Saturday, January 14, 2012

Custom Name Blocks

Shauna and I had been looking for a neato way to decorate her mantle for Thanksgiving (she was hosting for the first time ever – and did a fantastic job) and she really wanted some sort of thing that said “give thanks”. 

We searched and searched – to no avail.  Enter (smitten sigh)… I just adored the cute little block sets, with customizable text and colors, and it got me thinking: “We could TOTALLY make those!” 
So, Thanksgiving came and went… why is it that time seems to practically evaporate around the holidays???  - and no blocks were created.  I did, however come up with the bright idea to make Emma Elizabeth (my niece) some blocks as a Christmas present…
Emma Elizabeth is two years old and I thought this could also be a creative way to help her learn to recognize the letters in her name – the day she was born I lovingly looked at her in my arms and promised: “Auntie will help you learn to spell your [very long] name.”.  I decided I would make “EMMA” on the top individual blocks and “ELIZABETH” on the bottom single block.  I also decided that I would not glue the top blocks down, then she would be able to move them around and put her name in the correct order!
I decided on a color scheme that matched her bedroom; lilac, green and a touch of pink.  I had a 2x4 cut into the blocks I needed – waaaay less expensive than ordering the blocks online. 

Then I painted the top blocks the lilac purple.  It took a couple of coats, and a lot of in-between time waiting for them to dry, but I used the down time to cut out the letters and flowers on my Cricut machine.  I added an eyelet to the center of the flower for a little extra cuteness!

I had originally thought I would just clue the letter directly to the blocks, but I really liked the way the letters looked on top of alternating cardstock. – What can I say; I like glitter… the more the better!  It took a couple extra layers of modgepodge, but I made it work… kinda freaked out when the paper started to curl up under the weight of the modgepodge, but it flattened out as it started to dry.

The top blocks used up all of my lilac paint, so I had to improvise and paint the bottom block a solid white.  Desperation gives way to creativity.  The green paper I used was 12 x 12 and didn’t fit on the blocks – enter some more creativity… I punched out a square from the pink glitter paper and stuck one on either side of the block – problem solved.

Then it was just a matter of putting it all together:  more modgepodge, in-between time, and patience (I fail miserably being patient, like usual).

The end result isn’t perfect, but I thought it turned out pretty cute.   Emma Elizabeth was NOT in the mood to have her picture taken and could have cared less about it, but Nate sure liked playing with the blocks!

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