Monday, September 27, 2010

Homemade Wooden Blocks Set

  1. My MIL picked up a bag of "kindling" off-cuts that happened to be rather uniform. (Want some? One SK reader picked her's up for $3 from Bunnings - see the comments for details!)
  2. She gave them to me.
  3. Giddy, I laid out potential clothing for these naked timber cubes.
  4. Settling on the alphabet for two cube faces, for certain, I stuck on my capital and lower case letters.
  5. The next potential dressing to make the cut - perfectly-sized square-shaped stickers I picked up on sale in a pick-and-mix style pack.
  6. I put two of each sticker on the block set, making 13 matching pairs. I couldn't resist making the letters marry up when I could (see image above).
  7. So that these matching pairs could serve as a rudimentary game of "Memory," I selected a relatively plain pattern to adorn the opposite face of the paired images, and cut a sheet of it up into squares slightly smaller than the cube's face.
  8. With two cube faces remaining, I decided one face should assemble to form one or multiple completed puzzles. I'd fallen in love with a couple I'd seen online, of late - Stella's set being the latest object of my affections. The images initially selected (second image) as candidates for this higher purpose were eliminated early in the game, as the heavyweight card of the DaVinci print didn't glue well, and the photopaper of the rowboats image presented similar challenges.
  9. I am so happy with the two images I did end up cutting for this higher calling. The first came from a soiled copy of Ukranian folktale The Mitten (Alvin Tresselt) I picked up from Sallies for 10 cents. Some pages of Yaroslava's beautiful illustrations were unharmed, including this one:
  10. The second was from the front of a card my midwife sent with my blood test form;
  11. I wanted the final "game" built into the block-set to involve lining all the blocks up in a long row to create a path, and so I drew a changing line from beginning to end.
  12. Time to glue! I used Mod Podge (gloss finish), and was sure to leave two sides of the block unpainted for each glue cycle (so the blocks wouldn't stick to the surface they were drying on).
  13. After two coats of glue, I did a third coat of clear gloss paint (from Mitre 10 Mega) - which gives a finish pretty much identical to Mod Podge...but for much cheaper.
  14. That's 156 cube faces with features added and three coats of pure love (in six glue/paint sessions).
Esky approves.
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