Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Reversible Holiday Blocks

 I have been asked by a number of people if I would post a "how to..." for these reversible blocks
I first posted this craft idea last year for a craft day I hosted at my house. You can find these posts here:
But to be honest I never got around to making mine until yesterday!
I know... it is about time!!!

Here goes the DIY for these great reversible blocks!


 Step 1: 
Cut your blocks
I can't remember how many we cut for the craft day, but it was A LOT! Figure how many you are making and then try and utilize the wood as best as possible. Almost all the blocks are made from 2x4's so you will just have to pull out the calculator and get to work using your awesome math skills.:)


 Step 2: 
Sand the wood
Don't skip this step. The best way to sand them is with an electric sander. The edges are not nearly as important to sand as the face of the block. Why? Because when you apply the paper, any bumps or holes in the wood will show through the paper and make it look a little funny. Also, you may find that you will need to add some wood filler to a few pieces. Those will need to be sanded flat after it drys. One of mine had wood filler and you can't even tell in the end.

Make sure after sanding that you wipe the blocks so they are free of dust for the next step...


 Step 3: 
Stain the wood
This is where most people made mistakes. And this is also where you can decide what you want to do. I used stain, but there are other options as well such as acrylic paint or spray paint. Those both dry faster if you are in a hurry. 

This is how to stain. Do yourself a favor and wear gloves... you will thank me later. I still had a bit of stain get through the gloves, but compared to what it would have been without them, it was worth the effort to put them on. :) Get an old rag or t-shirt. Dip the rag in the stain and spread. Now here is where you need to listen... DO NOT use a lot of stain! A little goes a long way and the more you soak it, the longer it takes to dry. I would spread some on and then use the other end of the rag that didn't have stain to wipe off any excess. Plus part of the beauty of staining was seeing the wood grain. If you use a lot, all you see is the dark color instead of the actual wood showing through.


 Here is another tip... you don't need to stain the whole block. I left the middles un-stained because the paper was going there anyway. Why do any extra work!?! Also the edges are very porous and so you will have to fill in the edges with more stain. This is the only place that I suggest using a good amount of stain and then blot as much off as you can. I don't know if anyone noticed, but the top block has the wood filler I was mentioning... you can see it now, but you won't be able to tell later.

Last tip for the staining... allow it to completely dry! We had those that were in a rush and went ahead without the drying time... they ended up with smeared stain all over their paper. Last night I let mine dry on the counter for an hour. I had a few minor smudges on the yellow paper... they are a couple little dots really. My suggestion is that you let them sit overnight to be safe. Those that came to the craft day during the day and let them dry in the sun had the best results.


 Step 4: Mod Podge the paper onto the blocks. I guess I should have also added to cut the paper. I bought my paper at Hobby Lobby. You will cut it a half inch shorter than your block surface. 

(Here is a little tip... measure your 2x4 before you cut the paper because they will probably not be exactly 2x4.  Mine were more like 1 and 1/2 by 3 and 1/2. So just check before you cut the paper.) 

So for instance, the large block of mine is 7in by 3 and 1/2 in... so the paper was cut to 6 and 1/2 by 3. 

Then apply the mod podge on the back of the paper. Please use the mod podge sparingly. If you have lots of clumps of glue on your paper it will make the paper warp funny. I applied a thin layer and  rubbed the paper down with a straight edge onto the block. Then I went back with the sponge brush and applied more glue on the corners and edges and pressed those down. I did not apply any mod podge on the top of the paper, only the underneath part. Be patient and it will pay off.


 Step 5: 
Apply the vinyl
We had these pre-cut from off my Silhouette Cameo. We used white, black, red, and dark green colored vinyl in a matte finish. The font I used was KG Falling Slowly from DAFONT. I just sized it to fit the blocks and cut. When applying the vinyl, try and center it as best you can on each block.



 There you have it! Let's take one more look shall we!!!



LOVE THEM!
 Hope yours turn out as well too!!! 
Happy crafting!

23 comments:

  1. these are so cheerful and colorful - great job

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  2. Question: How much mod podge do you think you used? Trying to guesstimate for our "Super Saturday" activity. We've got 17 ladies that want to do this, so I don't want to run out but also don't want to waste $ by buying a huge jar and only using a small amount...do you think a 16oz jar would be sufficient?

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    1. I completely understand! I think that 16 oz is enough for that number of blocks. In situations like these I usually buy over and keep my receipt. Then if we need it we have it, and if not I can take the excess back.

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  3. I, like the previous comment, loved your idea and am using it for my 2nd annual ladies craft night. Did you use scrapbook paper or something else? Second, do we need to put a clear coat or something over the finished product to preserve it? Thank you for the awesome idea!

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    1. Hi! I did use scrapbook paper. If you read above in step 4 it explains what the dimensions should be and even where I bought mine. And about the topcoat, I did not put any on mine and it still looks good. You could if you would like, it will give it a sheen on top that you will have to be sure and make smooth. Good luck with your craft night, sounds like fun!

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  4. What size did you print the font in? Was it different for each size of block?

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    1. The size of the font was particular for each block. I measured the area and then made the letters the right size to fit.

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  5. Hi I love this.. But I the block on the top should be 7 inches not 8.

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    1. Got it thanks!!!! :) Sorry about that!

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  6. I love this so I decided to make them.. I went to home depot and bought wood then I had them cut by the indicated measurements you posted.. I noticed once i stared putting the blocks together than the bells/ give block should be 7 inches not 8. so it could fit right in.

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    1. Soooo sorry! You are right! I went and checked mine... I fixed the post. Thank you so much for letting me know!

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  7. I love these...thanks for sharing the directions. I'm not following how to get the letters...did you just print them with a regular printer on special clear sticky paper? Thanks for dumbing it down for me! 😉

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    1. Glad to help! The letters are cut on vinyl on a machine I have. If you have access to a Silhouette or Circuit machine, you can cut them too. Most craft stores sell uncut vinyl. Or it could also be made using paper and hand cutting each letter. Then you would mod podge that on. More labor intensive though... Hope that answers your question! Good luck!

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  8. I LOVE these!! I have a silhouette too and was wondering if you could give me the dimensions you used for Bells/Give? Thank you so much for sharing!!

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    1. The height is about 1.7 for the text box (so that means the letters are a bit smaller inside) Then 'bells' ends up a little longer at 4.8 and 'give' at about 4. These are rough estimates...

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  9. Hello! Do you care if I make a couple of sets of these to donate to a silent auction fundraising event? They wouldn't be exactly like yours but yours are the inspiration piece. Thanks!!

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    1. I isn't my original idea, but you are welcome to make them! Glad you like them!!!

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  10. I personally like the 2x3 cut at 8 inches. I want a little space between blocks and not have them tight together. Thanks Renee for a great craft!

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  11. With materials and all, how much was your end product ?

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    1. I did this so long ago I can't even remember... but I would say it was probably around $7-8 each. Be aware that doing a bunch at the same time cuts down on cost because of the boards, paper, and vinyl you are buying will be cut down for multiple sets. So it would be a lot more money to make just one! :)

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  12. What a great idea, two holidays in one decoration! Cut's down on storage of holiday crafts! Thanks for the great tutorial!.....patty at www.welcomepillows.com

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  13. Great idea and tutorial!.............patty at www.welcomepillows.com

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