Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tutorial: Kids’ Shopping Book Food Cards

Shopping Food 22

As soon as I started cutting out felt food, I realized I wanted picture/word cards to introduce word recognition to my daughter. My daughter was excited to make the felt food so we cut out the ones she wanted and put them into the flannel board activities box. For those with younger children, the felt food is lots of fun so I will show you how to make it at the end.
Tutorial - Food

food cards--only for word cards
iron-on fabric sheets for printers (white)--only for word cards
two-sided fusible webbing (I like Heat ‘N Bond—lite if you are sewing and ultra if not.)
velcro strip (opposite side from the Shopping Book)

Print out food cards on iron-on fabric sheets. Cut them apart. (I cut near the lines, but did not include the lines.)
Shopping Food 1

Click on the pictures below to make your food cards. The grid is for you to make your own. I found an outstanding website with free digital images (some require attaching the artist’s name to the image) HERE. I also used  pictures from various companies’ websites. I figured they would like the free advertising and I explain why I used these particular images at the end of this post. I also do a lot of my shopping at Costco, so these aren’t very representative of a “normal” person’s shopping list—just mine!

Please note that these printables are absolutely for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Do not reproduce them in any way except for this craft. Do not sell them in whole or in part or make items to sell from these printables, in whole or in part.
Shopping Book Card GridShopping Book Food 1Shopping Book Food 2Shopping Book Food 3

My food cards are sewn as well as bonded with fusible webbing. I figure they are going to get a lot of use and I want them to hold up. If you eat a variety of foods, you will want lots of cards and that takes a while to make—another reason why you do not want to have to make these twice. You can just skip the sewing if you don’t want to do that part. Or, you can just print the cards on cardstock, cut apart and laminate and it will be really fast. The instructions are for sewing and bonding, though.

Place your cards on felt about 1/2 inch or more apart and iron to the felt following the manufacturer’s instructions for adhering the iron-on fabric sheets to things. Be sure to use a press cloth over the cards so your iron does not touch the felt—it will melt! I did 9 at a time just because it fit well on my ironing board and on the sewing table.
Shopping Food 2

Zig zag stitch around each card.
Shopping Food 3

Cut cards apart with about 1/4 inch border around each side. I just eyeballed this amount.
Shopping Food 4

On another piece of felt, adhere fusible webbing according to the manufacturer’s directions. Again, be sure to use a press cloth so you don’t melt the felt and guck up your iron. Peel off the paper when cool, but save it!

This will be the back side of your food card.
Shopping Food 5

Lay each food card on top of the back side felt and cut around it carefully. This helps each card to be the right size without having to be super precise.
Shopping Food 6

Stack cards and backs together with each set going in opposite directions so the right pieces stay together.
Shopping Food 7

Cut velcro strips (opposite side of velcro as what is sewn into the book for shelves) into mini-strips. I wanted this to be a little bigger than a square so it is easier to find the other side of the velcro and it will stick quickly.

Sew in the center of each backing piece with the fusible side being on the bottom or back side of your sewing. Put each finished back piece with the front piece and stack in opposite directions again.
Shopping Food 8Shopping Food 9

Place each set face down on top of one of the papers from the fusible webbing. Place another paper over the top (or a press cloth if you don’t have another one) and press firmly to fuse the front and back of each card together. I did two cards at a time.
Shopping Food 10

Sew around each card with a straight stitch. I sewed about 1/8 inch from the edge. This is when the imprecise measurements show up really well, but it didn’t bother me (surprisingly!) and I am sure it won’t bother your child!
Shopping Food 14

That’s it! It isn’t hard, but it does take some time, especially if you have a lot of cards.
This is truly a labor of love!
Shopping Food 21

Now Teacher Tammy, as my mother-in-law used to call me, cannot help but point out a few things about word cards for beginning (and even more advanced) readers:

*The picture should match the word—if you have one banana, it should say “banana” not “bananas” and vice versa.Shopping Food 11

*Use a font that is clear and readable for beginning readers. This isn’t the project for cutesy fonts if you are concerned about the educational value. I used LuzSans-Book which is my favorite kid-friendly font. It looks like very clear, elementary printing. Times New Roman is also a good one because it is the font or similar to the font used in many books.

*Use the word your child uses for certain objects not necessarily the correct word (although I would stay away from silly or made up types of words like “nanas” instead of “bananas”). My daughter calls all pasta “noodles.” Had I written “pasta” on this card, she would have seen a box of noodles and said "noodles” while repeatedly seeing a word that doesn’t match that. I do not want to reinforce that. So, I wrote the word she uses and it makes sense. I want to reinforce the word that she is saying with the word that she is seeing which is a correct, though not specific, word for this item.
Shopping Food 12

*Check and double check that words are spelled correctly! I used Photoshop--which doesn't spell check--to make my food cards and it is entirely possible I spelled something wrong – check! (I did check on “cantaloupe” and  “broccoli” because I often misspell them!) You don’t want your child to repeatedly see a word that is misspelled. Here is another one that is often misspelled:
Shopping Food 13

*Finally, I used the same brands that I buy when I used a picture of an item in a package. This is because my daughter recognizes these items.

An example…She loves marshmallows and even as she ran past the computer on the way in from playing the day I was making the printables, she caught the marshmallow picture and stopped while she said, “Marshmallows! Mommy, can I have some marshmallows like those?” as she pointed to the screen.

