I love wooden blocks. That’s an understatement. I LOVEEEEEEE!!!! wooden blocks. Soo much potential for all kinds of fun and imagination. A few years ago my oldest daughter’s art teacher brought some blocks to class. Those wonderful Melissa and Doug wooden blocks. But her blocks were extra special, she had decoupaged images from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection on to the blocks. I was totally inspired. After class I ran all over the museum grabbing brochures and purchased a ton of postcards and even a cool little inexpensive guide book to cut pictures out of. I found a few other favorite images online and printed them out to use as well. My mom was very generous and purchased a block set for Fiona for an upcoming holiday and I got to work decorating blocks so she could have a beautiful set as a gift. She loved them. We like to use the plastic animals with these when we are playing with them. Fiona builds them little houses (and Lexi knocks them down).
But it didn’t stop there. I still had pictures I wanted to put on blocks and I also thought of how amazing it would be to scan some of Fiona’s artwork, print it out, and decoupage it to a block. I just couldn’t see trying to fund a whole new set of blocks. So I decided to make my own. My wonderful, and very patient, husband helped me search for a place to buy quality wood (not Home Depot lumber) to cut into blocks. Once that was settled, he helped me work the router to give them smooth edges, and then I cut the wood to the lengths I wanted, and sanded the edges smooth. I was very pleased. An important finishing touch for all the blocks was to spray a few layers of clear spray paint over the images after they are decoupaged on. I discovered pretty quickly after making the original set that they stick together, the spray paint prevents the tacky decoupage paste from sticking to itself.
In addition to printing out Fiona’s art work, I also made some blocks featuring pictures of the with alphabet letters that spell out their names. On the backs are more samples of Fiona’s art work. I’m still waiting for Lexi to do more drawings, although she has been much more interested in coloring lately.
The clear blocks, filled with fun items, I found at discount school supply. They are tons of fun too. Fiona and I had fun looking for fun objects to put in them.
We use these blocks everywhere, inside-outside. They are so beautiful and I feel they make playing more visually appealing than plain wooden blocks.
Also please don’t mind our lack of baseboard molding in the background of some of the pictures, we’re still working on getting our home back together after the foundation work earlier this summer.