Sunday, December 20, 2009

Handmade Baby Blocks How To

I saw homemade baby blocks on Etsy recently and decided to make a set for my daughter for Christmas and a set for a friend's baby shower. It was honestly easy and fun. I had a brief moment where I thought I should sell sets on etsy. That was quickly replaced by a quick glance at my schedule. Here are the directions for you to make or sell your own!
First, you will need lots of wooden blocks. They sell them at Hobby Lobby, on etsy, or can likely be cut from lumber yourself. I bought mine on etsy and realized HL would have been MUCH cheaper. These are 1.5" squares and were easy for my 1 year old to pick up. Next, the fun part! Buy paper and embellishments until your little crafty heart is content. I purchased a 4x6 paper set called Animal Crackers and simple white stickers.You'll also need Mod Podge, a finishing spray (in the spray paint aisle) and sponge brushes.
Cut your paper to size. You'll need 6 pieces per block and I recommend you leave a small amount of wood exposed on each. So, cut each piece just shy of 1.5 inches. Apply the mod podge to the block and attached your paper.
Repeat over and over.
Until each side is covered in paper.
Here is a set of 20 paper covered blocks.
Add stickers to each block. I made 20 blocks, so I just repeated less popular letters on 6 of the blocks. You could make as many or little blocks as you want. Add numbers or use only capital or lowercase letters if you'd like.
I wanted my blocks to look aged. So, using medium grade sand paper, I sanded each and every edge. This was the moment I decided these aren't for mass production. You will sand 24 sections per block! The sanding also helps thin out the edges and makes the paper less likely to peel up.
Next, I added aging ink with a stamp pad to each edge. The rougher the better!

Next, it is recommended that you mod podge each block all over to seal it all in. It will keep the paper on the block and the letters on the paper.
When finished, spray a clear coat over each side.
If you don't have a baby to make these for, I think they would be cute for various holidays- "Bunny" at Easter in sweet pastels, "America" for 4th of July in stars and stripes, "Boo" at Halloween, "Gobble" or "Thankful" at Thanksgiving, and the Christmas options are endless. They'd make a great hostess or teacher gift!