Saturday, November 22, 2008


Here's something we've been working on for a little friend.And in case you're interested, a short "how we did it" tutorial.

I got the idea of painted blocks from Full Circle. Beautiful!
I added to the idea by putting a picture on two sides of the blocks, one a pirate scene, and one a treasure map of the Spanish Main.
Another set of blocks is going to a cousin, and I am considering doing a "match game" on his - little pictures of kitties, puppies, ducks, trucks, airplanes (etc) on one side of his blocks for a memory game.
Both will be in cloth bags, of course, a pretty one for the baby, and a piratical one for our friend.
(I'll post pictures of the bags when they're done. They'll be draw-string bags.

It only takes blocks (I got one inch blocks at the craft store), paints, a sponge applicator or paint brush, sealant, and a picture if you'd like.

First decide how many blocks you'd like to make. I opted for ten for the baby and sixteen for our friend (so that it forms a square).
I painted the first side on all of them one color, and then a similar color on the opposite side (light green and yellow, light blue and dark blue, orange and red). I placed them on a side that hadn't been painted yet to dry them. of course.
After three coats (or more if a particular block needed it), I sealed the two colors with modge podge.
After two coats, and when they were completely dry (I think I waited over night at this point), I began the next colors.
To keep tidy the sides I had already painted, I wiped off the edges with a damp paper towel. Since they had been sealed, clean-up was easy. You could try tape also, protecting the sealed sides, but the corners of the blocks might be imperfect, so the tape might not work.
When all the blocks were finished, and before I sealed the last two colors I found the pictures I wanted to use.
I saved them, and edited them to 3.7 inches on the longest side, as my blocks made 4.0 inches total.

I put them together as compactly as possible, and laid the front of my picture over the blocks, so that I could mark the back side.Since there is a tiny bit of space between the blocks, once you make your first mark, scoot your paper the tiniest bit (like a millimeter) so that your line lines up with the beginning of the next row. It's not a big difference, but if you don't allow for the space between the blocks then your squares might be a touch too big, and you'll use a millimeter or so of your picture. Which might matter on a detailed picture.
After that I cut up my pieces, and arranged them on the blocks. I put on a coat of modge podge one block at a time and then placed the picture exactly where I wanted it. When I got done with the set, I put on more coats to seal it.
'Tis done then, eh?Here's the Pirate bag - burlap with a map print cotton lining.
And this one's for the smaller tot.


  1. Hello, I just recently found your blog and have been enjoying it.These blocks are so much fun. My granddaughters, 5 years and 16 months live in Anchorage, we are in Washington, for Valentines day this year, I made each of them a memory block like yours, but I used pictures of me with one of the girls on one side of theirs and on the other side one of them with their grampa. I only did two sides on each set, the five year old really likes hers, we'll see what the toddler thinks in a few years, at the time I didn't think to take pictures and was only able to find one other post on the web with the idea, so nice to see others now. I am making a memory game with family pictures on chip board.
    Thank you for sharing

  2. Thanks, Connie.
    I'm sure your grandbabes (the youngest too) will cherish them!
    I know I would, had my Grandma made them for me.
    Thanks for the compliment.

  3. Thanks Wendy!
    And thanks for leaving a comment.
    I do love them so. :)

  4. So that's what you were making:) They turned out great! I know he will absolutely love it!

  5. Love this idea too. :) The name blocks I made a few years ago are still favorites - puzzles/pictures and more in custom blocks! So smart! :)


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!