I’m a single mom to 3 daughters. I work part time while they’re in school. This is all to say, I don’t have a ton of money. I tend to say that I have more time than money. I loved all the really cute food picks I saw other Bento-making parents using in their lunches. Unfortunately, some aren’t currently available anywhere. Some are available on Amazon or through Bento USA, but buying them adds up very quickly. Paper food picks are available sometimes in various stores, but availability changes from store to store and season to season. So, while I keep an eye on the Target 1 Spot, I wanted to find another solution.
I happen to have a huge stack of stickers. We were writing a lot of letters for a while, and we liked to decorate them with stickers. We aren’t mailing as many letters now, so I could do whatever I wanted with the stickers. My plan was to use the stickers to make picks to use in bentos after seeing a Despicable Me Minion lunch that had minion sticker picks. I started just sticking two stickers together and putting a toothpick in between them. That didn’t actually work, but I did find a way to make it work.
To make Sticker Food Picks, you will need:
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- Cardboard or paperboard (preferably with a matte side and a shiny, solid color opposite side)
- Wax paper
- Scissors or an Exacto knife
- Band-aids for your fingers after you burn them or finger protectors.
I recommend doing this at a time when your kids aren’t underfoot. Hot glue is hot. And it’s better for them not to hear your language after you burn yourself. Plus, burning the kids by accident is a bad idea!
Start by setting up your space – plug in the hot glue gun, have your hot glue stick refills nearby, lay wax paper over your counter/workspace so you won’t have drips of hot glue stuck to it, lay out stickers and cardboard, make sure your stickers are nearby, and collect your toothpicks.
If you have stickers that are symmetrical or have a mirror image sticker, you can glue them together. Otherwise, you need to glue the sticker to a piece of cardboard or paperboard.
Choose a sticker to turn into a food pick. Hold your sticker from a small corner. Using the hot glue gun, apply glue to the center and a bit to the edges. Lay the toothpick on the sticker, then twirl the toothpick so there’s hot glue on the side that will touch the second sticker or cardboard. Match the outlines and carefully stick the sticker with the toothpick to its mirror image or the cardboard.
After you’ve made several sticker food picks on a piece of cardboard, and you’ve made sure the hot glue has cooled and hardened, carefully cut around the outline of each sticker using a sharp pair of scissors or an Exacto knife.
As you complete different groups of sticker food picks, collect them in snack-size zip-top bags.
Use a black permanent marker to write the type of food pick across the top of the bag. I collected the bags into a rectangular container. This makes it easier to find the right sticker when making lunches. Watch out, though, as making these can eat up a goodly amount of time! I lost almost 3 hours of my evening making these, not realizing that so much time had passed.
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