If your child already immediately recognizes the pictures, he or she is more likely to spend some brainpower on seeing the word. Every time that word is associated with the actual item, there is a greater chance that the brain is actually learning that word and will recognize it in other contexts. And, that, my friends, is reading!
Shopping Food 7

The food cut outs are made in a similar way to the food cards. I cut out the front and back separately so I could sew the velcro on without it showing through to the front. If that doesn’t bother you, you could do this even faster and more efficiently by fusing first, cutting out both shape (front and back) at the same time and then doing the sewing.

Cut out food shape from felt (do not write on it with Sharpie or anything else yet—mine transferred to my press cloth.)

Iron on fusible webbing to another piece of felt according to the manufacturer’s directions. Leave the paper on and let cool.
Shopping Food 15

Lay the food shape face down on paper and trace around it.
Shopping Food 16

Cut out the food shape. Peel off paper backing.
Shopping Food 17

Sew on velcro strip. Again, make it longer so it will be easier to attach to the book.Shopping Food 18

Put the two pieces together and iron to fuse them together. Be sure to use a press cloth or the paper backing so you don’t melt the felt.

Sew around the outside edges with an 1/8 inch seam allowance. (I stuck the stem piece in at the last minute!)
Shopping Food 19Shopping Food 20

Now, go shopping! It should be entertaining instead of cRaZy!
Shopping Food 24Shopping Food 25

I'd love it if you voted for my tutorial in Amanda's Top Twenty HERE!


Erin,  said... March 19, 2011 at 11:02 PM  

This is absolutely adorable! Thank you so much for sharing your hard work. Here is another kid-friendly project that I did.
Erin, A Little Something, Too

Erica {B is for Boy},  said... March 20, 2011 at 1:29 PM  

Great idea! I would never have thought to include my kids in the list! I definately need to make one- thanks for the tutorial!

Unknown,  said... March 20, 2011 at 2:28 PM  

Even though I do not have little ones at home I sure loved this tutorial on how to make food cards. So clever and full of wonderful tips.

Amy@ServingPinkLemonade,  said... March 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM  

Tammy, I love this! What a lucky little girl you have. She must love going shopping with you.

Big D and Me,  said... March 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM  

This is such a wonderful craft - always looking for something to keep the kiddos busy when grocery shopping.

beagoodmom,  said... March 22, 2011 at 7:26 PM  

Hi, the pictures you use are similar to a comunication system widely used by children with Autism. If you look up "PECS" (Picture Exchange Communication System) you will find tons of photo-realistic pictures of any number of things, from foods and games to activities and places. All premade and easy to download.

One tip however, I would search for "PECS Autism" or your results will include alot of pictures of steroided-out body builders! Learned that.

Two Shades of Pink,  said... March 22, 2011 at 8:35 PM  

Tammy, I absolutely love this! I have been out of town or would have commented sooner. This is such an amazing craft. I love EVERYTHING about it! Once again, you never disappoint. Everything you do is so awesome!

Heather,  said... March 23, 2011 at 1:05 AM  

LOVE it! This is a fantastic way to include the kids in grocery shopping. Thanks!

Phoebe,  said... December 23, 2011 at 2:25 AM  

Hi! Do you mind sending me the LuzSans-Book font? Couldn't find it anywhere on the web but I'm desperate for it! It looks really compatible with the food cards you've made.

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... December 30, 2011 at 3:49 PM  

Phoebe--you didn't leave a way to contact you so I will hope you see this comment...The LuzSans-Book font is one that came with my computer/software and is an exclusive HP font. Here is a great thread with some answers and options for you in regards to this font or a similar one:

Good luck--enjoy your shopping book!

Small Fry and Co.,  said... January 23, 2012 at 5:44 PM  

I love this idea and thank you so much for including the pictures. I have no time to search those all out on my own. I am making two of these asap for my girls (a slightly modified version but same idea).
Thanks again.

michelle,  said... February 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM  

Love the shopping bag book and especially the word cards! Thank you for sharing the tutorial!

I just finished printing my word/picture cards, but I used print iron-on transfers and the directions say to flip the image before printing and place the picture side down to iron. Ack! What do I do now? Can you share a link to the iron-ons you used?

Unknown,  said... April 16, 2013 at 1:21 PM  

Can you explain the purpose of the fusible web on the backs and in between items? Can"t I just sew them together?

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... April 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM  

I'm assuming you are talking about the cards. You can definitely just sew the cards together without the fusible web. I like the way everything was held in place while I sewed it on. I was also a little concerned about the felt stretching out over time as the card is repeatedly pulled off and on by the velcro, but I don't think the webbing is essential by any means. I just wanted my cards to be super strong and the fusible web made them a bit stiffer as well.

Frank & Erika,  said... May 29, 2013 at 5:05 PM  

Thank you so much! This is an awesome guide. My original search was for pictures I could laminate for my 4 year old to help me shop but now I am going to make the fabric book for my 2 1/2 year old and one with the felt pictures for the baby when she grows up. Thanks!

Anonymous,  said... January 30, 2016 at 7:34 PM  

Thank you so much. I printed and laminated these (and made a stack of my own using your template). I then printed out recipe cards with the name of the recipe and a picture of the finished meal. I used the blank grid and typed in the word for each ingredient used in the recipe in each grid section. We now play cooking as a word recognition game where each ingredient is placed over the matching word on the recipe card.

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