Instructables

Make Designer-Style Baby Blocks

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Picture of Make Designer-Style Baby Blocks
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Materials:
Square wooden blocks
Lots of scrapbook paper
Mod-Podge adhesive
Foam brush
Medium/fine and fine grit sand paper
Large ruler
Pencil
Waxed paper

Optional: Paint or wood stain

I have seen baby blocks like these for sale for more than $20 for sets of 6-9. Every time I see them I think, "Awwwww!" and then I think, "I could do that!" I'm sure you can, too.
 
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Step 1: Sand the blocks

Picture of Sand the blocks
If you are super crafty with hand tools, you can make the blocks yourself (see: http://www.instructables.com/id/Build_Blocks/). I'm not too good with powertools and wood, so I bought mine at a crafts store.

Sand the corners of the blocks with medium/fine-grit paper until they are nice and soft and you wouldn't mind your little kiddo handling them. Give the faces of the blocks a little rub, too, to get the store-bought feel off (and maybe the sticky stuff from the price tags).

At this point, you can paint or stain the blocks to give them a different look. Let them dry for at least several hours before continuing.

Step 2: Mark a grid on the back of the paper

Picture of Mark a grid on the back of the paper
Pencil in a grid on the back of the scrapbook paper, 1/4" smaller than your blocks. I am using 2" blocks, so I made a 1 3/4" grid with 1/2" margins. I only need 36 squares (6 blocks x 6 faces) and I have nine pieces of paper, so I really don't need more than about one row.
tim_n2 years ago
What on earth is mod podge?
If you're a weekend warrior in crafting, you can stain one weekend, and modpodge the next, and the blocks would have a full 5 days to dry/cure. And although I like modpodge, with something kids are likely to put in their mouths (because that's what kids do), I'd put a couple coats of ordinary varnish on top of everything. It doesn't darken with age, it cleans up with ammonia or rubbing alcohol, and the dried finish is non-toxic and hypoallergenic.

(The can I use only says ammonia for cleanup, but several websites suggested rubbing alcohol and I had that, tried it, and have been successful, while saving money.) Cost for varnish would only add $12-15 for a quart, which would last a long time, plus you could use it to refinish a cutting board.
How long does it take the modge podge to dry? And the acrylic sealer?
Hellgamatic4 years ago
I have those rubbermaid containers too! I also use them for crafting...they're ridiculously small for any food items I might want to store. The package came with like 900 of the little tiny ones, so I have them full of beads, clays, buttons, eyelets, ribbon scraps, glues...the craft-storage-possibilities are endless!
These are so cute. I'd like to make them but I can't find non-toxic acrylic sealer anywhere.
ChrysN5 years ago
Those are really pretty!
karenelisam (author)  ChrysN5 years ago
Thanks! I enjoyed making them.