I'm in disbelief that our granddaughter has now turned two. Wow! Where did the time go. I sure wish she lived closer so we could spend more time enjoying her grow. I wanted us to make something handmade from "Grandma and Grandpa" as our gift. It had to be something a "man" could craft and not just one of my "woman" skills such as hand stitching or graphic arts, etc.
I wanted something that she could keep for a long time too.
Here are the blocks we bought already cut. There are 30 of them.
It was not too difficult to spray paint them. Just the waiting in between for the paint to dry took time. Not all the surfaces were perfect, but we rather liked the "patina" the gold paint took on settling into the uneven surface.
While I painted, hubby cut out the squares of chalk vinyl.
I was glad that I decided to spray paint the erasure to match the blocks. It was a bright green and did not really go well.
I'll let you do that math of 30 blocks, each with six sides, for how many squares were cut!
And the peeling and sticking began. This whole process took us about a week, but it could have been done faster. It was just nice to keep thinking about our granddaughter for that long as we worked.
I could not wait to write the first letters on the blocks. E and L for her name.
And, of course, "hi" to greet us at the table while we worked.
We got this cute bag too for her to keep and carry her blocks in. How fun to take them to play dates to share with friends.
Some of the chalk vinyl did not stick too well and we had to start putting dots of glue between the wood and vinyl.
Hubby was not too skilled at taking off the backing, so I put most of the square pieces on.
Then I wrote letters on at least one side of every block to give her an idea of how to use the blocks.
Hubby is the artist, so he drew animals on the blocks. The idea is to turn the blocks until the animals match up. This is a bird.
This is a cat. I'm sure you could guess. :)
This is a worm (because snakes are scary).
This is an adorable flower.
I spelled out her name.
I rubber-band them together, along with the photo blocks, and laid them on top of the other blocks inside the bag.
Isn't it such a cute idea?
Along with a handwritten card to make it special. It says "We wanted to give you a handmade gift, so we painted these blocks for you & cut chalk vinyl for the sides. You can use them to learn your ABC's & 123"s and spell or draw & match blocks. When you get old, you can decorate your room with them & spell out (holiday) phrases or notes to surprise friends. Use the bag to carry them places for something to do when bored or to play with friends."
Oh, and did I tell you? I want a set of these blocks for myself!
The below is what inspired the above that we made.
We used to have some alphabet blocks in our bathroom and we would spell out messages to each other. We still have them, but they are packed away for a break.
I like the idea of chalk based blocks. That way we can write whatever we want on the blocks. I remember having trouble finding just the right letters and we did not like the color combinations. These are much more decorative friendly.
Click on the image source link to see how she used blocks, gold spray paint, and chalkboard vinyl to make these blocks.
I've never heard of chalkboard vinyl before. I've used chalkboard paint before and I'm sure that might be an option too.
I like that you don't need a set of blocks for every season or event! Making extra would work for different length of words.
What a great gift idea too!