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Recently I shared the details from Allie’s transportation baby shower for Baby Boy K. Now here is a little more detail on the “paint an alphabet block” station. I prepped each block prior to the shower to make sure Baby Boy K had the right number of alphabets for his collection!
I ordered the unfinished wood blocks from WoodWorks Ltd. I felt they were still a little on the rough side (for a baby to handle) so I borrowed my brother-in-law’s electric sander and my hubby very graciously helped to smooth out each side and the edges! (Thanks again, Derek!)
I designed the matching alphabet and number shapes on 1.75 x 1.75″ squares and cut them out with my ruler and craft knife. If you want these designs for yourself, click on the image above to download the two page pdf document of all 26 alphabets, numbers 0-9 and four vehicles designs.
Next up, I painted the edges of one or two sides of each block. I highly recommend the Deco Art Americana brand of acrylic paint! It covered with a nice thickness and dried quickly, which made painting the blocks a fun and quick craft. (note: At the time of writing this post I was not yet affiliated with the company, but now I’m happy to announce that I’m a Deco Art Blogger!)
I applied a layer of Mod Podge to the back of the sheet and laid it onto a painted square. I liked the look of different color backgrounds to the letters and I hope Allie did too! After that layer dried, I applied a second coat of Mod Podge on top of that side and allowed it to dry.
At the shower, I set up all the blocks in a large pile with the assortment of paint, paintbrushes, water bowls to clean the brushes and a few paper plates to mix or pour colors.
Guests were able to pick whichever alphabet block they wanted and paint the remaining sides. Here are a few things I learned from this experience:
- I selected the primary colors I used throughout the shower and black and white paint, thinking it would make them all coordinate when looking at the painted collection. I was surprised, however, at how many people decided they needed more colors and spent time mixing their custom mix on the plate. I’d often hear someone using their old school color theory lessons and ask their neighbor “what colors do you think will make beige” or other colors needed. I love that they took the time to create their own for the needs of their custom design!
- Encourage people to Google images and brainstorm on ideas. You can imagine that some letters, like X, Q and Z can be hard to fill. In fact, we didn’t get all the blocks painted at the shower. I was very happily surprised to see how much of an artist daddy Tim was during this post shower crafting session! I think Baby Boy K will be impressed by his dad’s versions of Viking, Zombie, Wolverine and other manly themed designs he came up with in the blank blocks completed at home.
- Make a sign to encourage guests to sign their name on one side! Not only does it make one less side to have to paint, but it lets Baby Boy K know who made what!
After the painting was complete, two more coats of Mod Podge were applied to seal in the paint and complete the collection for Baby Boy K!
Note: I wouldn’t recommend allowing little little babies who put everything in their mouth to play with this alphabet set due to the paper, paint, and decoupage glue. Instead wait until they are a little older and can enjoy stacking, playing and arranging these colorful toys!
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