Inspired by this tutorial and this tutorial, I was ready to tackle my own wood block art! Here’s a step-by-step plan on how you can create double the blocks for half the price without any tools.
To start this project, I ventured to Home Depot to find some wood blocks. I can handle paper crafts, spray painting, staining and all things rookie level DIY, but when DIY turns to power tools, I’m lost and extremely intimidated. I set out to Home Depot not having a clue what size wood I needed, how much wood I needed, or how the heck I was going to create wood blocks without any access to a saw. (Minor Detail… right?)
Throughout my travels, I learned that the Wood section at Home Depot contains big carts like this one in the middle of the aisle. These carts contain “scraps” of material for sale for a fraction of the cost. SCORE! When a customer buys wood, the customer has the option to get this wood cut and only purchase what is needed. The leftovers from these cuts are considered the “scraps” (or sale items). The scraps are sold for a significantly lower price. Thanks to this exploding sale cart… I found my blocks wood. On the very bottom of this cart, I found a piece of wood (2 inches x 6 inches) that I thought would be perfect for my blocks. The wood was about 3 1/2 feet long and about 2 inches thick. All you need is to find a piece of wood that is thick enough to stand up by itself after it’s cut. Beyond that requirement, the size is all up to you & your space.
Then a miracle happened. I learned that Home Depot will cut any of the wood you purchase in the store for FREE… right then, right there! I took my scrap wood, drew lines where I wanted Mr. Home Depot to cut, and I was checking out within 7 minutes. My prayers had been answered. I got my wood blocks, all for less than $5 and I didn’t have to use a power tool. Thank you, Home Depot.
Here is a closer look at the blocks I was left with. Because of the super cheap price, I ended up getting two different pieces of wood and combining the pieces to create the varying height levels. One side will say “LOVE” for Valentine’s Day and the other side will say “IRISH” for St. Patrick’s Day.
I decided to use both sides of the blocks to cut down on material costs and save some serious storage space. Plus, I won’t even have to pack these blocks away right after Valentine’s Day. I will simply flip them around and keep these suckers up for the next big day, St. Patrick’s Day. Talk about going green… it’s a win-win situation if ya ask me.
I gathered a large variation of Valentine’s inspired scrapbook paper. I liked the random variety, but if you’d rather a more uniformed, matching set… a few of the same sheets could definitely work.
I gathered some irish inspired scrapbook paper for the “IRISH” side.
I cut the paper to fit each of the the wood blocks, leaving a little frame of wood exposed on each block. I wanted a little bit of the wood block to show behind the scrapbook paper to add a little bit of extra charm (and to prove my staining steps weren’t a total waste of time). The next night, I started to stain these puppies…
For a step-by-step staining tutorial…. check out this post.
Here’s a closer look at the wood blocks before the stain. Notice that these “scraps” had some obvious imperfections, but because I planned on staining them and then covering them with paper, I was not concerned.
While I waited for these beauties to dry, I got to work on cutting out the letters for each block.
I had previously created a Microsoft Word Document that said “LOVE” and one that said “IRISH” using a few different fonts. I printed both out and cut out each letter individually. These letters became my templates, and I traced them onto the scrapbook paper.
I then simply cut on the line of each letter and what seemed to be an alphabet later… I was all set to glue!
Helpful Hint: I would suggest tracing your letters on the backside of your scrapbook paper instead of on the front side if possible. By doing this, you will avoid having to erase any of the pencil marks you miss while cutting.
I added some Mod Podge to each block and attached the first layer of paper.
I then added the letters with another layer of Mod Podge. Finally I added the last coat of Mod Podge to the TOP of the entire block. I know this goes against your better judgment… I was extremely hesitant during this step because Mod Podge does not paint on clear. The idea of painting a glue-like substance onto the top of your hand-crafted papers just doesn’t seem right, but trust me… it’s worth it. This coat will dry clear and ensure that your paper stays flat and stays stuck to your wood block for years and years to come. After all our hard work, we need these blocks to last for at least that long. Let the LOVE side dry and repeat this entire process on the IRISH side. Before long, you are all set for the next two holidays.
I added some extra ribbon but any embellishment would be the perfect finishing touch.
With a few extra accessories, I was in L.O.V.E.
After Valentine’s Day is over, I plan to flip my blocks around and enjoy them for at least another month longer. These double sided irish blocks give a whole new meaning to “going green”.