**For more fun ideas, check out post 2 when you finish reading this post!**
These have been floating around the blogosphere for a while now, but it took me a few months to finally pull everything together to make my set. I first saw these when Little Birdie Secrets posted about them, but I modified it slightly. I love that you can make up to sixteen seasonal words (maybe more?) with only seven blocks.
I started with a 4"x4" I picked up at Lowe's for a few dollars. I wanted blocks bigger than 1.5". In retrospect, I think the smaller blocks would have worked, but I do like the larger blocks. I found out that I needed to get the lumber when I had my in-laws' truck because the 4"x4"s are too wide for them to cut down for you in the store (unlike the 2"x4"s, etc). I then took it over to use my FIL's miter saw (which I totally covet) to cut the 4"x4" into cubes. It made 19 cubes, so I have enough for another set and perhaps some blocks for my son.
I got tired of waiting for the weather to warm up, so I tried spray-painting them while it was at least light outside even though it was still below freezing. I don't recommend it.
I wanted a combination of colors that would be neutral while allowing me to combine them with seasonal specific colors, so I went with black and ivory. The first coat was a very minimal coat of black just on the edges.
I probably could have gone darker. Live and learn. The next 18(ish) coats (reminder: I really don't recommend spray painting when it's freezing outside) were Krylon Ivory. When I finally decided it was enough and that I should just decide to like the texture and grain of the wood showing (which didn't take long; I do like it), I sanded them all down. I sanded a little extra on the edges so that the black would show through a little.
I used my MIL's cricut to cut the letters out of plain black scrapbooking paper. At first I intended to use vinyl, but I decided I was too cheap). I bought some mod podge to see what all the fuss was about (I know, how can I call myself a crafter? thankfully I saw the error of my ways. Mod Podge does rock). I attempted to accomplish a slightly more whimsical (pun definitely intended) effect by varying capital with lower case letters and the letter thickness from block to block. This is the result:
I think that I do like the result of the varied letters. I haven't decided where to put the blocks, though! They look awful on my white mantel, but the living room furniture is in flux right now, so hopefully you'll see them soon (with other seasonal decor!) on a bookcase or end table.
This is the list of letters you need for each block (borrowed from Little Birdie Secrets):
Block One: H Y E D
Block Two: A C R S
Block Three: R P E T
Block Four: V N L O
Block Five: E O M D
Block Six: S M K I
Block Seven: T F B W
And these are the words you can make:
I'll be posting to the parties listed to the left.
**edited to add: I got to looking at this list last night and realized that if I add one more block, I can make 4 more words. Adding a block 8 with the letters U A G L, you can make the words Lucky, Love, Santa, and Glory. Can anyone see any other words we could make with those 8 blocks? Maybe one that uses all 8?
**another edit: also posting to -