I was browsing through eBay recently eyeing up all the gorgeous bento gear out there when I stumbled across someone selling 'handmade food picks'. I took a closer look, and realised that they were nothing more than foam stickers and cocktail sticks. I immediately thought 'I can do that' and went on a hunt to find Small Child's sticker box.
Once I'd located the box I started sifting through to find suitably sized stickers. My first thought was to stick a sticker on the stick then back it with paper to secure it on, but then it occurred to me that if I could find stickers with a symmetrical shape they could be stuck back to back with the stick in between to be more secure. I was delighted to find that a fair few of the stickers did indeed have symmetrical shapes, so am now overflowing with homemade picks!
You may be wondering what I want them for, or indeed what they are! In case you're new to bento, as I was a month or so ago, food picks are are great way to add a little extra decoration to your lunch. They can be practical too, helping to keep little fingers clean and providing some fun as they try to spear items of food with them. They can also be used as a simple decoration for cupcakes; just stick them into the icing and you're away! The great thing about making your own is that they're very cheap and easy to make so they can be treated as disposable; no more worrying about losing those cute little picks that came all the way from Japan.
Here's how to make them:
Dig out a Small Child's sticker collection for raiding; alternatively buy some stickers. Look for stickers with symmetrical shapes that could be stuck back to back. I used foam stickers, but I imagine any stickers would work. Dig out or buy some wooden cocktail sticks. These are often found loitering at the back of a kitchen drawer, but can also usually be found at any supermarket.
Go through the stickers to find matching symmetrical pairs to put together. If you're a bit obsessive about these things (like me) you can match up the colours too!
If the picks will be used by a fairly young child, cut the sharp ends from the cocktail sticks using scissors to make them a little safer. Peel the back from one of the stickers and position the cocktail stick as wanted. Make sure the stick has plenty of contact with the sticker to ensure it stays put.
Peel the back from the matching sticker and place the sticky sides together, doing your best to match the shape up so that no sticky bits are visible. Press the stickers together, especially around the stick, making sure that it is secure.