Here is a fun tutorial and story from my sister who made this set of Alphabet blocks for her soon to be born baby…..boy or girl, we’re not sure yet! After making them, she discovered that they are the perfect do it yourself baby gift for those who don’t yet know if they are having a boy or girl and also for those who already seem to have “everything”.
To begin, one of my friends shared with me a photo of some alphabet blocks that she was going to purchase. Then she mentioned that she had painted some of her own in the meantime to spell out her soon-to-be son’s name. That triggered a thought for me, why don’t I make my own blocks. How hard can it be?
It wasn’t difficult by any means, but finding the inspiration took time. I stumbled upon some online nursery pictures that included pictures of alphabet blocks that were homemade. This led me to the Questionable Domestique’s blog who offers a free printable PDF file of the images to put on the blocks. So I thought, “Perfect, my job is done!”
Next I had to get my husband on board to help me purchase the wood and cut it. I had no desire to lose any fingers, since the last time I cut any wood was in Design and Tech class when I was 12 years old! He agreed, and eventually we went to buy the wood. All I needed was 3×3 wood. We picked up a nice long piece of pine for the blocks and brought it home.
The next step, get my sister to bring her paper cutter to help me cut up the images I had printed on card stock. That took some time to do to ensure they were all cut nicely. I could have used a ruler and a sharp pair of scissors, but I thought a paper cutter would save me time and yield better looking cutouts.
I brought the cut outs home…only to discover they were just a tad long on one side!! So I said to my husband, this wood is not 3×3, we NEED 3×3 wood. And the search began. All of the stores said they don’t carry it. But my husband told me not to worry and he would get the wood for me. And he did.
So you know that ‘baby brain’ phenomenon that is supposed to plague all pregnant women? Well, clearly it got me. Since I kept telling my husband that we needed 3 inch by 3 inch blocks that’s what he got me. Too bad what I really wanted was 2 inch by 2 inch blocks. Don’t get me wrong, they look great, they just weren’t the size I had expected. And as a result I had to resize the images and recut all of the paper.
So that’s the entire story on my 3″ x 3″ blocks. And below is how you can make your very own set!
DIY Wooden Alphabet Block Instructions:
Wood – 2 inch x 2 inch – natural (not pressure treated)
Paper Cutter or a pair of scissors
Card stock – white
Scrapbook paper – your choice of patterns
Mod Podge -Hard Coat – for wood
1. Have the wood cut into the 2 inch x 2 inch blocks. Sand any rough edges.
2. Print out the PDF file from the Questionable Domestique- Here
3. Cut images out using paper cutter for straightest lines……scissors are fine if you don’t have a paper cutter. Use scissors or paper punch for rounded corners.
4. Cut 52 squares of scrapbook paper at 1.75 inch x 1.75 inch. These are for the other sides of the blocks. Notice that I sized the paper down so that there would be a wooden edged background, but if you want to cover the entire surface then cut the squares the exact surface size of the block.
5. I used scrapbook paper from a Martha Stewart paper pad and alphabet cut-out stickers that I found at my local scrapbooking store. You can also use a Cricut to cut out the letters you want at the right size, font and on whichever paper you like.
6. Create a working surface for yourself. You need enough space so the blocks aren’t touching one another during the drying process.
7. Start Mod Podging your cut-outs according to the package directions. I used a sponge brush to apply the glue. It’s important that you ensure each surface is properly adhered, and don’t rush the drying time. I did rush to apply my second coat, which I think was also too thick and ended up with some bubbling. So take your time! And use thin coats!
8. Have fun!