DIY Wooden Baby Blocks
There are so many different ways to capture the monthly age pictures, but for me I knew I wanted to make DIY wooden baby blocks to track my growing boys!
This is a much easier project than it may appear but it does that some time and patience. So while it is certainly a more cost efficient option than purchasing you will have to put some time into it, mostly to allow for drying.
That said it makes for such a fun project while you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your little one!! These were made for my first son, and I have loved the photo memories that we have been able to look back on and compare side by side with our second son’s pictures.
Step 1: Cut & Sand the Blocks
The standard blocks are 4″x4″x4″. So I started with one 4″x4″x8′. The cost for an 8 foot long board is about $16-$20, so you will have leftovers to make some of these for a baby gift! You will want to grab an untreated option, a lot of the 4″x4″ options are going to be pressure treated. Pressure treated wood is wood that has been injected with a preservative since most 4″x4″ boards are used as fence post this part would be important but for this project we don’t want that to be in the block the kiddos with play with.
I started by cutting the two smaller block at 4 inches using my miter saw. This gave me the 4″x4″x4″ wooden blocks. For the base (longer) block I cut it at 8 inches to give me a wooden block at 4″x4″x8″.
I then used my palm sander and 180-grit sandpaper and softened all the edges and corners. Once I was happy with the rounding I went over the entire block and edges with 220-grit sandpaper.
Definitely make sure you take the time to get the edges and blocks nice and smooth. Your baby will think they are toys so you want to make sure they aren’t chewing on anything sharp!
Step 2: Paint and/or Stain the Blocks
I wanted my blocks to be a weathered grey color, so I made this step a bit more complicated than it had to be.
First, I dry brushed a light layer of white paint on the blocks. I used the dry brush method because I didn’t want to coat and lose the wood grain. Then I used a weathered gray wood stain on top of the paint to get that perfect gray color.
An easier option would be to simply paint the blocks, which we have done a few time for friends and they look great, maybe even better than mine (depends who you ask!).
Step 3: Layout the Numbers & Words
Each wooden baby block has to have a particular set of numbers on it to ensure all number combinations are possible.
Block #1: Will have a 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7 (*6 will also be the 9)
Block #2: Will have a 0, 1, 2, 3, 5 & 8
Longer Block #3: Will have weeks, months, days, years painted on the 4 sides.
I am fortunate that my mom has a cricket. I laid out the numbers & words on her cricut and printed it onto adhesive vinyl. Then, I used the outside of the cutout as a stencil and stuck it directly onto the blocks.
Note: Cricut now makes Stencil Vinyl which is a lot cheaper than Adhesive Vinyl. I highly recommend using this over the adhesive option!
If you do not have access to a cricut – do not fear! Print your numbers & words onto a piece of paper. Color chalk on the back of the paper and then use small piece of scotch tape to hold it in place on the age blocks. Trace the number & words with a ball point pen. Remove the paper and you should have an outline to paint!
Step 4: Paint on the Numbers & Words
With my cricket design printed and stuck onto the blocks I painted on my numbers and words.
When painting using cricket cutouts as a stencil you will want to be careful not to have too much paint on the paint brush and will want to use a mostly dry brush. Use a scrap board or rag to wipe off your brush if needed. If you paint with too much paint on the paint brush you may get some paint that bleeds under the adhesive vinyl. This made it so I had to do several coats but trust me it’s worth it! You do not want to move too quickly and end up with bleed through.
If you used the chalk method, you don’t need to use a mostly dry brush on the numbers. Keep your hand steady and trace your chalk outline! Once that is complete, fill it in.
Step 5: Peel off Vinyl Stencil & Seal with Wax!
Peel off the vinyl slowly and let the paint dry completely. Then apply a wax seal using a brush (Annie Sloane has a great wax brush!) and then buff off the excess with a clean rag. Let the wax dry and enjoy your blocks!
DIY Wooden Baby Blocks Links
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DIY Wooden Baby Blocks
- Paint Brush
- Palm Sander
- Cricut (optional)
- Miter Saw
- Wax Brush
- 4 in. x 4 in. Lumber
- Wood Stain
- Semi Gloss White Paint
- 180-Grit Sanding Disc
- 220-Grit Sanding Disc
- Cricut Premium Vinyl (optional)
- Sidewalk Chalk (optional)
- Paper (optional- if using the chalk method)
- Wax Sealer
- Cut & Sand the Blocks
- Paint and/or Stain the Blocks
- Layout the Numbers & Words
- Paint on the Numbers & Words
- Peel off Vinyl Stencil & Seal with Wax