Since I began making bento boxes, I have scoured the net looking for how-to and tip blogs. I found a few great ones Lunch in a Box, Vegan Lunch Box, Just Bento, to name a few. The one thing that I haven't found a lot of is charaben tutorials or instructions. So, I winged it based on the few that I found. Today, I decided to show the step-by-step process of making my charaben.
First, I decided on a theme. Twilight! I love the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I recently finished reading Breaking Dawn which was fantastic in my opinion. The image for Bella (the main character in the series) is based on the Japanese translation of Twilight which features illustrations. I googled the images and found one I liked.
The key to character bento is planning. I first decided on the food, leftovers! I knew that I was making fake chicken (by quorn), mashed potatoes, corn, and stuffing for dinner. I decided that the mashed potatoes would be a good background because it is similar to rice in that it is white and you can mold it. Whilst I was cooking dinner, I prepared Bella. I first traced the image onto wax paper, cut it out, and cut my media (cheese, tofurkey, nori) around these shapes.
I then assembled the parts on wax paper
The hardest part was Bella's facial features. I decided to again trace her eyes, nose, and mouth onto wax paper and, after laying it on top of nori, used an exacto knife to cut the intricate details. It seemed to work well, although I think I will invest in a pair of tweezers to dedicate to food use. They would have helped in placing the small pieces. I then put Bella in the freezer. I ate dinner, watched Jeopardy and waited for the leftovers to cool. I then filled my bento with the food, and put the frozen (and therefore stuck together) Bella on top.
I decided I needed more, so I added a wolf howling at the moon to represent Jacob. I cut the nori using the same technique described above.
For some finishing touches, I added an Apple cookie decorated with a nori apple, some chocolate, and a Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast sausage. I also added some red flower re-usable ice cubes and a red toothpick to add a bit of color.
So, in conclusion, I LOVE Twilight, I hope my step-by-step helps those who are interested in charaben, and this is longest blog post EVER.