Before there was pinterest - how did I survive?! - I ineffectively bookmarked ideas on my browser. I can't even find the original post I used any more since I made these before I started blogging, but it showed how to make handmade customized toy blocks using stickers and mod podge. The tutorial showed cutting up a 2x4 for the blocks. Not having the tools or wanting to buy a 2x4, I thought I would swing by SCRAP in Portland and test my luck in being able to pick up scrap wood for cheap. Lo and behold, I came away with all this for only a couple bucks. (If you live near Portland, Oregon you must go check out SCRAP on NE MLK out because it can be a gold mine for crafts as well as kid projects. They have a great mission, too!)
|Isn't that wooden spool awesome?|
I went to Michels to look at stickers. I was drawn to an under the sea themed sheet and so I went with it. I gathered various other supplies from SCRAP (scraps of felt, googly eyeballs, mirrors) and fabric, ribbon and paint from my craft stash to create the blocks.
First, paint your blocks (if you wish) and allow to dry completely. Then, plan out your scenes, or at least where you want to place each sticker, so you use them all. I did this by cutting the sticker sheet up and laying them out on the blocks before actually peeling the stickers off and sticking them onto the painted wood.
Once you decide where you want them to go, place them as you wish, mod podging over them. I was worried about my 3D parts of the stickers, but after 2-3 coats of mod podge, they were down solid. (And in fact, are still holding up to this day.) Ready to be bombarded by pictures? Here's all the sides of the blocks!
I used sand paper for the sand (mod podged over it) and cut the felt out to make the fish and seaweed, plus a googly eye!
This is one block, all 6 sides.
Here are all four sides of the long, skinny block. I used more sand paper covered in mod podge under the crabs and some white puffy paint for the waves above the turtle and whale.
Next is the front and back of one of the square blocks and the circular block. Those last two words are too much of an oxymoron, but I'm not quite sure how else to describe it since I don't think of them as cylinders, which I guess technically they are, just very shallow.
I covered one block with fabric, super gluing it on. This didn't work too incredibly well, so I wouldn't recommend it for a whole set, but cute enough for one.
You can't see in the picture below, but I had 3 small circular blocks/cylinders/whatever with little holes in the middle, so I painted them and ran a ribbon through them, tying it together.
I used a large recycled almond tin to hold all the blocks and spray painted it before wrapping a ribbon around it.
That's it! I did this project over a few nights, so as to allow proper drying time for the paint and mod podge. The tutorial I looked at did not paint the wood or make little scenes like I did. She just put one sticker per block, which works if that is what you want or don't have enough time to make little scenes. These really are super easy, slightly time consuming, mostly due to waiting for paint (if you use it) and mod podge to dry, but so worth it because they are one of a kind! I want to make another set! So many possibilities...other animals, seasons, food, letters, people.
This post is linked up to some of the parties listed under my Show & Tell tab at the top of the page.