Monday, November 10, 2008

Handmade Baby Blocks

Some of the Christmas gifts I will be giving this year are going to be handmade. I love the idea of giving handmade gifts because they are gifts that I've put my time and love into making. I think it makes the gifts so special.

I decided to make handmade, personalized building blocks for my niece, Allie. This was the first time I've ever done this, and it was super simple.

I bought 2 inch wooden cubes (five for the five letters of her name) from the craft store. I painted them an off-white color because I wanted the base coat to be neutral so I'd have more flexibility when it came to embellishing the blocks with the scrapbook paper.
I cut 1.7 inch squares of two coordinating scrapbook papers. There was not an exact science to why I picked 1.7 inches. I just wanted to make sure that the paper was slightly smaller than the block so that you could still see some of the painted block after the paper was applied.


Working one block and one side at a time, I covered each side of the blocks with a layer of Mod Podge followed by one of the squares of scrapbook paper.
Once the paper is set into place and no longer slides around on the Mod Podge (this only takes a minute or so) I applied another layer of Mod Podge to the sides of the block. You'll have to leave one side of each block undone because the blocks need a side to rest on while the Mod Podge dries. Once the other sides are dry, you can go back and apply the paper to the bottom side.




Before starting this project, I had printed the letters from Allie's name from Microsoft Word onto a piece of computer paper. I chose the font that I wanted, enlarged it to size 98, and then made the font an outline (to save printer ink.) I also bolded the font because it made it slightly larger.

Then I cut each letter out. This was somewhat tedious, and it would be extremely helpful to have an exacto knife. You will completely skip this step if you're lucky enough to have letter stencils to use! I'm too cheap to buy them, so I just improvised. Maybe one day I'll buy nice stencils, but for now, I'm not going to let my lack of fancy shmancy stencils keep me from being creative!

Then you will need to trace these letters onto the back of another coordinating piece of scrapbook paper. Oh, and make sure you trace them in the right direction so you don't have "L's", for instance, that face left instead of right (Learn from my mistake!)

Cut your traced letters out. Now, use the same process to apply the letters as you did the scrapbook square - cover the whole side with Mod Podge, apply your letter, then apply another layer of Mod Podge.

I then went and cut out some smaller squares from the same paper I used for my letters. I applied these squares to the side opposite the letter on each block.

(UGH!!! I just noticed how awful my cuticles look! As you can tell, this is one often neglected area in my life!)

Then I applied two little pink paper flowers and buttons to two of the blocks.

I chose not to apply something extra to all sides of the blocks because I wanted these blocks to be simple and sweet. You could, however, have a happy time of dressing up all six sides.


I just love how these turned out. Mod Podge is non-toxic so Allie can play with these without my sister having to worry about her being chemically poisoned if she happens to stick them in her mouth. Or the blocks could just be used as a decoration. I think I'm going to look around and see if I can find an additional non-toxic sealer to apply just to make them even more durable!

What a cute gift to give to a mommy for a new baby! Wrap them up all sweet and cute with some pretty ribbon, and you'll have yourself one adorable little gift. I wish my kids were younger, so I could make a set to put in each of their rooms!

29 comments:

Chris said...

What a great idea! My girlfriend is having a baby soon, and I'm so stealing this! Thank you!

Sarah said...

Awwww...those are too cute!!! I think they would look awesome on a little shelf...wat a great idea. I love homemade gifts too!

Katie said...

Those are so cute, Amber! I am totally going to copy you and make some of these for Amelia's new room, and for the new baby once he/she comes along! Cute, cute, CUTE!

Laurel MacD said...

My brother has a baby girl, that I need to give a gift to - this is adorable. I think I'll make some for us too!

Shannon said...

Those are so cute!!! I might have to do this!

Caitlin said...

oooh! I love this! I am going to steal it for my next shower gift! Thanks!!

BurttBunch said...

Ok...I need your craftiness! HOW CUTE! And what a great idea! I love your blog...keep sharing your ideas.

Saucy said...

Mod Podge, how I love you Mod Podge. Marry me.

Valarie said...

Very cute, this is such a wonderful idea :)

Erin said...

These are so so cute! What a great idea to give as a gift. I am having so much fun looking at other people's ideas for Christmas!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Those blocks are just too precious! What a great baby gift. There's nothing better in my book than a handcrafted, from the heart gift.

p.s. Found you through Just a Girl...love your blog!

Heather said...

These are so sweet! I'm sure your niece will love them.

sandra/tx said...

What a sweet idea. You could make these for all sorts of occasions, too.

Astrid said...

Very pretty! I really love that paper you used!

Mindy said...

These are a great idea. My 4 year old loves finding the letters in his name. Or wait! You could make ones that said Joy or peace or...can you tell I'm excited?

Lorie said...

So cute! And I think I have most of the stuff I need to make those!

VintageChicChick said...

Visiting from the I can make that! Party. Love this craft! So neat! Love it! Also love your blog... I noticed you are homeschooling. I was homeschooled K-12!

Jessica said...

How cute, I love them. Thanks for sharing so we can all enjoy them.

Cassie said...

I saw you from Just a Girl. This is such a good idea, and would be so cute for a baby shower gift!

Tolentreasures said...

Amber, I love this project, think I have some of those blocks stashed somewhere, what a great idea!

Cathy

jennifer@love,laughter,and lyrics said...

so I did this one for my new baby's room, but couldn't wrap my baby brain around how to do the letters for the blocks. Hooray for you! I'm finishing them today!

Tamara Jansen said...

So many creative ways to use scrapbook paper :)

Michelle@Everyday Celebrating said...

Those are adorable!

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

You really did a good job. I just love Mod Podge, it too has been a good friend of mine! Big smile!
Blessings,
Debbie

AndreaLeigh said...

Very cute! I never would have thought of this.

Beth said...

This is SO great! I have seen neat letters for sale, but most of the time you have to take the sayings THEY have. I want my OWN! cute blog...

Karyn said...

Looove these!

Mimi Sue said...

So very cute. Mimi

bretsgirl said...

I just made these for my neice!! It was so easy and so much fun! I will hopefully have a picture on my blog in the next few days.
Thanks for sharing this!