Sunday, June 26, 2011

Build Your Own Blocks

I realize this concept has been done before, but they came out so cute I wanted to share. The stores are filled with generic blocks such as these:

but I wanted to create something different. The traditional block (like the little ones above) are typically 1" hollow squares. I wanted something sturdy for my son to grow into, so I ordered 2.5" blocks that were solid wood from Factory Direct Craft. I gently sanded the corners to round out the edges and spray painted with a neutral color, followed up with a clear coat to protect the paint from nicks.

Each block consists of:
  1. Coordinating scrapbook paper. If you don't already have a stash going, it'll only cost you a few bucks for this project, even if you have more than ten designs like I had.
  2. One side dedicated to a letter in my son's name. I bought enough blocks to spell out his first, middle and last name, so he can start spelling it before he even learns to write. I just ran the scrapbook paper through the printer for this.
  3. Two sides dedicated to either a shiny holographic image or a texture. These are also available in scrapbook paper and they look like so...

     4.  Some of the blocks also got stickers applied to solid color paper. Since some of
          these were also shiny, Riley likes to look at them too. 

A side note if you try this project. I originally tried to apply the paper with Elmer's Spray Glue, thinking that would be the best way to avoid showing any bubbles. However, my little boy was really good at peeling the paper off, so I suggest you stick with something hardier, like Modpodge, to get a really firm stick.

In the end, I got a set of really cute blocks specifically made for my son, in colors and patterns that really grab his attention - which he's proven time and time again by choosing those over the generic ones when they're all on the floor. Definitely worth the investment!

Happy Building!

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