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Here's how you can use pine offcuts to craft an educational toy for a young child. These colourful chalkboard blocks can be used in so many ways.

I was sorting through the offcuts looking for project ideas and was presented with some cans of chalkboard spray paint in wonderful pastel colours. I decided to make coloured blocks that could be used in different ways as an educational toy for a young child to learn abc's and counting.

Step 1:

The square blocks were made using scraps of 44 x 44mm pine. I cut 20 blocks in total. The 20 x 67mm pine frame was cut to fit around the blocks, leaving a few millimetres of wiggle room to be able to remove and put back the blocks easily. Because the frame is wider than the blocks, I used one block to mark where to add the base, so that it would lift up the blocks to the height of the top of the frame.

I used my table router and a straight cutting bit to cut a slot in the frame where the base will be fitted. If you don't have a router you can cut the base to the exact size and use steel angle braces to hold the base in place.

Attach one end piece to the sides and leave one end open to slip in the masonite / hardboard base.

With the base fitted you can attach the remaining end. Make sure that the screws are recessed slightly to allow you to add wood filler and cover up. Once dry, sand the wood filler smooth. Fill the holes on the sides (from the slots) by mixing together some sawdust and wood glue. Sand smooth when dry.

Sand the edges of the blocks so that they are rounded and nice and smooth. You will also want to round off the edges of the pine frame, either with a sander or by hand. Wipe clean to remove any dust.

Spray the blocks with three coats of paint, with drying time between each coat. The box frame was painted with Rust-Oleum 2X semi-gloss white spray paint.

Spray outdoors or in a well ventilated space and shake the can well before and during use.

Pop onto www.Home-Dzine.co.za for more easy craft ideas.

<p>That's a very neat idea. Could also be used to make game boards that mutate during play, and could even help with prototyping. Very cool idea with a lot of mileage...</p>
<p>really nice idea</p>

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