Monday, March 15, 2010

Family Blocks


Since my husband and I's families both live out of town, I try to show Jayce pictures and talk about our family members regularly, so that when we do get to see them he has some idea of who they are. I saw this great article about blocks here, and decided that I would make Jayce some family blocks.

I started off with a piece of poplar wood from Lowes, 36” by 1 1/2” by 1 1/2” for $5. Luckily, one of our friends has a power saw and cut the wood into 1 1/2” blocks for me. They splintered a bit in the cutting process, but it was no problem since I was covering up the sides anyway, and I ended up with 18 blocks. (I saw some 2” blocks at Michaels the other day for $.99 a piece, so I saved $13 doing it this way!)2010_01_08_5689

I Mod Podged scrapbook paper onto 4 sides of each block, trimmed the excess paper and then sanded the edges off. I think this little detail (the sanding) made all of the difference in the world. I love how the rounded edges look kind of worn and vintage. 2010_01_16_5841

I printed pictures of each of the family members, printed corresponding names, and then Mod Podged these to the backs of the blocks. Here is our little family stack.

Us Picnik collageI gave each nuclear family a different pattern of scrapbook paper, because I wanted to give Jayce another way to see which family members go together.

Golden Girl Picnik collage For the couples, I used a picture of the two people together, and just cut them apart. This was the easiest way of making sure that each person’s head was roughly the same size, and the backgrounds matched a bit too.

Golden Picnik collage Jayce’s unmarried aunts had the same scrapbook paper as their parents. I don’t think that I’ll make new blocks once they get married, and since both just turned 20, I won’t need to worry about that too soon.

Keith collage

That said, I do plan on updating this middle block once our little niece is born, able to be photographed, and a name is decided upon. For now, I just left the picture and name sides blank.

Mo Picnik collage As I was making the blocks I was so excited about them and slightly bummed that they would inevitably end up strewn around the house, so I decided to make myself a little family set to play decorate with. I used a more adult style scrapbook paper and printed the picture in black and white.


Once everything was glued on, I Mod Podged the whole thing with a matte finish to seal it. I’m glad that I decided to do this step, because one of the blocks ended up in a cup of water shortly after Jayce was done playing. I guess they do look a little bit like ice cubes. But the paper and photo were completely unaffected by the water.

Jayce loves these! We build houses and choo choos, we count them, we talk about family, and in no time we will be learning about spelling too!

I'm linking this to the CSI Project.




Jessica March 15, 2010 at 6:26 AM  

Erin, I think these are great! What a wonderful gift or cute decoration. Can't wait to try them out!

Jess March 15, 2010 at 7:34 AM  

These are great!!!

Cindy Sue March 15, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

Oh my gosh, these are fantastic! I have two large round glass jars/canisters, one on top of each pier of the entertainment center, and have thought about painting those smooth Styrofoam round balls a worn/antique looking beige then painting numbers in black on them to fill the jars. But NOW I can do these as well in much the same style, using black and white pictures. THANKS!!!

Kaysi March 15, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

Those are so fun!

TBonesMom March 15, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

Yet another adorable Lemon Tree Creation!

Kim -today's creative blog March 15, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

Hey girls, I didn't get to you before you saw your feature on Today's Creative Blog. Email me for your featured button.

bliss March 15, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

Erin these are great! One of my nephew's 3rd birthday is coming up, do you think he's too old for something like this? If so I've got another one that just a month old, so I can always save it for him. ;) This project is almost as impressive as you posting this at 6AM!!!

Sparky March 15, 2010 at 10:42 AM  

oHh Dolls, what a lovely idea...I am a new follower and I am placing you on my blog would be certainly a hit...
blessings madame samm

Katie March 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

Great idea, I've seen decoupaged blocks where they spell out words and love this twist with family photos and names. Made my daughter a family book with an inexpensive 1 UP photo album but love the more hands on format of these.

Kristin March 15, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

Love these! So cute!

The Fear Fam March 15, 2010 at 12:59 PM  

Came over from Today's Creative Blog. What a great idea, and what a wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing your creativity!

Cami March 15, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

I'm glad Today's Creative Blog found you for us! Love all your projects!

Sara March 15, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

Fun idea for a gift or little hands to play with.

Debbie @ OtRD March 15, 2010 at 3:30 PM  

What a great idea! They are just beautiful and would be great for a little kid or even just for decoration! Just found your blog featured on Today's Creative Blog. Good stuff here!

Haidee March 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

LIKE the blocks!!!!!! I have to do this!!!!

melissa March 16, 2010 at 8:10 AM  

What an adorable yet practical idea. I love stuff that is handy, looks great, and serves a purpose and these can be fun for everyone! Thanks for sharing!

Deanna March 16, 2010 at 2:45 PM  

I, too, meant to do these before xmas!!
But I thought I could recycle some kid wooden blocks. I spray painted them and then started choosing photos and that is where i stopped.

You have moticated me to try again! Thanks!!

Morgan//Nuts and Bows March 16, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

This is so fun! I just love it, what a creative idea!!


avisiontoremember March 16, 2010 at 11:08 PM  

That is super cute :) That is such a great idea for those family members that do not live close by. I would love for you to come and link up to check me out saturdays at

Unknown March 17, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

Oh, I love these! I'm inspired!

Jenny March 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

hehe that's so cute :D

Helena March 17, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

Oh, these are adorable.

Thank you for linking this up to A Little Craft Therapy, with Life in the Pitts.

Tina @ March 17, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

These are so cute! I've been wanting to make puzzle blocks, but I like these better. I'm getting right on top of this one. Thanks!

Debra March 17, 2010 at 7:03 PM  

Really cute! I love the family blocks you tied up together.

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans March 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

these blocks are so cute! I love them! : )

Jaime March 18, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

These are so cute! I have to make them. If i do i will link to you on my blog. Thanks for the great idea.

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden March 18, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

They are so cute and that is such a great idea to help little ones recognize and remember out of town loved ones!

Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours Day at My Backyard Eden!

Robyn March 19, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

I love this! I've done this before as a b-day present but I really like how you matched specific paper to a particular famiy...brilliant!

TidyMom March 19, 2010 at 9:14 AM  

I love it!! What a GREAT idea!!

Thanks for linking up! Have a GREAT weekend!

Amy @ Positively Splendid March 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

These are too cute! What a great idea to keep kiddos connected to relatives who live far away.

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} March 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

I LOVE this!!! I've been trying to figure out where to buy those blocks. Duh! Make your own!! Thanks so much for sharing!

I'm visiting from I'm Lovin' It Fridays. :)

- Michele

Alison @ Oopsey Daisy March 19, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

Wow, these are darling! What a good way to remember family members who are far away. Great work!


Stacey @ Fun to Craft March 19, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

I love these!! They are so fun and could be made to fit in with any decor. Thanks for sharing at Spring has Sprung at Fun to Craft. Feel free to stop by the party again!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ March 20, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

This is a great idea. I like it better than picture frames. Unique!
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Diane Schmidt March 22, 2010 at 2:34 AM  

very cute, I love wood blocks!

Andy Porter March 23, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

I love how personal they are! So cute!

Mander April 17, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

I have no idea how I ran across your blog, but this is one of the cutest ideas ever.

anne February 22, 2011 at 5:54 PM  

This is absolutely brilliant! Great idea! I wish I had seen this post while my kids were still toddlers. They would have had such fun sorting all their family members, stacking them and then kicking them all over the living room! beautiful.

Kayla and Andrew September 5, 2011 at 2:08 AM  

Oh my gosh! Could these get any cuter?! This is an awesome idea!

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