Friday, October 22, 2010

Flip- Flop Friday with Making the World Cuter

Hi everyone! I am way excited to be here at Scraps n Strings! These ladies have the cutest ideas! Speaking of cute...let me introduce my blog...
I have been married for nearly 9 years to one McDreamy lookalike, and have had 4 beautiful children with him...(our latest edition is not pictured here, as he is only 4 weeks old, and we have yet to get a decent family pic yet!)
We are students, and I like to save money, especially on kids toys. If I do spend money on them, I want them to last a long time. The best of both worlds is if I can spend very little money, make them myself and have them last a long long time!
One of my favorite projects is making blocks for my kids. Blocks are timeless, inspire imagination and help them with their motor skills. They make great gifts for baby showers and birthday parties and the best part-they are relatively inexpensive.

I have a tutorial for you here to make cuter blocks than anything you'll find in a store.
First your supplies...
You'll need modge podge, a couple different colors of paint, at least one sponge brush and wood. I like to have a couple different sizes so that I get a good variety of blocks-so I have a 2x4 and a 2x3.

Next you will need to pick out your stickers-these are Doodlebug Designs, and I used both sheets. A good set of blocks though, only needs about 10 different stickers, so keep your eyes open for something that your kids will love. My set ended up having well over 30-a bit much, but my kids LOVE blocks. Next cut out your stickers leaving the backs on, this will make it easier to measure the size of your blocks.Now take your stickers and place them on the wood, using a ruler or something else with a straight edge, mark the size you would like each block with a pencil, remembering to leave room for the saw blade and what will be taken off in the sanding process.
Then label each block with what sticker goes on it for reference later on, this is especially helpful if you are doing a lot of blocks.Then cut your wood...with a saw...unless you don't have a saw...
Then, I guess you could use a really sharp butter knife...:)
Then you have this.Then comes the tedious part.
The sanding.
First choose the sanding tool of your choice.I of course do not like to kick it old school, so the natural I had no choice was to sand by hand. I now have a belt sander, because of this project. But at the time of writing this tutorial I had to rely on a piece of sandpaper
Anyway back to the tutorial at hand...

Here are all the sanded beasts.As you can see I labled the table where I set the block after being sanded, because I sanded off some of the labels on the blocks, and I am about to cover the rest with paint.See? Depending on the color of your base coat, you might have to do two coats like I did.
Then you are going to let them dry before mixing your paint for the edges.For the edges you'll want to water your paint down a little bit, and you won't need very much paint for this step. Now paint the edges around your block, it's alright if it's a little messy.Get all the edges....Then take a napkin or a paper towel and wipe it off!Then you will have this distressed effect around your edges.I got a little messy on mine, and I like it, all the blocks are unique and I think look really cool.After you are all done with your edges, it's time to put the stickers on.
My kids helped me with this part, giving the animals food, coconuts in the trees, birds on the hippo's back (that's what they do mom, we saw it on Wonder Pets).Now we are onto the next tedious part.
Modge Podge.
These blocks take SEVERAL coats if you want to make sure the stickers actually become part of the block.
Which you do, right?

It's all worth it in the end though-you have a great set of blocks, that will last for years and years.
Your kids might even pass them down to their kids.
How fun is that?

Thanks so much ladies, it's been a blast taking over your blog for the day!


Veronica said...

Thanks so much for sharing this cute tutorial! I love old-fashioned things and you can't get more 'old-fashioned' than blocks! The distressing looks gorgeous! I need a gift for a new-born baby, and these are perfect. I am going to include the letters of the baby's name - that'll make it special for a newborn, I think. Tx again!

Katie@a mom, a wife, and a me said...

wonderful idea!! totally pulling out the belt sander tonight... got some cute toy story stickers yesterday at the store.. here we go!

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