Monday, November 7, 2011

Baby block and Martha Stewart

Back story: Some friends of ours recently gave birth to a new baby boy.  They asked hubby and me to be godparents for the little bundle.  Needless to say, we were ecstatic!  When I was a baby, my Nana made me this awesome cross stitched picture that hung on my wall my whole childhood.  It had my full name, my birth date and time, and my weight at birth.  I loved that thing, because who else knew the exact time they were born?  I am sure records like that are filed away for every baby, but I had an easily accessible record of it that I looked at all the time.  In that spirit, I decided to make a record for our godson.  But cross stitching requires me to find a pattern, and I really wanted something unique.  Enter Martha Stewart.

Disclaimer: I loathe Martha Stewart.  She is irritating and self righteous and never shuts up.  As off-putting as she is, however, I love the creativity of the guests on her show.  If she ever actually let them talk, we may learn how to do something!  I cannot stand watching the show, but I recently discovered that all the projects they do on the show they have written instructions for on the website.  It even has video clips from the show so you can see it being done!  Which means I can FAST FORWARD through Martha, or even choose not to watch her at all, while still getting all the great craft tutorials!  Hooray!  A while back she had a guest who made baby blocks out of a block of wood, paint, paper, and mod podge.  Hers came out all vintage-y and in my opinion, hideous.  I loved the idea, however, and decided that was perfect for my baptism project.

In case you were unaware, blocks have 6 sides, so I needed 6 sides worth of content for the block.  I was certain I wanted 1. Baby's Full Name, 2. Baby's Birth Date (would have put time, too but the parents didn't know), and 3. Baby's Weight and Length at Birth.  I also had a few ideas for optional panels like 4. Baby's Parents' Full Names and Big Brother's Full Name, 5. Baby's Baptism Date (Since this is a godparent gift)
6. Godparents' names, 7. Bible verse for Baptism, 8. Birthplace, 9. Photo of him at birth or family photo.

So I have a lot of ideas...  Maybe I should make 2 blocks...

Items Needed:
1 (or 2!) Small Wooden Blocks - you can make them out of a 4x4 if you want, or buy at Michaels
Fine Sandpaper
Paint in a color(s) of your choice
Paint Brushes

Optional (you will need at least some of these, but which is up to you):
Paint Pens
Scrapbooking or other decorative paper
Shellac spray
Mod Podge

Step 1:
Sand the edges and corners of the wooden block lightly with the sandpaper.  This helps keep sharp pointy things away from baby.  Rough up sides just a little if very smooth so paint will stick well.  Wipe off all sawdust with a rag (or on your jeans as I did...).

Step 2:
Paint the block.  You can paint each side a different color or paint the whole thing one color, or any combo thereof.  Just be aware that this step will take some time because you must let the block dry before painting the bottom.  You can skip this step or use a stain if you prefer the natural look of wood.  Just use shellac to topcoat to protect the wood.

Step 3:
Decorate the block however you like.  Use stickers, paper, draw with the paint pens, do what you feel!  I used a printer to print out all the info in a pretty font on some scrapbook paper which I cut to size.  I also cut out his initial in cool paper to put on the "top" of the block.  However, I had ideas to put on stickers, cutouts of animals, use paint pens to "doodle" on the sides, and many other things.

Step 4:
Coat the block with a clear shellac or mod podge to seal it. You can choose not to put a topcoat on the block depending on what you have decided to do to it (if all you did was paint, it probably doesn't need a top coat).  Just make sure whatever is used is NON TOXIC.  Although these aren't meant as toys necessarily, they will probably end up in baby's mouth just like everything else and not every sealant is safe for them (shellac and mod podge are both non toxic).  Make sure the surface you dry your block on is not made of paper or cardboard or it will end up with bits of paper stuck to it.  I put mine on the mod podge container to dry.  As with the paint, you can't do all sides at once so leave some extra time.

upside down and NOT touching the paper!  Its on the mod podge lid. I later realized I had to put the lid back on the container, which I did with some difficulty... :-)

Bottom Line:
1 4"x4" (or any size, really) wooden block (from Michael's) = $3.50
small bottle of craft paint (I reused from the fabric painting project) = ~$2
2 sheets of scrapbook paper (didn't use it all, also leftovers) = $.40
Pack of Paint pens = $5
Fine grain sandpaper = $2
Mod podge (I used what I already had) = $6
Shellac spray = $5

Total time = less than 2 hours, not including dry time
Total cost (will depend on which of the above things you use) = about $20 startup, but for just materials you need, about $5.

I loved this project and totally want to do more.  I think I will try ordering some smaller blocks from a shop I found on Etsy.  Those look easier to handle by little hands.  I want to do non personalized ones with alphabet themes or bright colors for learning.  Maybe I will make some to sell at an upcoming craft fair?

No comments:

Post a Comment