so thin that it dripped too much and couldn't keep shape. Even mixed with paint, I couldn't get it to work.

What Does Work:

So finally I figured it out. Hot Glue. First things first- cover your ice cream scoop!  You want to be able to remove it without ruining your nice play set.  Plastic cling will melt, so I used aluminum foil.

Next, simply squeeze hot glue out onto the top of the aluminum foiled-scoop. Glop it on top, occasionally letting it fall over the edge to create longer drips. It's easier than it sounds and the hot glue & gravity really does the work for you.

The one problem I can't get past is the aluminum foil sticking once the hot glue has dried. I was hoping to peel away the foil from the inside but it's pretty hard to do.  The plus side is that for the drizzle toppings, paint covers the top and for the clear base toppings (like sprinkles) it does show through but doesn't seem to be very distracting.  I would still love to hear any ideas that anyone has for removing it (or using something else in place of it) so please comment or message me letting me know what you think will work! I did try to grease it with non-stick but it discolored the glue.

Once the glue is dry, use non-toxic acrylic paint to paint the top of the glue.  Personally I would not paint the inside because it might discolor your store bought ice-cream scoops over time but it's up to you.  For sprinkles or other toppings like that (we used brown beads for toffee/nuts and rainbow beads for sprinkles) carefully drop and press seed beads onto the glue while it is still hot.  Be careful not to burn yourself!

I ended up creating 4 pieces to start with.  Two were drizzle flavors- chocolate and caramel/butterscotch...

...and two sprinkle type toppings- a rainbow sprinkle and a toffee/nuts:

You can see how the aluminum foil shows through on the toffee/nuts one but it really doesn't look bad at all and my kids don't even notice!

Here's a few peeks at the toppings in action. They just set right on top of the store-bought scoops but because they are molded to the shape, they don't easily fall off. It's almost like they "snap" on!  Now my kiddos can offer their customers a wide variety of ice-cream and topping flavors!

If you don't already have a play kitchen, see how my husband turned an entertainment center into an amazing play kitchen !

What flavors/toppings should I do next? My favorite ice-cream is "Coffee Toffee" so now my kids use chocolate ice-cream and toffee bits topping to make it for me.  It's so fun!  If you have any ideas for something better than aluminum foil (or how to remove it better) please let me know & don't forget to follow me on Instagram for crafty ideas straight to your feed or just to chat!

Looking for more play kitchen DIYs? Check out these other projects I've made for our play kitchen: felt pasta , personalized apron , felt decorated cookies , even DIY seasoning salt ! 


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