Have you ever seen embroidery that could make your mouth water? Artist Heather Ríos creates incredible mixed-media embroidery pieces that look like sweet treats. Scrolling through her Instagram will make you feel like you’re walking through a bakery and it may even evoke sweet smells and tastes.
Ríos uses various embroidery techniques—including punch needle embroidery—along with Sculpey clay and acrylic paint to create a vast array of amazing faux treats. There’s something for every sweet tooth: confetti cake, vanilla donuts, cupcakes with every color frosting, chocolate cake bites, and so much more. Many of these creations are available to purchase on her Etsy and are made-to-order, ensuring each confection-like piece of art has the buyer in mind.
With over 28,000 followers on Instagram and high praise from fans and customers, the popularity of Ríos’ bakery-esque artistry is undeniable. In June 2022, two of her TikToks garnered a combined total of over 600,000 views and the comments are filled with amazement at how lifelike her cakes look. One user says, “I still thought it was real even after you were touching it.” Another admits, “It took me like three whole views to understand it wasn’t food.” Even after realizing it isn’t actual food, one viewer states, “I would still eat it,” showing just how tasty Ríos’ work looks.
Just when you thought her illusions couldn’t get more realistic, a short scroll through Ríos’ social media will surprise you. While the majority of the artist’s designs are on canvas, some of the artificial confections are three-dimensional. Using craft foam as a base, Ríos transforms her flat pieces into lifelike slices of cake on actual plates.
Ríos’ love for embroidering in unconventional ways is displayed on her Instagram as far back as you can scroll. Everything from Dolly Parton and Mona Lisa to Harry Styles and The Office have gotten a textile reimagining from the artist. It seems that Ríos made a switch in April 2022 to focus on her iconic confectionery embroidery pieces, which makes our eyes happy—and our stomachs grumble.