Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Love" the blocks!

Here's the next easy Valentine's project...

The only hard part with this one is all of the painting and Mod Podging--it takes some time. I went with red because it's a color I love. I was a little worried about the scrapbook papers not matching, but I actually love the way these turned out. I love the plain ones, but I have included some ways you can embellish your blocks if you want to add a little more bling. I see letter blocks all over for just about every occasion, but this is my take on it for Valentine's Day.
Materials:
  • 4 blocks cut from a 2x4 in the following heights:
          L--6 inches
          O--3 inches
          V--5 inches
          E--4 inches
  • 4 different scrapbook papers cut about 2 3/4 inches wide and the following heights:
           L--5 1/2 inches
           O-- 2 1/2 inches
           V--4 1/2 inches
           E--3 1/2 inches
  • lettering L O V and E--I used cream colored cardstock
  • red craft paint
  • Mod Podge
  • distressing ink in a dark brown color
  • brayer
  • sponge brushes
  • sand paper 80 grit and 150 grit
Instructions:
Using 80 grit sandpaper, sand the cut edges of your blocks so they aren't sharp or splinter-y. Switch to 150 grit and sand the whole block so it is smooth.

Paint your blocks red. Remember red usually takes more paint than other colors. I painted 3 coats on these instead of my usual 2 coats. I also covered the entire block even though I am going to cover most of one block face. It is just easier as far as I am concerned.

Use distressing ink to ink the edges of your scrapbook paper. Glue the scrapbook paper on using Mod Podge. I use a pretty thick coat and then use a brayer to smooth out any air bubbles. Using the brayer will also squish the excess glue out the sides and it is easy to smooth out with a sponge brush. I always let it dry for about an hour because I want it really dry before I coat the paper with Mod Podge. Otherwise, it has a tendency to bubble or ripple.

I used cardstock for my lettering. After I cut it out, I used distressing ink to add some depth. Be patient on this one--it is kind of tedious to ink all of those curvy edges. Next, I ran the letters through my sticker machine to make them adhesive. This is a lot quicker and easier than glue when there are lots of tiny details or pieces like the letter "L", but you can also Mod Podge the letters as well. Adhere each letter onto the scrapbook paper which is glued to the block.

Paint your blocks with a thin layer of Mod Podge. I painted the front and two sides, let it dry and then did the back and the other two sides. I did three layers of Mod Podge so the blocks are covered and sealed well.

When storing letter blocks after the holiday, I always wrap them individually in plastic grocery sacks (which also won't stick to the block). The few times I haven't, things have stuck together by the next year when I take them out of storage. Mod Podge cures as times goes on, but it takes at least a month so I like to play it safe.

9 comments:

Cheryl,  said... January 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

I looooove the blocks. The "non embellished" are my favorite!! Really cute!! So talented!

Two Shades of Pink,  said... January 15, 2010 at 2:20 PM  

I. L.O.V.E. These. Blocks. Seriously girl, you are good. But I have a question. What do you do if you don't have the means to cut out the blocks. Can you get ones different sizes that are not too expensive. Wood blocks are just never on the radar for me but I MUST DO THIS PROJECT!!!!! Where have I been? And where have you been my crafty kin twin?

Sheri,  said... January 16, 2010 at 7:35 PM  

These are very cute! I did one with the letters "J-O-Y" for Christmas. I didn't want to do "valentine," but I really like the idea of "love." I've posted a link on childmade.com. Now I'm off to the garage to cut some wood... Thanks for sharing!

Shannon,  said... January 17, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

The blocks are adorable. Now I just a reason to celebrate Valentine's Day!

Christina Tarbet and family,  said... January 18, 2010 at 11:06 PM  

Super cute! I am glad you got your blog up and running. . . and doesn't Lowes and Home Depot cut wood to sizes when you go buy lumber if you don't have the means to cut?? I have had them cut wood before but I have never had them do small blocks. Might be something to look into.

gina,  said... January 22, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

LOVE these blocks- especially the ones without the embellishments! So cool.

Julie Bagamary,  said... January 27, 2010 at 7:24 AM  

These are so cute. I'm thinking it might work with some small gift boxes too?

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